The quotations here are those that have appeared near the middle of the Sociology Home Page. In no way is their presence here an endorsement for their content. They have been chosen from the many quotations available. Often they were used as an adjunct to a lecture topic. As they appear on the sociology page, they will be added to the top of this list.
"Buried deep within each of us is a spark of greatness, a spark that can be fanned into flames of passion and achievement. That spark is not outside of you it is born deep within you."
James A. Ray
"We could learn a lot from crayons... Some are sharp, some are pretty and some are dull. Some have weird names, and all are different colours, but they all have to live in the same box."
"Many a one has succeeded only because he has failed after repeated efforts. If he had never met defeat, he would never have known any great victory."
Orison Sweet Marden
"I've missed over 9,000 shots in my career. I've lost almost 300 games. 26 times I've been trusted to take the game-winning shot ... and missed. I've failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed."
"Opportunity often comes disguised in the form of misfortune, or temporary defeat."
"The golden opportunity you are seeking is in yourself. It is not in your environment; it is not in luck or chance, or the help of others; it is in yourself alone."
Orison Swett Marden
"Love is a better master than duty."
"You can't think your way into acting positively, but you can act your way into thinking positively."
"Act the way you'd like to be and soon you'll be the way you act."
George W. Crane
"Stop the mindless wishing that things would be different. Rather than wasting time and emotional and spiritual energy in explaining why we don't have what we want, we can start to pursue other ways to get it."
"There are only two ways to live your life. One is as though nothing is a miracle. The other is as though everything is a miracle."
"It is inevitable that some defeat will enter even the most victorious life. The human spirit is never finished when it is defeated - it is finished when it surrenders."
"The more a man knows, the more he forgives."
"I've learned that no matter what happens, or how bad it seems today, life does go on, and it will be better tomorrow."
"The abundant life does not come to those who have had a lot of obstacles removed from their path by others. It develops from within and is rooted in strong mental and moral fiber."
William Mather Lewis
"Trials, temptations, disappointments –– all these are helps instead of hindrances, if one uses them rightly. They not only test the fibre of a character, but strengthen it. Every conquered temptation represents a new fund of moral energy. Every trial endured and weathered in the right spirit makes a soul nobler and stronger than it was before."
"Adversity has the effect of eliciting talents which, in prosperous circumstances, would have lain dormant."
"The first step toward success is taken when you refuse to be a captive of the environment in which you first find yourself."
"If we had no winter, the spring would not be so pleasant: if we did not sometimes taste of adversity, prosperity would not be so welcome."
"Man is so made that whenever anything fires his soul, impossibilities vanish."
Jean de la Fontaine
"You can't shake hands with a clenched fist."
"As soon as you trust yourself, you will know how to live."
"You can make more friends in a month by being interested in them than in ten years by trying to get them interested in you."
"Speak when you're angry, and you'll make the best speech you'll ever regret."
Lawrence J. Peter
"A committee is a group of people who individually can do nothing but together can decide that nothing can be done."
"Politics is supposed be the second oldest profession. I have come to realise that it bears a very close resemblance to the first."
"Quotes from Mao, Castro, and Che Guevara . . . are as germane to our highly technological, computerized society as a stagecoach on a jet runway at Kennedy airport."
"No one can make you feel inferior without your consent."
"Nothing endures but change"
"A lie can travel half way around the world before the facts have even put their boots on."
"The books that the world calls immoral are the books that show the world its own shame."
"God, give us grace to accept with serenity the things that cannot be changed, courage to change the things which should be changed, and the wisdom to distinguish the one from the other."
Reinhold Niebuhr, The Serenity Prayer (1934)
"In science it often happens that scientists say, 'You know that's a really good argument; my position is mistaken,' and then they would actually change their minds and you never hear that old view from them again. They really do it. It doesn't happen as often as it should, because scientists are human and change is sometimes painful. But it happens every day. I cannot recall the last time something like that happened in politics or religion."
Carl Sagan (1987)
"The study of a religious people depends no more on the existence of God than the study of a basketball team relies on the existence of "luck" in a jockstrap."
Roderick Scobie (2004)
"Learning is not compulsory... neither is survival."
