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Section: Quotations
Subsection: Activism
Last revision: December 25, 2005

Cowardice asks the question, 'Is it safe?'. Expediency asks the question, 'Is it polite?'. Vanity asks the question, 'Is it popular?.' But conscience asks the question, 'Is it right?'. And there comes a point when one must take a position that is neither safe, nor polite, nor popular, but one must take it because one's conscience tells him or her that it is right. -- Martin Luther King, Jr

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

Each snowflake in an avalanche pleads not guilty. -- Stanislaw J. Lee

To forgive and accept injustice is cowardice. -- Mohandas Gandhi

...a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defense of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason. -- Thomas Paine, Common Sense

Ultimately, an unbiased observer of human behavior must conclude that most action is not shaped by theory, but rather theories are shaped to conform to actions we have no intention of changing. -- M. Spiegel, The Dreaded Comparison

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident. -- Arthur Schopenhauer

Those who will not reason, are bigots, those who cannot, are fools, and those who dare not, are slaves. -- George Gordon Byron

I've always been very bonded to animals -- more so than most people. I don't think that they can defend themselves, so we have to help them. -- Jennie Garth

We live in a world which is full of misery and ignorance, and the plain duty of each and all of us is to try to make the little corner he can influence somewhat less miserable and somewhat less ignorant than it was before he entered it. -- Thomas Huxley

The important thing is not to stop questioning. -- Albert Einstein

Animals can't really voice their opinion. We feel as though we can be on of the spokespeople on their behalf. -- River Phoenix

The thinking man must oppose all cruel customs no matter how deeply rooted in tradition and surrounded by a halo. When we have a choice, we must avoid bringing torment and injury into the life of another, even the lowliest creature; to do so is to renounce our manhood and shoulder a guilt which nothing justifies. -- Albert Schweitzer

The thing that has been weighing on my mind this week is that I wanted to go and save all the little live lobsters in restaurants and throw them back in the ocean. Imagine me being arrested for that. -- Drew Barrymore

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man. -- George Bernard Shaw, writer, Nobel laureate

The fact that an opinion has been widely held is no evidence that it is not utterly absurd; indeed, in view of the silliness of the majority of mankind, a widespread belief is more often likely to be foolish than sensible. -- Bertrand Russell, in "Marriage and Morals", 1929

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.

There are a thousand hacking at the branches of evil to one who is striking at the roots. -- Henry David Thoreau, Walden

It takes two to speak the truth: one to speak, and another to hear. -- Henry David Thoreau

Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul. -- Mark Twain

There is nothing more frightful than ignorance in action. -- Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

What would we do if we didn't try? We have to try. -- Lyle Lovett

None so blind as those who will not see. -- Matthew Henry

All of us cherish our beliefs. They are, to a degree, self-defining. When someone comes along who challenges our belief system as insufficiently well-based -- or who, like Socrates, merely asks embarrassing questions that we haven't thought of, or demonstrates that we've swept key underlying assumptions under the rug -- it becomes much more than a search for knowledge. It feels like a personal assault. -- Carl Sagan, The Demon-Haunted World

To cultivate kindness is a valuable part of the business of life. -- Samuel Johnson

Man's mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimensions. -- Oliver Wendell Holmes

The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking. -- John Kenneth Galbraith

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

The quiet conscience is an invention of the devil. -- Dr.Albert Schweitzer

To be doing good deeds is man's most glorious task. -- Sophocles

Nothing is more powerful than an individual acting out of her (or his) own conscience, thus helping to bring the collective conscience to life. -- Norman Cousins

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they don't want to hear. -- George Orwell

Basically we should stop doing those things that are destructive to the environment, other creatures, and ourselves and figure out new ways of existing. -- Moby

Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so. -- Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See

Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable. -- John F. Kennedy

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

We must be the change we wish to see. -- Mahatma Gandhi

I will not remain silent. I will speak for those who cannot, or will not speak, and it will hurt. -- Daharja

Let no one be discouraged by the belief there is nothing one person can do against the enormous array of the world's ills, misery, ignorance, and violence. Few will have the greatness to bend history, but each of us can work to change a small portion of events. And in the total of all those acts will be written the history of a generation." -- Robert F Kennedy

If something makes you cry; you have to do something about it. That's the difference between politics and guilt. I have news for the forces of greed and the defenders of the status quo: your time has come - and gone. -- William Jefferson Clinton

When bad men combine, the good must associate, lest they fall, one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptuous struggle. -- Edmund Burke

If the people will lead, the leaders will follow. -- David Suzuki

How long can you hear someone crying - how long can you hear someone dying - before you ask yourself why? -- Jackson Browne

You cannot run away from awareness; you must some time fight it out or perish. And if you be so, why not now and where you stand? -- Robert Louis Stevenson

If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favour freedom, and yet deprecate agitation, are people who want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the roar of its many waters. Power concedes nothing without a demand. It never did and it never will. -- Frederick Douglass, slavery abolitionist

All great movements, it is written, go through three stages: ridicule, discussion, adoption. It is the realisation of this third stage, adoption, that requires our passion and our discipline, our hearts and our heads. The fate of animals is in our hands. -- Tom Regan

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