Daniel Oudnarine - my quote collection

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In true dialogue, both sides are willing to change.

A gem cannot be polished without friction, nor a man perfected without trials.
The devil's most devilish when respectable.
The only cure for contempt is counter-contempt.
Anything one man can imagine, other men can make real.
If you're going to be thinking, you may as well think big.
Advertising is the modern substitute for argument; its function is to make the worse appear the better.
Give help rather than advice.
People deal too much with the negative, with what is wrong. Why not try and see positive things, to just touch those things and make them bloom?
When you plant lettuce, if it does not grow well, you don't blame the lettuce. You look into the reasons it is not doing well. It may need fertilizer, or more water, or less sun. You never blame the lettuce. Yet if we have problems with our friends or our family, we blame the other person. But if we know how to take care of them, they will grow well, like lettuce. Blaming has no positive effect at all, nor does trying to persuade using reason and arguments. That is my experience. No blame, no reasoning, no argument, just understanding. If you understand, and you show that you understand, you can love, and the situation will change. -
When we come into contact with the other person, our thoughts and actions should express our mind of compassion, even if that person says and does things that are not easy to accept. We practice in this way until we see clearly that our love is not contingent upon the other person being lovable.
The press is no substitute for institutions. It is like the beam of a searchlight that moves restlessly about, bringing one episode and then another out of darkness into vision. Men cannot do the work of the world by this light alone. They cannot govern society by episodes, incidents, and eruptions. It is only when they work by a steady light of their own, that the press, when it is turned upon them, reveals a situation intelligible enough for a popular decision.
In making the great experiment of governing people by consent rather than by coercion, it is not sufficient that the party in power should have a majority. It is just as necessary that the party in power should never outrage the minority.
The disesteem into which moralists have fallen is due at bottom to their failure to see that in an age like this one the function of the moralist is not to exhort men to be good but to elucidate what the good is. The problem of sanctions is secondary.
The study of error is not only in the highest degree prophylactic, but it serves as a stimulating introduction to the study of truth.
There is nothing so bad but it can masquerade as moral.
When distant and unfamiliar and complex things are communicated to great masses of people, the truth suffers a considerable and often a radical distortion. The complex is made over into the simple, the hypothetical into the dogmatic, and the relative into an absolute.
The principle of majority rule is the mildest form in which the force of numbers can be exercised. It is a pacific substitute for civil war in which the opposing armies are counted and the victory is awarded to the larger before any blood is shed. Except in the sacred tests of democracy and in the incantations of the orators, we hardly take the trouble to pretend that the rule of the majority is not at bottom a rule of force.
The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on. The genius of a good leader is to leave behind him a situation which common sense, without the grace of genius, can deal with successfully.
A country survives its legislation. That truth should not comfort the conservative nor depress the radical. For it means that public policy can enlarge its scope and increase its audacity, can try big experiments without trembling too much over the result. This nation could enter upon the most radical experiments and could afford to fail in them.
The great social adventure of America is no longer the conquest of the wilderness but the absorption of fifty different peoples.
The decay of decency in the modern age, the rebellion against law and good faith, the treatment of human beings as things, as the mere instruments of power and ambition, is without a doubt the consequence of the decay of the belief in man as something more than an animal animated by highly conditioned reflexes and chemical reactions. For, unless man is something more than that, he has no rights that anyone is bound to respect, and there are no limitations upon his conduct which he is bound to obey.
When men can no longer be theists, they must, if they are civilized, become humanists.
It is perfectly true that that government is best which governs least. It is equally true that that government is best which provides most.
The opposition is indispensable. A good statesman, like any other sensible human being, always learns more from his opponents than from his fervent supporters. For his supporters will push him to disaster unless his opponents show him where the dangers are. So if he is wise he will often pray to be delivered from his friends, because they will ruin him. But though it hurts, he ought also to pray never to be left without opponents; for they keep him on the path of reason and good sense.
The principles of the good society call for a concern with an order of being -- which cannot be proved existentially to the sense organs -- where it matters supremely that the human person is inviolable, that reason shall regulate the will, that truth shall prevail over error.
When philosophers try to be politicians they generally cease to be philosophers.
The ordinary politician has a very low estimate of human nature. In his daily life he comes into contact chiefly with persons who want to get something or to avoid something. Beyond this circle of seekers after privileges, individuals and organized minorities, he is aware of a large unorganized, indifferent mass of citizens who ask nothing in particular and rarely complain. The politician comes after a while to think that the art of politics is to satisfy the seekers after favors and to mollify the inchoate mass with noble sentiments and patriotic phrases.
Successful democratic politicians are insecure and intimidated men. They advance politically only as they placate, appease, bribe, seduce, bamboozle, or otherwise manage to manipulate the demanding and threatening elements in their constituencies. The decisive consideration is not whether the proposition is good but whether it is popular -- not whether it will work well and prove itself but whether the active talking constituents like it immediately. Politicians rationalize this servitude by saying that in a democracy public men are the servants of the people.
