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Interesting quotations

On topics: Caring & Compassion and Change

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See also other topics: Christ & Christianity, Church & State, and Civil Rights and from Communication to Cynicism

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Caring and compassion:

bullet book review of Rob Bell and Don Golden's book "Jesus wants to save Christians: A manifesto for the church in exile:"  It is unusually brief. "There is a church not too far from us that recently added a $25 million addition to their building. Our local newspaper ran a front-page story not too long ago about a study revealing that one in five people in our city lives in poverty. This is a book about those two numbers."
bullet Karen Armstrong: "Here in America, religious people often prefer to be right rather than compassionate. They've lost the Axial Age vision of concern for everybody."
bullet George Washington Carver: "How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in life you will have been all of these."
bullet Tony Campolo: "I have three things I'd like to say to you tonight. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don't give a s--t. Third: what's worse is that you're more upset with the fact that I said s--t than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night."
bullet Albert Einstein: "A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty."
bullet Dwight Eisenhower: "Every gun that is made ever warship launched, ever rocket fired signifies in the final sense; a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, from those who are cold and are not clothed.
bullet Tich Nhat Hanh: "Every day forty thousand children die in the world for lack of food. We who overeat in the West, who are feeding grains to animals to make meat, are eating the flesh of these children."

The Dalai Lama:

  • "Compassion is something really worthwhile. It is not just a religious or spiritual subject, not a matter of ideology. It is not a luxury, it is a necessity."

  • "If you want others to be happy, practice compassion. If you want to be happy, practice compassion."
bullet Philo: "Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle."
bullet Rumi: "I would like my life to be a statement of love and compassion... and where it isn't, that's where my work lies."
bullet Teresa of Avila: "Christ has no body now on earth but yours, no hands but yours, no feet but yours. Yours are the eyes through which is to look out Christ's compassion to the world. Yours are the feet with which he is to go about doing good. Yours are the hands with which he is to bless men now."
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bullet About God, commas and periods:
bullet Gracie Allen: "Never place a period where God has placed a comma." From a note to her husband, George Burns, that he allegedly found after her death. 1 The United Church of Christ based its "God is Still Speaking" advertising campaign on this concept. It was launched at 2004-Advent.
bullet Pat Robertson: "Never place a comma where God has placed a period. God has spoken!" 2
bullet Anon: "Everybody loves progress but nobody likes change."
bullet Anon: "Progress happens one funeral at a time."
bullet Anon: "All we can hope for is that the next generation will be a little less sexist, racist, homophobic, and xenophobic than the last."
bullet Anon: From the Jewish tradition, an entry in Midrash Tanhuma, Mishpatim 2: "If a person of learning participates in public affairs and serves as judge or arbiter, he gives stability to the land… But if he sits in his home and says to himself, ‘What have the affairs of society to do with me?... Why should I trouble myself with the people’s voices of protest? Let my soul dwell in peace!’—if he does this, he overthrows the world."
bullet William Sloane Coffin: senior minister, Riverside Church, NYC: "The sense of fulfillment which comes with being in the right fight is a very wonderful thing." 3
bullet Charles Darwin: "It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change."
bullet Marian Wright Edelman: "A lot of people are waiting for Martin Luther King or Mahatma Gandhi to come back but they are gone. We are it. It is up to us. It is up to you."
bullet Albert Einstein: "There is a race between mankind and the universe. Mankind is trying to build bigger, better, faster, and more foolproof machines. The universe is trying to build bigger, better, and faster fools. So far the universe is winning."
bullet Jerahmiel S. Grafstein: "All progress is by a winding staircase." Spoken in a debate in the Canadian Senate on a bill to legalize same-sex marriage. 4
bullet Ghandi:
bullet "First they ignore you, then they laugh at you, then they attack you, then you win."
bullet "You must be the change you wish to see in the world."
bullet Eric Hoffer: "In a time of drastic change, it is the learners who inherit the future. The learned usually find themselves equipped to live in a world that no longer exists."
bullet Peter Kropotkin: "It is hope, not despair, which makes successful revolutions."
bullet Ann Morrow Lindbergh: "Only in growth, reform, and change, paradoxically enough, is true security to be found."
bullet Margaret Mead: "Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has."
bullet Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.:
bullet "One of the great liabilities of life is that all too many people find themselves living amid a great period of social change, and yet they fail to develop the new attitudes, the new mental responses, that the new situation demands. They end up sleeping through a revolution."
bullet (From his "I Have a Dream" speech, 1963-AUG-28): Let us not seek to satisfy our thirst for freedom by drinking from the cup of bitterness and hatred. We must ever conduct our struggle on the high plane of dignity and discipline. We must not allow our creative protest to degenerate into physical violence. Again and again we must rise to the majestic heights of meeting physical force with soul force."
bullet David Knight, a spokesman for the Michigan Militia: "There are three methods to effect change: the jury box, the ballot box, and the cartridge box".
bullet John Stuart Mill: "The despotism of custom is everywhere the standing hindrance to human advancement."
bullet Thomas Paine:  ""It is never to be expected in a revolution that every man is to change his opinion at the same moment. There never yet was any truth or any principle so irresistibly obvious that all men believed it at once. Time and reason must cooperate with each other to the final establishment of any principle; and therefore those who may happen to be first convinced have not a right to persecute others, on whom conviction operates more slowly. The moral principle of revolutions is to instruct, not to destroy." 5

bullet Stephen Post:  "The surest way to predict the future is to invent it." 6
bullet Gola Wolf Richards: "Understanding the nature of change, changes the nature of understanding."
bullet R.J. Rushdoony: "History has never been dominated by majorities, but only by dedicated minorities who stand unconditionally on their faith."
bullet Mother Theresa: "So often people say that we should look to elderly, learn from their wisdom, their many years.  I disagree, I say we should look to the young: untarnished, without stereotypes implanted in their minds, no poison, no hatred in their hearts.  When we learn to see life through the eyes of a child, that is when we become truly wise."
bullet Andy Warhol: "They say that time changes things. But you actually have to change them yourself."

bullet Claire Wolfe: "America is at that awkward stage. It's too late to work within the system, but too early to shoot the bastards."

See also other topics from Christ & Christianity to Civil Rights and from Communication to Cynicism

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References used:

The following information sources were used to prepare and update the above essay. The hyperlinks are not necessarily still active today.

  1. "God is still speaking," United Church of Christ, at:
  2. Attributed to Pat Robertson, 700 Club TV show, Late 2004. Cited by Rev. Rich Smith, 2004-DEC-19, at:
  3. "Profile: William Sloane Coffin," 2004-AUG-27, Religion & Ethics Newsweekly, at:
  4. "Debates of the Senate (Hansard; Canada)," Volume 142, Issue 84, 2005-JUL-19, at:
  5. From Thomas Paine, "First Principles of Government," (1795).
  6. Franklin H. Littell, "First They Came for the Jews," Christian Ethics Today, 2001-MAY-27, at:

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Last updated and reviewed: 2016-JAN-01
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