School was a worry to her. She was not glib or quick in a world where glibness and quickness were easily confused with ability to learn.
We think work with the brain is more worthy than work with the hands. Nobody who thinks with his hands could ever fall for this.
If the aborigine drafted an IQ test, all of Western civilization presumably would flunk it.
School is an institution built on the axiom that learning is the result of teaching. And institutional wisdom continues to accept this axiom, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary.
The first step is to measure whatever can be easily measured. That is OK as far as it goes. The second step is to disregard that which can’t be measured or give it an arbitrary quantitative value. This is artificial and misleading. The third step is to presume that what can’t be easily measured really isn’t very important. This is blindness. The fourth step is to say that what can’t be easily measured doesn’t exist. This is suicide.
When science finally locates the center of the universe, some people will be surprised to learn they’re not it.
Our imagination is stretched to the utmost, not, as in fiction, to imagine things which are not really there, but just to comprehend those things which are there.
The true definition of science is this: the study of the beauty of the world.
I love the story of the rabbi who sent his disciple to learn from a fellow rabbi. When the disciple asked what he should learn, what parts of Torah, the teacher answered: “I am sending you to learn from him — not words of Torah, but how he ties his shoelaces!” It’s the details, the small daily things which we learn from our role models, not necessarily book knowledge, which we can glean for our own lives.
To own a bit of ground, to scratch it with a hoe, to plant seeds and watch their renewal of life — this is the commonest delight of the race, the most satisfactory thing a man can do.
In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments — there are consequences.
The sun, each second, transforms 4 million tons of itself into light. . . . Human generosity is possible only because at the center of the solar system a magnificent stellar generosity pours forth free energy day and night without stop and without complaint and without the slightest hesitation.
Now I see the secret of making the best persons. It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.
To embrace the child may threaten the adult who values information above wonder, entertainment above play, and intelligence above ignorance. If we were really to care for the child, we would have to face our own lower natures — our indomitable emotions, our insane desires, and the vast range of our incapacity.
My husband’s family was terribly refined. Within their circle you could know Beethoven, but God forbid if you were Beethoven.
As a father taking his very well-brought-up young daughter to the opera for the first time, Peter Ustinov was unwise enough to choose the Baths of Caracall in Rome. The opera was Aida: during one particular scene the whole stage seemed to be covered with animals — camels, elephants, horses, unwanted cats, and so on. At a climactic point, almost all the animals relieved themselves simultaneously. As he stared aghast at this incredible sight, Ustinov felt a light tapping on his shoulder and heard his daughter’s earnest voice: “Daddy, is it all right if I laugh?”