The man who will follow precedent, but never create one, is merely an obvious example of the routineer. You find him desperately numerous in the civil service, in the official bureaus. To him government is something given as unconditionally, as absolutely as ocean or hill. He goes on winding the tape that he finds. His imagination has rarely extricated itself from under the administrative machine to gain any sense of what a human, temporary contraption the whole affair is. What he thinks is the heavens above him is nothing but the roof.
The tendency of the casual mind is to pick out or stumble upon a sample which supports or defies its prejudices, and then to make it the representative of a whole class.
Private property was the original source of freedom. It still is its main ballpark.
Ages when custom is unsettled are necessarily ages of prophecy. The moralist cannot teach what is revealed; he must reveal what can be taught. He has to seek insight rather than to preach.
In government offices which are sensitive to the vehemence and passion of mass sentiment public men have no sure tenure. They are in effect perpetual office seekers, always on trial for their political lives, always required to court their restless constituents.
Where mass opinion dominates the government, there is a morbid derangement of the true functions of power. The derangement brings about the enfeeblement, verging on paralysis, of the capacity to govern. This breakdown in the constitutional order is the cause of the precipitate and catastrophic decline of Western society. It may, if it cannot be arrested and reversed, bring about the fall of the West.
The private citizen, beset by partisan appeals for the loan of his Public Opinion, will soon see, perhaps, that these appeals are not a compliment to his intelligence, but an imposition on his good nature and an insult to his sense of evidence.
Only the consciousness of a purpose that is mightier than any man and worthy of all men can fortify and inspirit and compose the souls of men.
People that are orthodox when they are young are in danger of being middle-aged all their lives.
We forge gradually our greatest instrument for understanding the world -- introspection. We discover that humanity may resemble us very considerably -- that the best way of knowing the inwardness of our neighbors is to know ourselves.
No amount of charters, direct primaries, or short ballots will make a democracy out of an illiterate people.
In really hard times the rules of the game are altered. The inchoate mass begins to stir. It becomes potent, and when it strikes, it strikes with incredible emphasis. Those are the rare occasions when a national will emerges from the scattered, specialized, or indifferent blocs of voters who ordinarily elect the politicians. Those are for good or evil the great occasions in a nation's history.
I think luck is the sense to recognize an opportunity and the ability to take advantage of it. The man who can smile at his breaks and grab his chances gets on.
The harder I work the luckier I get.
A Hospital is no place to be sick.
A verbal contract isn't worth the paper it's written on.
I have lived some thirty-odd years on this planet, and I have yet to hear the first syllable of valuable or even earnest advice from my seniors.
He who gives what he would as readily throw away, gives without generosity; for the essence of generosity is in self sacrifice.
Old age is like flying through a storm. Once you're aboard, there's nothing you can do.
Some books leave us free and some books make us free.
Failing to be there when a man wants her is a woman's greatest sin, except to be there when he doesn't want her.
By a lie, a man...annihilates his dignity as a man.
A Bachelor of Arts is one who makes love to a lot of women, and yet has the art to remain a bachelor.
Why should people pay good money to go out and see bad films when they can stay home and see bad television for nothing?
A wide screen just makes a bad film twice as bad.
You've got to take the bitter with the sour.
That's the kind of ad I like, facts, facts, facts.
Ignore what a man desires and you ignore the very source of his power
Unless democracy is to commit suicide by consenting to its own destruction, it will have to find some formidable answer to those who come to it saying: I demand from you in the name of your principles the rights which I shall deny to you later in the name of my principles.
This is one of the paradoxes of the democratic movement -- that it loves a crowd and fears the individuals who compose it -- that the religion of humanity should have no faith in human beings.
What we call a democratic society might be defined for certain purposes as one in which the majority is always prepared to put down a revolutionary minority.
A person is always startled when he hears himself called old for the first time.
To be seventy years young is sometimes far more cheerful and hopeful than to be forty years old.
Age, like distance lends a double charm.
I don't think anybody should write his autobiography until after he's dead.
When someone does something good, applaud! You will make two people happy.
Anyone who goes to a psychiatrist should have his head examined.
Animals are considered as property only. To destroy or to abuse them, from malice to the proprietor, or with an intention injurious to his interest in them, is criminal. But the animals themselves are without protection. The law regards them not substantively. They have no RIGHTS!
Only your mind can produce fear.
Seek not to change the world, but choose to change your mind about the world.
I can elect to change all thoughts that hurt.
There are times when I think that the ideal library is composed solely of reference books. They are like understanding friends-always ready to change the subject when you have had enough of this or that.
Absurdity. A statement or belief manifestly inconsistent with one's own opinion.
There is nothing impossible to him who will try.
Remember upon the conduct of each depends the fate of all.
A tomb now suffices him for whom the whole world was not sufficient.
You can never be happily married to another until you get a divorce from yourself. A successful marriage demands a certain death to self.
It is with true love as it is with ghosts; everyone talks about it, but few have seen it.
The more connections you and your lover make, not just between your bodies, but between your minds, your hearts, and your souls, the more you will strengthen the fabric of your relationship, and the more real moments you will experience together.
Ambition is a lust that is never quenched, but grows more inflamed and madder by enjoyment.
We are not commanded (or forbidden) to love our mates, our children, our friends, our country because such affections come naturally to us and are good in themselves, although we may corrupt them. We are commanded to love our neighbor because our natural attitude toward the other is one of either indifference or hostility.

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