Quotations for progressives and the progressive movement

Quotations for progressive activists
    • Have patience with all things, but chiefly have patience with yourself. Do not lose courage in considering you own imperfections, but instantly set about remedying them – every day begin the task anew. Saint Francis de Sales
    • Humanity also needs dreamers, for whom the disinterested development of an enterprise is so captivating that it becomes impossible for them to devote their care to their own material profit. Without doubt, these dreamers do not deserve wealth, because they do not desire it. Even so, a well-organized society should assure to such workers the efficient means of accomplishing their task, in a life freed from material care and freely consecrated to research. Marie Curie
    • I do not think that I will ever reach a stage when I will say, “This is what I believe. Finished.” What I believe is alive … and open to growth.  Madeleine L’Engle
    • The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile. Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi
    • To allow oneself to be carried away by a multitude of conflicting concerns, to surrender to too many demands, to commit to too many projects, to want to help everyone in everything is itself to succumb to the violence of our times. Frenzy destroys our inner capacity for peace. It destroys the fruitfulness of our work, because it kills the root of inner wisdom which makes work fruitful. Thomas Merton
    • You write in order to change the world knowing perfectly well that you probably can’t, but also knowing that [writing] is indispensable to the world. The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you alter even by a millimeter the way people look at reality, then you can change it. James Baldwin
    • Your playing small won’t serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that the other people won’t feel insecure around you. Nelson Mandela
    • Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition. They somehow already know what you truly want to become. Everything else is secondary. Steve Jobs
    • It takes real spiritual courage to step forward and take responsibility for where we are all going. Andrew Cohen
    • Moral certainty is always a sign of cultural inferiority. The more uncivilized the man, the surer he is that he knows precisely what is right and what is wrong. All human progress, even in morals, has been the work of men who have doubted the current moral values, not of men who have whooped them up and tried to enforce them. The truly civilized man is always skeptical and tolerant, in this field as in all others. His culture is based on “I am not too sure.” H.L. Mencken
    • Nothing is more powerful than an individual acting out their conscience, thus helping bring the collective conscience to life. Norman Cousins
    • Nothing is so firmly believed as what is least known. Michel de Montaigne
    • If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough. Albert Einstein
    • When you place a high value on truth, you have to think for yourself. Dr. Cornel West

Quotations for the progressive movement

A liberal is someone who looks ahead, not behind, someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions, someone who cares about the welfare of people – their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs, their civil rights, and their civil liberties – someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad, if that is what they mean by a ‘Liberal,’ I’m proud to say I’m a ‘Liberal.’ John Fitzgerald Kennedy.

All great changes are preceded by chaos. Deprak Chopra

All opinions are not created equal. Some are a very great deal more robust, sophisticated and well supported in logic and argument than others. Douglas Adams

Anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge. Isaac Asimov

As soon as we lose the moral basis, we cease to be religious. There is no such thing as religion over-riding morality. Mohandas K. Gandh

Convictions are more dangerous enemies of truth than lies. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

Democracy assumes there are extraordinary possibilities in ordinary people. Harry Emerson Fosdick

Hope has two beautiful daughters-their names are Anger and Courage. Anger at the way things are and Courage to see that they do not remain as they are. Augustine of Hippo
I believe in America where the separation of church and state is absolute. John F. Kennedy
I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires. Susan B. Anthony

I don’t want to see religious bigotry in any form. It would disturb me if there was a wedding between the religious fundamentalists and the political right. The hard right has no interest in religion except to manipulate it. Rev. Billy Graham, 1981

If the predators of democracy are going to use brass knuckles to pulverize us, we have to fight back with sharp elbows. Bob Edgar, former Member of Congress and the head of Common Cause

If you don’t want your tax dollars to help the poor, then stop saying you want a country based on Christian values because you don’t. Jimmy Carter

Ignorance is a virus. Once it starts spreading, it can only be cured by reason for the sake of humanity. We must be that cure. Neil DeGrasse Tyson

In a time of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. George Orwell

It is the evil in man that makes democracy necessary, and man’s belief in justice that makes democracy possible. Reinhold Neibuhr

Intolerance is the sign of an inadequate education. An ill-educated person behaves with arrogant impatience, whereas truly profound education breeds humility. Alekzandr Solzhenitzn

Let us talk sense to the American people. Let us tell them the truth, that there are no gains without pains. Adlai Stevenson

Love, friendship and respect do not unite people as much as a common hatred for something. Anton Chekhov

Plenty of kind, decent, caring people have no religious beliefs, and they act out of the goodness of their hearts. Conversely, plenty of people who profess to be religious, even those who worship regularly, show no particular interest in the world beyond themselves. John Danforth

Policy is driven by more than politics, however. It is equally driven by ideas. Malcolm Gladwell

Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. Frederick Douglass

Religion without humanity is poor human stuff. Sojourner Truth

Righteousness exalts a nation. Hate just makes people miserable. Fannie Lou Hamer

Sometimes people call me an idealist. Well, that is the way I know I am an American… America is the only idealistic nation in the world.  Woodrow Wilson

The high-minded man must care more for the truth than for what people think. Aristotle (384-322 BCE)

The ideals that bind us together are as old as our nation, but so are the forces that pull us apart.  Bill Clinton

The most outrageous lies that can be invented will find believers if a person only tells them with all his might. Mark Twain

The people’s government made for the people, made by the people, and answerable to the people. Daniel Webster

There are things that you shall do: Speak the truth to one another, render in your gates judgments that are true and make for peace, do not devise evil in your hearts against one another. Holy Bible, Zechariah 8:16-17

Those who believe that politics and religion do not mix, understand neither. Albert Einstein

Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought. John F. Kennedy

Truth and love must prevail over lies and hatred. Vaclav Havel

We are not afraid to follow truth wherever it may lead, nor to tolerate any error so long as reason is left to combat it. Thomas Jefferson

We divided the world into ‘us’ and ‘them. There is no ‘them’ left on our tiny planet. Marilyn Rea

We have the right to our own opinions, but not our own facts. Daniel Patrick Moynihan

We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic chords of memory, stretching from every battlefield and patriot grave, to every living heart and hearth-stone, all over this broad land, will yet swell the chorus of the Union when again touched, as surely they will be, by the better angels of our nature. Abraham Lincoln

What the people want is very simple. They want an America as good as its promise. Barbara Jordan

When fascism comes to America, it’ll be wrapped in a flag and carrying a cross. Sinclair Lewis

When two opposite points of view are expressed with equal intensity, the truth does not necessarily lie exactly halfway between them. It is possible for one side to be simply wrong. Richard Dawkins

Who controls the past controls the future; who controls the present controls the past. George Orwell

You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad.  Aldous Huxley

Comments are closed.