Quotations

Here is a selection of ideas that reflect my worldview and inspire me.


The Paradoxical Commandments

People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered.
Love them anyway.
If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives.
Do good anyway.
If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies.
Succeed anyway.
The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow.
Do good anyway.
Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway.
The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway.
People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs.
Fight for a few underdogs anyway.
What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight.
Build anyway.
People really need help but may attack you if you do help them.
Help people anyway.
Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth.
Give the world the best you have anyway.
Dr. Kent M. Keith


"So, my fellow Americans, whatever you may believe, whether you prefer one party or no party, our collective future depends on your willingness to uphold your obligations as a citizen. To vote. To speak out. To stand up for others, especially the weak, especially the vulnerable, knowing that each of us is only here because somebody, somewhere, stood up for us. To stay active in our public life so it reflects the goodness and decency and optimism that I see in the American people every single day."
Barack Obama, 2016 State of the Union Address


"Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has."

Margaret Meade

 

 

"We live in a world where we need to share responsibility. It's easy to say 'It's not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.' Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes."
Fred Rogers

 

 

"When we worked here together, we fought, scratched and clawed to make people’s lives a tiny bit better. That’s what public service is about: small, incremental change every day."

Leslie Knope, Parks and Recreation

 

 

"Leadership is about making others better as a result of your presence and making sure that impact lasts in your absence."
Frances Frei

 

 

"I was taught to strive not because there were any guarantees of success but because the act of striving is in itself the only way to keep faith with life."
Madeline Albright

 

 

“The way to oppress people is to find ways to divide them up.”

Trevor Noah

 

 

“This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.”

Theodore Roosevelt

 

 

"One of the deep secrets of life is that all that is really worth doing is what we do for others."
Lewis Caroll

 

 

"We must all hang together, or assuredly we shall all hang separately."
Benjamin Franklin

 

 

"One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors."

Plato

 

 

"Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment."

Benjamin Franklin

 

 

"Do what you feel in your heart to be right, for you'll be criticized anyway."

Eleanor Roosevelt

 

 

“Truth is the only safe ground to stand on.”

Elizabeth Cady Stanton

 

 

"He has a right to criticize, who has a heart to help."

Abraham Lincoln

 

 

"To avoid criticism say nothing, do nothing, be nothing."
Aristotle

 


"Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony."
Mahatma Gandhi

 


"Happiness does not come from a job. It comes from knowing what you truly value, and behaving in a way that's consistent with those beliefs."
Mike Rowe, Dirty Jobs


“My religion is kindness.”

The Dalai Lama

 

 

“It's really a wonder that I haven't dropped all my ideals, because they seem so absurd and impossible to carry out. Yet I keep them, because in spite of everything I still believe that people are really good at heart.”

Anne Frank
 


“It's a terrible thing, I think, in life to wait until you're ready. I have this feeling now that actually no one is ever ready to do anything. There is almost no such thing as ready. There is only now. And you may as well do it now. Generally speaking, now is as good a time as any.”

Hugh Laurie

 

 

“Are you ready?" Klaus asked finally.
"No," Sunny answered.
"Me neither," Violet said, "but if we wait until we're ready we'll be waiting for the rest of our lives, Let's go.”    
Lemony Snicket (Daniel Handler), The Ersatz Elevator

 

 

“Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness. If he listens to it and acts on it, he is giving a great deal of what it is the world needs most. It is not complicated but it takes courage. It takes courage for a person to listen to his own goodness and act on it.”

Pablo Casals

 

 

"I didn't spend all those years playing Dungeons and Dragons and not learn a little something about courage."

Blaine Faulkner, The X-Files

 

 

How to Build Community

Turn off your TV

Leave your house

Know your neighbors

Look up when you are walking

Greet people

Sit on your stoop

Plant flowers

Use your library

Play together

Buy from local merchants

Share what you have

Help a lost dog

Take children to the park

Garden together

Support neighborhood schools

Fix it even if you didn’t break it

Have pot lucks

Honor elders

Pick up litter

Read stories aloud

Dance in the street

Talk to the mail carrier

Listen to the birds

Put up a swing

Help carry something heavy

Barter for your goods

Start a tradition

Ask a question

Hire young people to do odd jobs

Organize a block party

Bake extra and share

Ask for help when you need it

Open your shades

Sing together

Share your skills

Take back the night

Turn up the music

Turn down the music

Listen before you react to anger

Mediate a conflict

Seek to understand

Learn from new and uncomfortable angles

Know that no one is silent though many are not heard

Work to change this

Bev Bos, Roseville Community Preschool