Values of the Wise features 30,000+ interesting quotes about values, and they keep coming! Every week I’m reading, discussing, learning, copying, recording, and the like. This ongoing effort is the fountainhead from which all these diverse and compelling quotations come.
What words describe the following interesting quotes about values and wisdom? Diverse. Unique. Little-known. Classic. Liberal. Trenchant. Controversial. Transcultural. Apt.
It is my hope that you will appreciate these challenging but interesting quotes about values, and use the quotations database I call The Wisdom Archive to customize your search for more!
One needs to dig a bit, to think for a while, to get why some of these interesting quotes about values are, well, about values. It’s not like spoon-feeding or using Google to look stuff up. The content is there – English words – but those words represent something. In the case of this list, I believe they all represent values of the wise – the 20-40 values that have stood the test of time, which nurture life and development, and which tend to be more helpful than harmful to one’s self and one’s world. Take an example:
A Boston Phoenix reporter broke the story about sexual abuse within the city’s Catholic Church nine months before the Boston Globe picked up the thread. The Globe intensified the reporting and gave the story national and international reach. The Boston Phoenix, alas, died from financial malnutrition in 2013 after 47 years in business. ~ Bill Moyers
What is that about? Journalism? Yes. Sexual abuse? True. But the underlying values are there, too. Do you not agree that the integrity of journalism is present? What about independence? Courage? The recognition of the absurdity of modern society? Truth? I think so.
Each quote can be examined under your mental microscope, and the p0int is to determine what the author was trying to say and how it is relevant to values, and how such interesting quotes about values can positively impact your life. As the teacher said to his young, complacent students in the wonderful book/movie Dead Poet’s Society, “No matter what anybody tells you, words and ideas can change the world.” They can! And so they did for those boys at the prep school in the 1940s.
Without further ado, I share with you fifty interesting quotes about values such as economic justice, social justice, happiness, philosophy, and knowledge that I have been finding and working with this week:
[Optimism] is not about providing a recipe for self-deception. The world can be a horrible, cruel place, and at the same time it can be wonderful and abundant. These are both truths. There is not a halfway point; there is only choosing which truth to put in your personal foreground. ~ Sonja Lyubomirsky
“It’s to know you’re secure,” she said. “I have friends in Britain, and when I go there, all they talk about is mortgages, their houses, the value, all of that. Yes, in Britain you can do very well, even better than here. But even if you get savings, something might happen, inflation might eat it up, and, in a country like that, you can never be secure. There’s all the energy in worrying about money! Here in Germany, I’m free to take all that energy, and I’m free to use all of it, all that energy, for something else!” ~ Thomas Geoghegan
On most journeys, some well-recognized road and inquiries made of the inhabitants of the region prevent you from going astray; but on this one all of the best beaten and the most frequented paths are the most deceptive. Nothing, therefore, needs to be more emphasized than the warning that we should not be like sheep and follow the lead of the throng in front of us, traveling, thus, the way that all go and not the way we ought to go. ~ Seneca
Straightforward, though bracing: if the design of corporate capitalism is unable to sustain values of equality, genuine democracy, liberty, and ecological sustainability as a matter of inherent systemic architecture, what systemic ‘design’ might ultimately achieve and sustain these values? (Especially given the total failure of the traditional twentieth-century alternative, state socialism?). ~ Gar Alperovitz
We toil after goals, most of them – indeed every single one of them – of transitory significance and, as if that one had never been, with this next one being essentially more of the same. Look at a busy street any day, and observe the throng going hither and thither. To what? Some office or shop, where the same things will be done today as were done yesterday, and are done now so they may be repeated tomorrow. ~ Richard Taylor
The first kind of philosopher resides in a philosophy department at a university and only talks to other philosophers. The second can be found in a public park, engaging a throng of laypeople in a discussion that will change their lives. ~ Daniel Dennett
