What used to be called liberal is now called radical, what used to be called radical is now called insane, what used to be called reactionary is now called moderate, and what used to be called insane is now called solid conservative thinking.
The truth does not change according to our ability to stomach it.
Start doing the things you think should be done, and start being what you think society should become. Do you believe in free speech? Then speak freely. Do you love the truth? Then tell it. Do you believe in an open society? Then act in the open. Do you believe in a decent and humane society? Then behave decently and humanely.
There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the root.
No society has been able to abolish human sadness; no political system can deliver us from the pain of living, from our fear of death, our thirst for the absolute. It is the human condition that directs the social condition, not vice versa.
If Rosa Parks had taken a poll before she sat down in the bus in Montgomery, she’d still be standing.
During my eighty-seven years I have witnessed a whole succession of technological revolutions. But none of them has done away with the need for character in the individual or the ability to think.
I wonder if you ever change human beings with arguments alone: either by peppering them with sharp facts or by blowing them up with great guns of truth. You scare them, but do you change them? I wonder if you ever make any real difference in human beings without understanding them and loving them. For when you argue with a man (how much more with a woman) you are somehow trying to pull him down and make him less (and yourself more); but when you try to understand him, when you like him, how eager is he then to know the truth you have? . . . There is nothing in the world that people so much thrive upon, grow fine and rosy and robust upon . . . as being loved.
There is incredible value in being of service to others. I think if most of the people in therapy offices were dragged out to put their finger in a dike, take up their place in a working line, they would be relieved of terrible burdens.
Saintliness is also a temptation.
My defenses were so great. The cocky rock-and-roll hero who knew all the answers was actually a terrified guy who didn’t know how to cry. Simple.
Maturity consists in no longer being taken in by oneself.
We need to give ourselves permission to act out our dreams and visions, not look for more sensations, more phenomena, but live our strongest dreams — even if it takes a lifetime.
During his years of poverty, Balzac lived in an unheated and almost unfurnished garret. On one of the bare walls the writer inscribed the words, “Rosewood paneling with commode”; on another, “Gobelin tapestry with Venetian mirror”; and in the place of honor over the empty fireplace, “Picture by Raphael.”
Imagination is the voice of daring. If there is anything godlike about God it is that. He dared to imagine everything.
I write when I’m inspired, and I see to it that I’m inspired at nine o’clock every morning.