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Heroic Quotes

 

Nothing is given to man on earth – struggle is built into the nature of life, and conflict is possible – the hero is the man who lets no obstacle prevent him from pursuing the values he has chosen. –Andrew Bernstein

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The real test of compassion is not what we say in abstract discussions but how we conduct ourselves in daily life. –The Dalai Lama

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‎With realization of one’s own potential and self-confidence in one’s ability, one can build a better world. –The Dalai Lama

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The true hero is one who conquers his own anger and hatred. –The Dalai Lama

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Real change in society must start from individual initiative. –The Dalai Lama

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Each individual has a universal responsibility to shape institutions to serve human needs. –The Dalai Lama

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Nurture your mind with great thoughts; to believe in the heroic makes heroes. –Benjamin Disraeli

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The point is, not how long you live, but how nobly you live. –Seneca

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Heroism feels and never reasons, and therefore is always right. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Self-trust is the essence of heroism–Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Once you make a decision, the universe conspires to make it happen. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Men imagine that they communicate their virtue or vice only by overt actions, and do not see that virtue or vice emit a breath every moment. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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The other terror that scares us from self-trust is our consistency; a reverence for our past act or word, because the eyes of others have no other data for computing our orbit than our past acts, and we are loath to disappoint them. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Nature is not slow to equip us in the prison-uniform of the party to which we adhere. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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It was a high counsel that I once heard given to a young person, “Always do what you are afraid to do.” –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Every violation of truth is not only a sort of suicide in the liar, but is a stab at the health of human society. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Do not be too timid and squeamish about your actions. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make, the better. –Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. –Margaret Mead

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Heroes are made in the hour of defeat. Success is, therefore, well described as a series of glorious defeats. Mahatma Gandhi

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You must be the change you want to see in the world. –Mahatma Gandhi

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You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result. –Mahatma Gandhi

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In matter of conscience, the law of [the] majority has no place. –Mahatma Gandhi

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The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service to others. –Mahatma Gandhi

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From what we get in life, we make a living. From what we give, we make a life. –Arthur Ashe

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True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. –Arthur Ashe

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Integrity is the essence of everything. –Buckminster Fuller

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When you think of the long and gloomy history of man, you will find more hideous crimes have been committed in the name of obedience than have ever been committed in the name of rebellion. –C.P. Snow

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True compassion is giving what the other person needs, not necessarily what you want to give. –Steven Stosny

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Compassion can shoulder the suffering of the entire world without feeling the slightest bit of pain. –Amma

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Compassion for others comes naturally as you recognize your own limitations. –Stephen Paul

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The hero is commonly the simplest and obscurest of men. –Henry David Thoreau

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There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one striking at the root. Henry David Thoreau

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As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives. –Henry David Thoreau

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Each man must for himself alone decide what is right and what is wrong, which course is patriotic and which isn’t. You cannot shirk this and be a man. To decide against your conviction is to be an unqualified and excusable traitor, both to yourself and to your country, let me label you as they may. –Mark Twain

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Don’t ask so much what the world needs. Go out and do what makes you come alive, because what the world needs mostare people who have come alive. –Howard Thurman

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Can we unite against ourselves for our own higher interest? –Aldous Huxley

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Inventing the future requires giving up control. No one with a compelling purpose and a great vision knows how it will be achieved. One has to be willing to follow an unknown path, allowing the road to take you where it will. Surprise, serendipity, uncertainty and the unexpected are guaranteed on the way to the future. –George Land

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Courage is not simply one of the virtues, but the form of every virtue at the testing point. C. S. Lewis

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…. It was only when I lay there on rotting prison straw that I sensed within myself the first stirrings of good. Gradually it was disclosed to me that the line separating good and evil passes not through states, nor between classes, nor between political parties either, but right through every human heart, and through all human hearts. This line shifts. Inside us, it oscillates with the years. Even within hearts overwhelmed by evil, one small bridgehead of good is retained; and even in the best of all hearts, there remains a small corner of evil.…. If only there were evil people somewhere insidiously committing evil deeds, and it were necessary only to separate them from the rest of us and destroy them. But the line dividing good and evil cuts through the heart of every human being. And who is willing to destroy a piece of his own heart? –Aleksandr Solzhenitsyn