Basically, I have been compelled by curiosity. ~ Mary Leakey
As always in life, people want a simple answer . . . and it’s always wrong. ~ Susan Greenfield
If God and Darwin are compatible, we won’t have to choose between them. We can give unto Darwin that which is Darwin’s, and give unto Abraham, Jesus, or Muhammad that which is his. The budget for medical research will be safe from the troglodytes, and we’ll be able to continue to teach evolution in Mississippi…. ~ Alex Rosenberg
Governments can enhance growth by increasing inclusiveness. A country’s most valuable resource is its people. So it is essential to ensure that everyone can live up to their potential, which requires educational opportunities for all. ~ Joseph Stiglitz
The overestimation of the American contribution to victory [in WWII] also reflects a traditional ethnocentrism shared by our allies, as well as a desire to downplay the critical Soviet contribution to victory. Admitting that the victory depended on an alliance with a bloody dictator would challenge our view of the ‘Good War.’ ~ Mark A. Stoler
People often express self-contradictory views about government. On one level, they’ll say they’re “anti-government.” If you ask them, “Do you trust government,” they’ll say, “No.” But if you ask them about particular government services, like EPA, local fire and police, or FDIC, they’ll say, “Oh, yeah, that’s a good one. That works pretty well.” I often can get the conversation to that level, but in the end, people still say “I think we should limit government.” ~ Douglas J. Amy
I suggest you be a little spontaneous, irreverent, and pleasure-seeking. Don’t be immoral about it, but count your happiness as a genuine goal and don’t be easily dissuaded. ~ Mattias Risse
In an American university, people want to cover a subject, but do it only once. You talk to someone about a period of history. “Oh,” they say, “I covered that when I was nineteen.” But in the German system, the idea is you keep coming back to the same topic, through your life, only at different levels of maturity. You keep going deeper. ~ Thomas Geoghegan
A liberal is a man who wants to build bridges over the chasms that separate humanity from a better life. ~ Franklin D. Roosevelt
Freedom…? The land of the free! This the land of the free! Why, if I say anything that displeases them, the free mob will lynch me, and that’s my freedom. Free? Why, I have never been in any country where the individual has such an abject fear of his fellow countrymen. Because, as I say, they are free to lynch him the moment he shows he is not one of them. ~ D. H. Lawrence
From childhood, we are indoctrinated with the propaganda that America is superior to other nations; that our way of life, a mass-market “democracy” manipulated by lobbyists, is superior to all other forms of government; that no matter how frivolous and debased, our American culture is the supreme culture, as our language is the supreme language; that our most blatantly imperialistic and cynical political goals are always idealistic, while the goals of other nations are transparently opportunistic. ~ Joyce Carol Oates
Liberals are well-positioned to lead America out of its current morass. The harsh lessons of the past 40 years of defeat and disappointment have forced a return to the most pragmatic aspects of a political philosophy that, after all, inspired America’s founders to invent this nation. ~ Eric Alterman
I hope you find these to be edifying and interesting quotes about values. Visit this page for other quotations relevant to wisdom, ethics, and values!
An ethical endeavor at which you can work with passion and integrity is a key component in a satisfying life. ~ Derrick Bell
A lot of Americans are very insecure economically. We worry about how we’ll be able to retire, how we’ll afford to send our kids to college, pay for our healthcare, or make our mortgage payments. People are looking for someone to blame for these problems. One of the loudest voices is that of big business, which routinely points the finger at government. They’ve made government a scapegoat to distract people from the real problems, many of which come from the private sector itself. The political right doesn’t want to talk about that. ~ Douglas J. Amy
It is impossible to nurture a culture of “community” if the members of the local community are insecure, risk losing their jobs, must fight for basic economic security, and must see each other always as rivals and threats. Without a stable basis to build upon, local community decision-making is so constrained and disrupted as to make a mockery of democratic procedures, with the next system nothing but a hollow shell. ~ Gar Alperovitz
The only really happy people are those who have learned how to serve. ~ Rick Warren
There are times when we are called to duty;
Necessity dictates revolutionary action.