W. Edwards Deming (1900 - 1993)
"Do, or do not. There is no 'try'."
Yoda ('The Empire Strikes Back')
"Facts are the enemy of truth."
Don Quixote Man of La Mancha
The function of education has never been to free the mind and spirit of man, but to bind them; and to the end that the mind and spirit of his children should never escape Homo sapiens has employed praise, ridicule, admonition, accusation, mutilation, and even torture to chain them to the culture pattern . . . for where every man is unique there is no society, and where there is no society there can be no man. Contemporary American educators think they want creative children, yet it is an open question as to what they expect these children to create. And certainly the classrooms ── from kindergarten to graduate school ── in which they expect it to happen are not crucibles of creative activity and thought. It stands to reason that were young people truly creative the culture would fall apart, for originality, by definition, is different from what is given, and what is given is the culture itself. From the endless, pathetic, "creative hours" of kindergarten to the most abstruse problems in sociology and anthropology, the function of education is to prevent the truly creative intellect from getting out of hand.
Jules Henry, Culture Against Man
The Christian view that all intercourse outside marriage is immoral was, as we see in the above passages from St. Paul, based upon the view that all sexual intercourse, even within marriage, is regrettable. A view of this sort, which goes against biological facts, can only be regarded by sane people as a morbid aberration. The fact that it is embedded in Christian ethics has made Christianity throughout its whole history a force tending towards mental disorders and unwholesome views of life.
"My advice to you is get married: if you find a good wife you'll be happy; if not, you'll become a philosopher."
Socrates (470-399 B.C.)
"Social life comes from a double source, the likeness of consciences and the division of social labour."
Emile Durkheim, 1933, p.226
"A witty saying proves nothing."
"You can only find truth with logic if you have already found truth without it."
Gilbert Keith Chesterton (1874-1936)
"When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world."
George Washington Carver (1864-1943)
"When any government . . . undertakes to say to its subjects, 'This you may not read, this you must not see, this you are forbidden to know,' the end result is tyranny and oppression, no matter how holy the motives. Mighty little force is needed to control a man whose mind has been hoodwinked; contrariwise, no amount of force can control a free man, a man whose mind is free. No, not the rack, not fission bombs, not anything ── you can't conquer a free man; the most you can do is kill him."
Robert A. Heinlein, If This Goes On
"The man who does not read good books has no advantage over the man who cannot read them."
Mark Twain (1835-1910)
You're aware the boy failed my grade school math class, I take it? And not that many years later he's teaching college. Now I ask you: Is that the sorriest indictment of the educational system you ever heard? [pauses to light cigarette.] No aptitude at all for long division, but never mind. It's him they ask to split the atom. How he talked his way into the Nobel prize is beyond me. But then, I suppose it's like the man says, "It's not what you know..."
Karl Arbeiter: former teacher of Albert Einstein
"Capital punishment is as fundamentally wrong as a cure for crime as charity is wrong as a cure for poverty."
"What you've done becomes the judge of what you're going to do especially in other people's minds. When you're travelling, you are what you are right there and then. People don't have your past to hold against you. No yesterdays on the road."
William Least Heat Moon, Blue Highways
"I find that the harder I work, the more luck I seem to have."
Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826)
"If I have seen farther than others, it is because I was standing on the shoulders of giants."
"Selfishness is not living as one wishes to live, it is asking others to live as one wishes to live."
"You can get more with a kind word and a gun than you can with a kind word alone."
Al Capone (1899-1947)
It is worth noting that the word family originally meant a band of slaves. Even after the word came to apply to people affiliated by blood and marriage, for many centuries the notion of family referred to authority relations rather than love ones. The sentimentalization of family life and female nurturing was historically and functionally linked to the emergence of competitive individualism and formal egalitarianism for men.
Stephanie Coontz, The Way We Never Were, pp. 43-44
Beyond a critical point within a finite space, freedom diminishes as numbers increase. . . . the human question is not how many can possibly survive within the system, but what kind of existence is possible for those who do survive.
Frank Herbert, Dune
"Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one."
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
"If a fish were an anthropologist, the last thing it would discover would be water."
"Logic is in the eye of the logician"
"That is what learning is. You suddenly understand something you've understood all your life, but in a new way."
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