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When you follow your bliss… doors will open where you would not have thought there would be doors, and where there wouldn’t be a door for anyone else. –Joseph Campbell

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A hero is someone who has given his or her life to something bigger than oneself. –Joseph Campbell

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Opportunities to find deeper powers within ourselves come when life seems most challenging. –Joseph Campbell

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When we quit thinking primarily about ourselves and our own self-preservation, we undergo a truly heroic transformation of consciousness. –Joseph Campbell

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And so Galahad decided that it would be a disgrace to set off on a quest with the other knights. Alone he would enter the dark forest where there was no path. This is the myth of the Hero’s Journey. –Joseph Campbell

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There is a certain enthusiasm in liberty that makes human nature rise above itself, in acts of bravery and heroism. –Alexander Hamilton

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The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do bad things, but because of those who look on and do nothing. –Albert Einstein

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A human being is part of a whole, called by us the Universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feelings, as something separated from the rest a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circles of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty. –Albert Einstein

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Never do anything against conscience, even if the state demands it. –Albert Einstein

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All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing. Sir Edmund Burke

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Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter. ­–Martin Luther King, Jr.

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In the end, we will remember not the words of our enemies, but the silence of our friends. –Martin Luther King, Jr.

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An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity. –Martin Luther King, Jr.

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He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. –Martin Luther King, Jr.

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We must learn that passively to accept an unjust system is to cooperate with that system, and thereby to become a participant in its evil. Martin Luther King, Jr.

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The hottest place in Hell is reserved for those who remain neutral in times of great moral conflict. –Martin Luther King, Jr.

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The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy. –Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable … Every step toward the goal of justice requires sacrifice, suffering, and struggle; the tireless exertions and passionate concern of dedicated individuals. –Martin Luther King, Jr.

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If a man hasn’t discovered something that he will die for, he isn’t fit to live. –Martin Luther King, Jr.

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An individual who breaks a law that his conscience tells him is unjust, and who willingly accepts the penalty of imprisonment in order to arouse the conscience of the community over its injustice, is in reality expressing the highest respect for law. –Martin Luther King, Jr.

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Our only hope today lies in our ability to recapture the revolutionary spirit and go out into a sometimes hostile world declaring eternal hostility to poverty, racism and militarism…We are now faced with the fact, my friends, that tomorrow is today and we are faced with the fierce urgency of now. –Martin Luther King, Jr.

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When injustice becomes law, rebellion becomes duty. –Thomas Jefferson

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One man with courage is a majority. –Thomas Jefferson

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All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of good conscience to remain silent. –Thomas Jefferson

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Truth is certainly a branch of morality and a very important one to society. –Thomas Jefferson

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Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth. –John F. Kennedy

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Do not pray for easy lives. Pray to be stronger men. –John F. Kennedy

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The problems of the world cannot possibly be solved by skeptics or cynics whose horizons are limited by the obvious realities. We need men who can dream of things that never were. –John F. Kennedy

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There are risks and costs to action. But they are far less than the long range risks of comfortable inaction. –John F. Kennedy

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All great men are play actors of their own ideal. –Friedrich Nietzsche

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One has to pay dearly for immortality; one has to die several times while one is still alive. –Friedrich Nietzsche

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The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will often be lonely, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. –Friedrich Nietzsche

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If monarchy is corrupting – and it is – wait till you see what overt empire does to us. –Daniel Ellsberg

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If there’s another 9/11 or a major war in the Middle-East involving a U.S. attack on Iran, I have no doubt that there will be, the day after or within days an equivalent of a Reichstag fire decree that will involve massive detentions in this country. –Daniel Ellsberg

