One of the best ways to get yourself a reputation as a dangerous citizen these days is to go about repeating the very phrases which our Founding Fathers used in the struggle for independence.

Charles Austin Beard

Avoid safety. The very word has a mean sound.

Constance Wagner

It’s a shallow life that doesn’t give a person a few scars.

Garrison Keillor

A man who looks for security, even in the mind, is like a man who would chop off his limbs in order to have artificial ones which will give him no pain or trouble.

Henry Miller

Live to the point of tears.

Albert Camus

I have a friend who has devoted most of his adult life to resisting the madness of war through actions of justice and peace. He . . . lives in poverty so as to stay below the taxation level. . . . The money he “should” have given the government over the years he has donated to peace-and-justice projects. Does he have any results to show for his efforts? Has he been effective? Hardly — at least, not by the normal calculus. His years of commitment to peacemaking have been years of steady increase in wars and rumors of wars. So how does he stay healthy and sane? How does he maintain a commitment to this sort of active life? “I have never asked myself if I was being effective,” he says, “but only if I was being faithful.” He judges his action not by the results it gets, but by its fidelity to his own calling and identity.

Parker J. Palmer

Not being able to govern events, I govern myself.

Michel de Montaigne

Every time I’ve done something that doesn’t feel right, it’s ended up not being right.

Mario Cuomo

Are you not ashamed of heaping up the greatest amount of money and honor and reputation, and caring so little about wisdom and truth and the greatest improvement of the soul?


In my day, we didn’t have self-esteem; we had self-respect, and no more of it than we had earned.

Jane Haddam

Don’t accept your dog’s admiration as conclusive evidence that you are wonderful.

Ann Landers

The strength of a man’s virtue should not be measured by his special exertions, but by his habitual acts.

Blaise Pascal

Always do sober what you said you’d do drunk. That will teach you to keep your mouth shut.

Ernest Hemingway

No evolution is accomplished in nature without revolution. Periods of very slow changes are succeeded by periods of violent changes. Revolutions are as necessary for evolution as the slow changes which prepare them and succeed them.

Peter Kropotkin

Violence is for fools and emergencies. The less of a fool you are, the fewer emergencies you will have.

John Maude

Advice to children crossing the street: Damn the lights. Watch the cars. The lights ain’t never killed nobody.

Jackie “Moms” Mabley

“You are out of danger,” he said. I laughed and said, “How can I be? I don’t feel dead yet.”

Margaret Laurence

The only courage that matters is the kind that gets you from one moment to the next.

Mignon McLaughlin

Love is the most difficult and dangerous form of courage. Courage is the most desperate, admirable, and noble kind of love.

Delmore Schwartz

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.

Winston Churchill

Be prepared for truth at all hours and in the most fantastic disguises. This is the only safety.

Christopher Morley