If you want to appreciate a statue, you can't stand too close or too far away. Those in liberal arts are standing too far away from math to see it. Those in engineering and the sciences are standing too close -- they use pieces of math as tools but never see the beauty of mathematics.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want and if they can't find them, make them.
The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.
The truth is, hardly any of us have ethical energy enough for more than one really inflexible point of honor.
Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.
There are only two mistakes one can make along the road to truth; not going all the way, and not starting.
To my fellow swimmers: here is a river flowing now very fast. It is so great and swift, that there are those who will be afraid, who will try to hold on to the shore, they are being torn apart and will suffer greatly Know that the river has its destination. The elders say we must let go of the shore, push off into the middle of the river, and keep our heads above water. And I say see who is there with you and celebrate. At this time in history we are to take nothing personally, least of all ourselves, for the moment we do, our spiritual growth and journey come to a halt.
To most outsiders, modern mathematics is unknown territory. Its borders are protected by dense thickets of technical terms; its landscapes are a mass of indecipherable equations and incomprehensible concepts. Few realize that the world of modern mathematics is rich with vivid images and provocative ideas.
If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.
Only a fool would try to deprive working men and working women of their right to join the union of their choice.
Every country, every ethnicity, every religion, contains within it the capability for extreme violence. Every group contains a faction that is intolerant of other groups, and actively seeks to exclude or even kill them. War fever tends to encourage the intolerant faction, but the faction only succeeds in its goals if the rest of the group acquiesces or remains silent.
We want one man to be always thinking, and another to be always working, and we call one a gentleman, and the other an operative; whereas the workman ought often to be thinking, and the thinker often to be working, and both should be gentlemen, in the best sense. As it is, we make both ungentle, the one envying, the other despising, his brother; and the mass of society is made up of morbid thinkers and miserable workers. Now it is only by labour that thought can be made healthy, and only by thought that labour can be made happy, and the two cannot be separated with impunity.
Dream delivers us to dream, and there is no end to illusion. Life is like a train of moods like a string of beads, and, as we pass through them, they prove to be many-colored lenses which paint the world their own hue… Temperament is the iron wire on which the beads are strung.
There have been many measures taken to try to turn the educational system towards more control, more indoctrination, more vocational training, imposing a debt, which traps students and young people into a life of conformity…That's the exact opposite of [what] traditionally comes out of The Enlightenment. And there's a constant struggle between those. In the colleges, in the schools, do you train for passing tests, or do you train for creative inquiry?
The mood of the nation was changing, the crust of the benevolent Great Society beginning to crack, the lesions initiated with code words coined by the Nixon boys, such as the Silent Majority and Bums-on-Welfare and the pejorative them. A meanness was rising out of the ground and spreading, and it was more than the perceptive, decent Ford could stop, weakened as he was by the wounds of Watergate; and too much as well for the brilliant Carter, too consumed by minutiae to exercise compassionate leadership.
You are going to let the fear of poverty govern your life and your reward will be that you will eat, but you will not live.
It was once said that the moral test of Government is how that Government treats those who are in the dawn of life, the children; those who are in the twilight of life, the elderly; and those who are in the shadows of life, the sick, the needy and the handicapped.
The mathematics are distinguished by a particular privilege, that is, in the course of ages, they may always advance and can never recede.
It is not the job of mathematicians... to do correct arithmetical operations. It is the job of bank accountants.
Where love rules, there is no will to power and where power predominates, there love is lacking. The one is the shadow of the other.
The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one.
Man did not weave the web of life: he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.
The individual is what he is and has the significance that he has not so much in virtue of his individuality, but rather as a member of a great human community...
A dog is not considered a good dog because he is a good barker. A man is not considered a good man because he is a good talker.
I have long since come to believe that people never mean half of what they say, and that it is best to disregard their talk and judge only their actions.
The air is precious to the red man, for all things share the same breath – the beast, the tree, the man, they all share the same breath. The white man does not seem to notice the air he breathes. Like a man dying for many days, he is numb to the stench.
The rivers are our brothers, they quench our thirst. The rivers carry our canoes, and feed our children. If we sell you our land, you must remember and teach your children, that the rivers are our brothers, and yours; and you must henceforth give the rivers the kindness you would any brother.