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Look, all administrations, all governments lie, all officials lie and nothing they say is to be believed. That’s a pretty good rule. –Daniel Ellsberg

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Only we, the public, can force our representatives to reverse their abdication of the war powers that the Constitution gives exclusively to the Congress. –Daniel Ellsberg

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The fact is that when it comes to judgment as to what should be secret and what should not be secret, Julian Assange’s judgment has been pretty good so far. –Daniel Ellsberg

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There are two types of courage involved with what I did. When it comes to picking up a rifle, millions of people are capable of doing that, as we see in Iraq or Vietnam. But when it comes to risking their careers, or risking being invited to lunch by the establishment, it turns out that’s remarkably rare. –Daniel Ellsberg

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There should be at least one leak like the Pentagon Papers every year. –Daniel Ellsberg

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The real test of a man is not when he plays the role he wants for himself but when he plays the role destiny has for him. –Václav Havel

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The real test of a man is not when he plays the role he wants for himself but when he plays the role destiny has for him. –Václav Havel

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Even a purely moral act that has no hope of any immediate and visible political effect can gradually and indirectly, over time, gain in political significance. –Václav Havel

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Hope is a feeling that life and work have meaning. You either have it or you don’t, regardless of the state of the world that surrounds you. –Václav Havel

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Hope is a state of mind, not of the world. Hope, in this deep and powerful sense, is not the same as joy that things are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously heading for success, but rather an ability to work for something because it is good. –Václav Havel

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Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. –Václav Havel

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Work for something because it is good, not just because it stands a chance to succeed. –Václav Havel

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I really do inhabit a system in which words are capable of shaking the entire structure of government, where words can prove mightier than ten military divisions. –Václav Havel

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If we are to change our world view, images have to change. The artist now has a very important job to do. He’s not a little peripheral figure entertaining rich people, he’s really needed. –Václav Havel

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Isn’t it the moment of most profound doubt that gives birth to new certainties? Perhaps hopelessness is the very soil that nourishes human hope; perhaps one could never find sense in life without first experiencing its absurdity. –Václav Havel

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Just as the constant increase of entropy is the basic law of the universe, so it is the basic law of life to be ever more highly structured and to struggle against entropy. –Václav Havel

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Lying can never save us from another lie. –Václav Havel

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Modern man must descend the spiral of his own absurdity to the lowest point; only then can he look beyond it. It is obviously impossible to get around it, jump over it, or simply avoid it. –Václav Havel

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None of us know all the potentialities that slumber in the spirit of the population, or all the ways in which that population can surprise us when there is the right interplay of events. –Václav Havel

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Sometimes I wonder if suicides aren’t in fact sad guardians of the meaning of life. –Václav Havel

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The deeper the experience of an absence of meaning – in other words, of absurdity – the more energetically meaning is sought. –Václav Havel

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The exercise of power is determined by thousands of interactions between the world of the powerful and that of the powerless, all the more so because these worlds are never divided by a sharp line: everyone has a small part of himself in both. –Václav Havel

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The salvation of this human world lies nowhere else than in the human heart, in the human power to reflect, in human meekness and human responsibility. –Václav Havel

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The tragedy of modern man is not that he knows less and less about the meaning of his own life, but that it bothers him less and less. –Václav Havel

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There are times when we must sink to the bottom of our misery to understand truth, just as we must descend to the bottom of a well to see the stars in broad daylight. –Václav Havel

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There’s always something suspect about an intellectual on the winning side. –Václav Havel

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When a truth is not given complete freedom, freedom is not complete. –Václav Havel

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Without free, self-respecting, and autonomous citizens there can be no free and independent nations. Without internal peace, that is, peace among citizens and between the citizens and the state, there can be no guarantee of external peace. –Václav Havel

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I am convinced that we will never build a democratic state based on rule of law if we do not at the same time build a state that is—regardless of how unscientific this may sound to the ears of a political scientist—humane, moral, intellectual and spiritual, and cultural. –Václav Havel