The time comes when we must stand and be counted;
Proactivity arises from the place of reaction. ~ Jason Merchey
Nothing in life is as important as you think it is while you are thinking about it. ~ Sonja Lyubomirsky
If the builders of a great and flourishing ancient civilization could somehow return now to see archaeologists unearthing the trivial remnants of what they had once accomplished with such effort…they could indeed ask themselves what the point of it all was, if this is all it finally came to. Yet, it did not seem so to them then, for it was just the building, and not what was finally built, that gave their life meaning. ~ Richard Taylor
Everyone recognizes as myths the idea that Columbus was the first to discover America or the story that George Washington admitted cutting down a cherry tree. But very few people realize how much of what we think we know about American history is also mythical and mistaken. ~ Mark A. Stoler
It would seem logical to assume that people use Facebook because it somehow enhances their lives. But oddly, research suggests the opposite. Studies show Facebook use is associated with lower life satisfaction. ~ Amy Morin
Liberalism is the natural political philosophy of our nation because it represents and encourages what is both good and great in all of us. It embraces freedom of thought rather than ideologically- or theologically-imposed certainty. It inspires the spirit of discovery in science and technology. It embraces the idea of teamwork through its commitment to the common good, which allows us to make the best use of the wisdom of the many while at the same time respecting the sanctity of the rights and talents of the individual. ~ Eric Alterman
Under Republican presidents since 1960, the federal deficit has averaged $131 billion a year. Under Democrats, that figure is $30 billion. In an average Republican year, the deficit has grown by $36 billion. In the average Democratic year, it has shrunk by $25 billion. The national debt has gone up more than $200 billion a year under Republican presidents and less than $100 billion a year under Democrats. If you start counting in 1981 or attribute responsibility with a year’s delay, the numbers change but the bottom line doesn’t: Democrats do Republican economics better than Republicans do. ~ Michael Kinsley
I have a problem with people who take the Constitution loosely and the Bible literally. ~ Bill Maher
In sorting out my feelings and beliefs, there is, however, one piece of moral ground of which I am absolutely certain: if I were to be murdered I would not want my murderer executed. I would not want my death avenged. Especially by government which can’t be trusted to control its own bureaucrats or collect taxes equitably or fill a pothole, much less decide which of its citizens to kill. ~ Helen Prejean
No one in their right mind would say “Screw the environment.” But that is a different stance than actually DOING something positive, such as “voting green” (e.g., in favor of pro-environmental legislation and for representatives who will uphold such values), choosing to hold down our population numbers, and purchasing a fuel-efficient car. ~ Jason Merchey
Pit race against race, religion against religion, prejudice against prejudice. Divide and conquer! We must not let that happen here. ~ Eleanor Roosevelt
When you start to develop your powers of empathy and imagination, the whole world opens up to you. ~ Susan Sarandon
Ten percent of any population is cruel, no matter what, and 10 percent is merciful, no matter what, and the remaining 80 percent can be moved in either direction. ~ Susan Sontag
Charity provides crumbs from the table; justice offers a place at the table. ~ Bill Moyers
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Let us create a society in which no business person would dump waste into the riverbed, because, after all, it is their ocean; in which no person sleeps under the overpass, because, after all, they have a home; and in which no youth writes graffiti on the walls, because, after all, why would they want to do such a thing with their time? ~ Jason Merchey
The real glory of the Declaration of Independence has been our nations epic struggle throughout history to close the gap between the ideals of this remarkable document and the sometimes painful realities of American life. The Declaration symbolizes the birth of our nation of course, but also the constant struggle to achieve its ideals. ~ Morgan Freeman
Yes, I had to admit: Germany was dark. But with no social democracy, it would have been a lot darker. ~ Thomas Geoghegan
…America has been something of a schizophrenic personality, tragically divided against herself. On the one hand we have proudly professed the great principles of democracy, but on the other hand we have sadly practiced the very opposite of those principles. ~ Martin Luther King Jr.
If you engage in an activity in service of the commons long enough, it will increase meaning for you. You may find that you get depressed less easily, that you get sick less often, and that you feel better acting for the common good than indulging in solitary pleasures. Most important, an emptiness inside you – the meaninglessness that rampant individualism nurtures – will begin to fill. ~ Martin Seligman
Educators justify teaching history because it gives us perspective on the present. If there is one issue in the present to which authors should relate the history they tell, the issue is racism. But as long as history textbooks make white racism invisible in the nineteenth century, neither they nor the students who use them will be able to analyze racism intelligently in the present. ~ James W. Lowen
Leaders are visionaries with a poorly developed sense of fear and no concept of the odds against them. ~ Robert Jarvik
Without a major change, unforgiving and arithmetic, the fact that health costs continue to outpace economic growth will hamstring America’s competitiveness and seriously damage our economy. So the question is not, will we make changes? but, what kind of changes will we make? ~ Jared Bernstein
Either we figure out how to keep corporate cash out of the political system, or we lose the democracy. ~ Molly Ivins
There ya go! Fifty interesting quotes about values. Visit this page for other quotations relevant to wisdom, ethics, and values!