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History never looks like history when you are living through it. ...
by John W. Gardner

History never looks like history when you are living through it.
- John W. Gardner

Related topics: History

When one may pay out over two million dollars to presidential
and Congressional campaigns,
the U.S.
government is virtually up for sale.
- John W. Gardner

Some people strengthen the society just by being the kind of people they are.
- John W. Gardner

Much education today is monumentally ineffective.
All too often we are giving young people cut flowers
when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.
- John W. Gardner

 

It is hard to feel individually responsible with respect
to the invisible processes of a huge and distant government.
- John W. Gardner

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.
- John W. Gardner

For every talent that poverty has stimulated it has blighted a hundred.
- John W. Gardner

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True happiness involves the full use of one's power and talents.
- John W. Gardner

All laws are an attempt to domesticate the natural ferocity of the species.
- John W. Gardner

Whoever I am, or whatever I am doing,
some kind of excellence is within my reach.
- John W. Gardner

One of the reasons people stop learning is that they
become less and less willing to risk failure.
- John W. Gardner

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities -
brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.
- John W. Gardner

Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.
- John W. Gardner

The cynic says, "One man can't do anything."
I say,
"Only one man can do anything."
- John W. Gardner

The hallmark of our age is the tension between aspirations
and sluggish institutions.
- John W. Gardner

If you have some respect for people as they are,
you can be more effective in helping them to become better than they are.
- John W. Gardner

Our problem is not to find better values but to be
faithful to those we profess.
- John W. Gardner

Political extremism involves two prime ingredients:
an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills,
and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all.
- John W. Gardner

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.
- John W. Gardner

Some people have greatness thrust upon them.
Very few have excellence thrust upon them.
- John W. Gardner

America's greatness has been the greatness of a free
people who shared certain moral commitments.
Freedom without moral commitment is aimless and promptly self-destructive.
- John W. Gardner

I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we
will look back at education as it is practiced in most
schools today and wonder that we could have tolerated anything so primitive.
- John W. Gardner

The creative individual has the capacity to free himself
from the web of social pressures in which the rest of us are caught.
He is capable of questioning the assumptions that the rest of us accept.
- John W. Gardner

Leaders come in many forms, with many styles and diverse qualities.
There are quiet leaders and leaders one can hear in the next county.
Some find strength in eloquence, some in judgment,
some in courage.
- John W. Gardner

The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift
to the individual the burden of pursing his own education.
This will not be a widely shared pursuit until we get
over our odd conviction that education is what goes
on in school buildings and nowhere else.
- John W. Gardner

Men of integrity, by their very existence,
rekindle the belief that as a people we can live above
the level of moral squalor.
We need that belief; a cynical community is a corrupt community.
- John W. Gardner

The idea for which this nation stands will not survive
if the highest goal free man can set themselves is an amiable mediocrity.
Excellence implies striving for the highest standards in every phase of life.
- John W. Gardner

A small body of determined spirits
fired by an unquenchable faith
in their mission
can alter the course of history.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

Who has fully realized that history
is not contained in thick books
but lives in our very blood?
- Carl Jung

Yesterday is history,
tomorrow is a mystery.
Today is a gift.
That is why it is called Present.
- Anonymous

Well-behaved women seldom make history.
- Laurel Thatcher Ulrich

Live out of your imagination, not your history.
- Stephen Covey

The importance of history is in it's
educational value for our lives today,
not in regret, resentment, or revenge.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Human history becomes more and more a race between
education and catastrophe.
- H. G. Wells

History is a tool used by politicians to justify their intentions.
- Ted Koppel

In the long history of humankind (and animal-kind, too)
those who learned to collaborate and
improvise most effectively have prevailed.
- Charles Darwin

It takes an endless amount of history to make even a little tradition.
- Henry James

History is a vast early warning system.
- Norman Cousins

History is more or less bunk.
- Henry Ford

It is the soothing thing about history that it does repeat itself.
- Gertrude Stein

Pick up a stone that feels good to you
and is small enough to hold in one hand.
Consider how long that stone has been around
and what enormous pressure it has experienced.
Draw strength from its long history.
- Mary Anne Radmacher

History is a gallery of pictures in which there are
few originals and many copies.
- Alexis de Tocqueville

History is indeed little more than the register of the crimes,
follies, and misfortunes of mankind.
- Edward Gibbon

That great dust-heap called 'history'.
- Augustine Birrell

The past actually happened but history is only what someone wrote down.
- A. Whitney Brown

France is delighted at this new opportunity to show
the world that when one has the will one can succeed
in joining peoples who have been brought close by history.
- Francois Mitterrand

We will not be driven by fear into an age of unreason
if we dig deep in our history and remember
that we are not descended from fearful men,
not from men who feared to write, to speak,
to associate and to defend causes
which were for the moment unpopular.
- Edward R. Murrow

History is a cyclic poem written by time upon the memories of man.
- Percy Bysshe Shelley

For the very first time the young are
seeing history being made
before it is censored by their elders.
- Margaret Mead

Everything we believe is a matter of evolution and history.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

History is a pack of lies about events that never happened
told by people who weren't there.
- George Santayana

People that are really very weird can get into sensitive
positions and have a tremendous impact on history.
- Dan Quayle

Everything we say, do, think, and feel
is a product of our personal history
and the collective history of humankind.
Our name for these histories is "prejudice."
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Never doubt that you can change history.
You already have.
- Marge Piercy

History is the sum total of things that could have been avoided.
- Konrad Adenauer

People are trapped in history and history is trapped in them.
- James A. Baldwin

History is an account, mostly false,
of events,
mostly unimportant, which are brought about by rulers,
mostly knaves, and soldiers, mostly fools.
- Ambrose Bierce

History is a vision of God's creation on the move.
- Arnold J. Toynbee

Naturally, every age thinks that all ages before it were prejudiced,
and today we think this more than ever, and are just as wrong
as all previous ages that thought so.
How often have we not seen the truth condemned!
It is sad but unfortunately true that man learns nothing from history.
- Carl Jung

It's a very good historical book about history.
- Dan Quayle

You have to look at history as an evolution of society.
- Jean Chretien

Honor is not the exclusive property of any political party.
- Herbert Hoover

Most of the things worth doing in the world had been
declared impossible before they were done.
- Louis D. Brandeis

This is one small step for a man, one giant leap for mankind.
- Neil Armstrong

To people who remember JFK's assassination,
JFK Jr. will probably always be that boy saluting his father's coffin.
- Michael Beschloss

September 11th was a moment when America had the sympathy of the world.
- Tom Ford

One cannot have wisdom without perspective,
but once gaining perspective, one attains wisdom.
Wisdom is the ability to view every situation
as each person who is in any way affected
by that situation might view it.
Wisdom benefits from having a knowledge of history,
and therefore a historical perspective,
as well from as having the perspective of imagination -
the realm of the what-might-be
inhabited by futurists and science-fiction writers.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

A truly American sentiment recognizes the dignity of
labor and the fact that honor lies in honest toil.
- Grover Cleveland

In the long term we can hope that religion will change
the nature of man and reduce conflict.
But history is not encouraging in this respect.
The bloodiest wars in history have been religious wars.
- Richard M. Nixon

Tell the FBI that the kidnappers should pick out a
judge that Nixon wants back.
- William O. Douglas

Remember, God provides the best camouflage several hours out of every 24.
- David M. Shoup


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