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… In contrast to the “banality of evil,” which posits that ordinary people can be responsible for the most despicable acts of cruelty and degradation of their fellows, I posit the “banality of heroism,” which unfurls the banner of the heroic Everyman and Everywoman who heed the call to service to humanity when their time comes to act. When that bell rings, they will know that it rings for them. It sounds a call to uphold what is best in human nature that rises above the powerful pressures of Situation and System as the profound assertion of human dignity opposing evil. –Philip Zimbardo

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Evil is knowing better, but willingly doing worse. –Philip Zimbardo

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Heroes are those who can somehow resist the power of the situation and act out of noble motives, or behave in ways that do not demean others when they easily can. –Philip Zimbardo

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I have been primarily interested in how and why ordinary people do unusual things, things that seem alien to their natures. Why do good people sometimes act evil? Why do smart people sometimes do dumb or irrational things?  –Philip Zimbardo

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One can’t live mindfully without being enmeshed in psychological processes that are around us. –Philip Zimbardo

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Situational variables can exert powerful influences over human behavior, more so that we recognize or acknowledge. –Philip Zimbardo

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The line between good and evil is permeable and almost anyone can be induced to cross it when pressured by situational forces. –Philip Zimbardo

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States are not moral agents, people are, and can impose moral standards on powerful institutions. –Noam Chomsky

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Censorship is never over for those who have experienced it. It is a brand on the imagination that affects the individual who has suffered it, forever. –Noam Chomsky

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Either you repeat the same conventional doctrines everybody is saying, or else you say something true, and it will sound like it’s from Neptune. –Noam Chomsky

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If we choose, we can live in a world of comforting illusion. –Noam Chomsky

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If we don’t believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don’t believe in it at all. –Noam Chomsky

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In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than just ideals to be valued – they may be essential to survival. –Noam Chomsky

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Democracy doesn’t mean much if people have to confront concentrated systems of economic power as isolated individuals. Democracy means something if people can organize to gain information, to have thoughts for that matter, to make plans, to enter into the political system in some active way, to put forth programs and so on. If organizations of that kind exist, then democracy can exist too. Otherwise it’s a matter of pushing a lever every couple of years; it’s like having the choice between Coca-Cola and Pepsi-Cola. –Noam Chomsky

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To be hopeful in bad times is not just foolishly romantic. It is based on the fact that human history is a history not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. What we choose to emphasize in this complex history will determine our lives. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places-and there are so many-where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act, and at least the possibility of sending this spinning top of a world in a different direction. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory. –Howard Zinn

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The only way to abolish war is to make peace heroic. –John Dewey

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To criticize one’s country is to do it a service…. Criticism, in short, is more than a right; it is an act of patriotism-a higher form of patriotism, I believe, than the familiar rituals and national adulation. –J. William Fulbright

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Progress is measured in part by the courageous people who put their careers and often their lives at risk by challenging the parameters of what is acceptable in society, even though these parameters may be damaging to the quality of life. Heroes are created from ordinary people who are willing to take risks to their personal security and safety for the benefit of the larger community. –author unknown

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“Integrity requires us to honor Truth above our friends.” –Aristotle

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Let me not pray to be sheltered from dangers, but to be fearless in facing them. –Rabindranath Tagore

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Great men are true men, the men in whom nature has succeeded. They are not extraordinary — they are in the true order. It is the other species of men who are not what they ought to be. –Henri Frederic Amiel

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We have all the freedoms we want. But what we are missing is red ink: the language to articulate our non-freedom. The way we are taught to speak about freedom— war on terror and so on—falsifies freedom. –Slavoj Zizek

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When the power of love overcomes the love of power, the world will know peace. –Jimi Hendrix

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I’d rather die for speaking out, than to live and be silent. –Confucius

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Never impose on others what you would not choose for yourself. –Confucius

