|Quotes for All Moments
Accumulated at random by James Hayes-Bohanan
Updated November 30, 2008
Years ago, I started putting aphorisms about education, the environment, and life in general on my web site, in the form of a little program that would display one quote at a time, in a random order for each visitor. This program eventually became unreliable and a huge time sink, but I like the quotes. Simple is better, so here are some of my favorites. For a pithier selection, see my bumper sticker page.
Quotes are always streaming in the Hall of Ideas at the Mary Baker Eddy library in Boston. Lunch at Quotes café features fair-trade organic coffee roasted in Vermont.
Wasting less is more patriotic than
(Eric Liu and Nick Hanauer, The True Patriot)
Our country, right or wrong ...
when right to be kept right and when wrong to be put right.
(Sen. Carl Schurz, 1899)
end, we will conserve only what we love ..., we will love only what we
understand ..., we will understand only what we are taught.
(Baba Dioum, Environmentalist from Dakar, Senegal)
medicine, law, business, engineering: these are noble pursuits and
necessary to sustain life. But poetry, beauty, romance, love, these are
what we stay alive for.
(Robin Williams, Dead Poets Society. This line explains why I am a geographer -- geography is both a good way to make a living and a way to enjoy good living!)
The purpose of life is to be
useful, responsible, honorable, and to be compassionate. It is above
all to matter, to count, to stand for something, to make some
difference that you lived at all.
I cannot teach anybody anything. I
can only make them think."
kills the skunk is the publicity it gives of itself.
No one has a
right to consume happiness without producing it.
You know, there are a lot of
people who go straight from denial to despair, without pausing on the
intermediate step of actually doing
something about the problem [of global climate change].
very difficult to get a man to understand something if his salary
depends upon his not understanding it.
To attain knowledge, add things every day. To attain wisdom, remove things every day.
People call me a feminist whenever
I express sentiments that differentiate me from a doormat or a
Life in Lubbock, Texas taught me
two things: one is that God loves you and you're going to burn in hell;
the other is that sex is the most awful, filthy thing on Earth and you
should save it for someone you love."
(Attributed to Butch Hancock, The Flatlanders; quoted in The Education of Shelby Knox)
We have religion when we have an
abiding gratitude for all that we have received.
(Ralph Helverson, "Impassioned Clay," reprinted in Singing the Living Tradition)
Obstacles are those frightful
things you see when you take your eyes off the goal.
is the outside of an
object, the inside of which is caring.
(Paraphrased from Robert Pirsig)
Some men rob
you with a six
with a fountain pen.
Education is not the filling of a
pail, but the lighting
of a fire.
(William Butler Yeats)
ain't no party. This ain't no disco.
This ain't no fooling around.
(The Talking Heads)
enables one to take ideas
floating in the brain and give them a tangible existence.
Those who do not read are no better
off than those who cannot read.
(Abigail 'Dear Abby' Van Buren)
writing is the best evidence of clear thinking. Good writing is also
The will to succeed is important,
but what is more important is the will to prepare.
When we try to pick out anything by
itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe.
Time is what keeps everything from
happening at once.
My favorite thing is to go where I
have never gone.
To travel hopefully is a better
thing than to arrive, and the true success is to labor.
(Robert Louis Stevenson)
As if you could kill time without
(Henry David Thoreau)
Men have become the tools of their
(Henry David Thoreau)
Only the truly boring are ever
(Christopher Lydon, quoting his brother)
If you think education is
expensive, try ignorance.
(The Body Shop)
It's what you learn after you know
it all that counts.
(Earl Weaver, baseball manager)
The economy is a wholly-owned
subsidiary of the environment.
(Sen. Gaylord Nelson, Earth Day founder)
The best education is not given to
students; it is drawn
out of them.
There can be no daily democracy
without daily citizenship.
What is this life if, full of
care, we have no time to stand and stare.
(William Henry Davies)
Follow your breathing, dwell
mindfully on your steps, and soon you will find your balance.
(Thich Nhat Hanh)
Good-bye, good luck, have fun,
Too bad that all the people who
really know how to run the country are busy driving taxi cabs and
Civilization is a movement and not
a condition, a voyage and not a harbor.
..when the last individual of a
race of living things breathes no more, another Heaven and another
Earth must pass before such a one can be again.
... one of the things the tyrant
most cunningly engineers is the gross over-simplification of language,
because propaganda requires that the minds of the collective respond
primitively to slogans of incitement.
(Geoffrey Hill, paraphrasing Theodor Haecker)
The most important thing to be
said about awards is that Mozart never got one.
[For American consumer society],
reserves of ignorance constitute a natural resource as
precious as the Mississippi River or the long-lost herds of buffalo.
(Lewis H. Lapham)
There is a person you will not
become if you do not take the next step.
(BSC President Dr. Adrian Tinsley)
In the middle of difficulty lies
Some people never learn anything
because they understand everything too soon.
Unless your professor has his or
her name on the spine of the textbook, reading as a substitute for
showing up for class
is a losing
mind, stretched to a new idea, never goes back to its original
(Oliver Wendell Holmes)
There are two days in the week
about which and upon which I never worry. Two carefree days, kept
sacredly free from fear and apprehension. One of these days is
Yesterday. ... and the other ... is Tomorrow.
(Robert Jones Burdette)
We all get misinformation growing
up about people who are
(Dr. Beverly Daniel Tatum)
Not all who wander are lost.
The bachelor's degree is not the
end of the educational journey, but just another milestone.
(Kenneth C Green)
Better to be hated for what one
is, than loved for what one is not.
So long as governments set the
example of killing their enemies, private individuals will occasionally
What is man [sic]
without the beasts? If all the beasts were gone, man would die from
great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beast also
happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the
earth befalls the sons of the earth.
(Chief Seathl, Duwamish Tribe -- though some dispute whether he ever actually said this)
Proposals that we should, as a
species, switch to vegetarianism, stop riding in motor cars, or give up
our television sets are greeted with horror equally by residents of
Newton, Massachusetts, who live in ten-room houses and drive Jeep
Cherokees, and by Pakistani farmers saving to buy their first motor
(Diana Muir, an author from Newton)
Thinking is a momentary dismissal
The moment one gives close
attention to anything, even a blade of grass, it becomes a mysterious,
awesome, indescribably magnificent world in itself.
Americans think nothing of
criticizing other cultures and other societies for asking women to wear
veils without a backward glance to those millions around the world who
find capital punishment a lot more repugnant.
If there was no such thing as
anything, what color was it?
The conservation movement is a
breeding ground of communists and other subversives. We intend to clean
them out, even if it means rounding up every bird watcher in the
(Former U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell)
The opposite of a correct
is a false statement. But the opposite of a profound truth may well be
another profound truth.
I don't know if I want White
America to remember or fortoget that Jesus Christ
was the first
Every gun that is made, every
warship launched, every rocket fired, signifies in the final sense a
theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are
(President and General Dwight D. Eisenhower)
Education no doubt can be
suggested in the classroom; but education happens in the library.
(Princeton Professor John V. Fleming)
A man's library is a kind of
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
"Nothing will ever be attempted if
all possible objections must first be overcome.
Back to Dr. Hayes-Bohanan's Environmental Geography page.