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The measure of a man is way he bears up under misfortune. –Plutarch

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To him who is determined it remains only to act. –Italian Proverb

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Times of great calamity and confusion have been productive for the greatest minds. The purest ore is produced from the hottest furnace. The brightest thunderbolt is elicited from the darkest storm. –Charles Caleb Colton

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An invincible determination can accomplish almost anything and in this lies the great distinction between great men and little men. –Thomas Fuller

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Nothing great will ever be achieved without great men, and men are great only if they are determined to be so. –Charles De Gaulle

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Construct your Determination with Sustained Effort, Controlled Attention, and Concentrated Energy. Opportunities never come to those who wait… they are captured by those who dare to attack.  –Paul J. Meyer

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Tough times never last but tough people do. –John Thomas “Spider” Salley

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I am not what happened to me, I am what I choose to become. –Carl Jung

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Truth is a pathless land. –Krishnamurti

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I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act. –Buddha

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Our children long for realistic maps of the future that they can be proud of. Where are the cartographers of human purpose? –Carl Sagan

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During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act. –George Orwell

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He is happy as well as great who needs neither to obey nor to command in order to be something. –Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

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The greatest menace to freedom is an inert people. –Supreme Court Justice Louis Brandeis

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Am I willing to give up what I have in order to be what I am not yet? Am I willing to let my ideas of myself, of man be changed? Am I able to follow the spirit of love into the desert? To empty myself even of my concept of emptiness? –M.C. Richards

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Believing, with Max Weber, that man is an animal suspended in webs of significance he himself has spun, I take culture to be those webs, and the analysis of it to be therefore not an experimental science in search of law but an interpretive one in search of meaning. –Clifford Geertz

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What is a hero without love for mankind? –Doris Lessing

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Courage is the art of being the only one who knows you’re scared to death. –Earl Wilson

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He who angers you conquers you. –Elizabeth Kenny

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And the trouble is, if you don’t risk anything, you risk even more. –Erica Jong

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No man can think clearly when his fists are clenched. –George Jean Nathan

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We cannot live only for ourselves. A thousand fibers connect us with our fellow men; and among those fibers, as sympathetic threads, our actions run as causes, and they come back to us as effects. –Herman Melville

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Conscience is the root of all true courage; if a man would be brave let him obey his conscience. –James Freeman Clarke

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How we believe the world is and what we honestly think it can become have powerful effects on how things will turn out. –James Rhem

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To be in good moral condition requires at least as much training as to be in good physical condition. –Jawaharlal Nehru

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What is a society without a heroic dimension? –Jean Baudrillard

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Few will have the greatness to bend history itself; but each of us can work to change a small portion of events, and in the total of these acts, will be written the history of this generation. –Jeffrey Wigand

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Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. –Leo Buscaglia

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One must think like a hero to behave like a merely decent human being. –May Sarton

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I don’t want to be considered a hero…. Imagine [if] young people would grow up with the feeling that you have to be a hero to do your human duty. I am afraid nobody would ever help other people, because who is a hero? I was not. I was just an ordinary housewife and secretary. –Miep Geis

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‎What I do, you cannot do; but what you do, I cannot do. The needs are great, and none of us, including me, ever do great things. But we can all do small things, with great love, and together we can do something wonderful. –Mother Teresa

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Man is least himself when he talks in his own person. Give him a mask, and he will tell you the truth. –Oscar Wilde

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No one is more hated than he who speaks the truth. –Plato

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If we had a better understanding of the ways we think about enemies, we might be able to think of more rational ways of settling conflict. –Sam Keen

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Perhaps the most valuable result of all education is the ability to make yourself do the thing you have to do, when it ought to be done, whether you like it or not; it is the first lesson that ought to be learned; and however early a man’s training begins, it is probably the last lesson that he learns thoroughly. –Thomas H. Huxley

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The greatest revolution of our generation is the discovery that human beings, by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives. –William James