Freedom isn’t free. It shouldn’t be a bragging point that “Oh, I don’t get involved in politics,” as if that makes you somehow cleaner. No, that makes you derelict of duty in a republic. Liars and panderers in government would have a much harder time of it if so many people didn’t insist on their right to remain ignorant and blindly agreeable.
Our problems stem from our acceptance of this filthy, rotten system.
It’s no longer enough to be a decent person. It’s no longer enough to shake our heads and make concerned grimaces at the news.
If I were to remain silent, I’d be guilty of complicity.
The crisis is not out there in the world; it is in our own consciousness.
As my sufferings mounted I soon realized that there were two ways that I could respond to my situation: either to react with bitterness or seek to transform the suffering into a creative force. I decided to follow the latter course.
Not everything that is faced can be changed; but nothing can be changed until it is faced.
Those who make us believe that anything is possible and fire our imagination over the long haul, are often the ones who have survived the bleakest of circumstances themselves. They have every reason to despair, but don’t, so may have the most to teach us.
The individual — stupendous and beautiful paradox — is at once infinitesimal dust and the cause of all things.
Heroes are not giant statues framed against a red sky. They are people who say: This is my community, and it is my responsibility to make it better.
We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.
We live in capitalism. Its power seems inescapable — but then, so did the divine right of kings.
Why do I always listen to your insane plans? Why aren’t we at home watching TV like everyone else? What possible difference will any of this make?
A little difference is still different.
The main accomplishment of almost all organized protests is to annoy people who are not in them.
Real social change is a process that takes place over time, usually quite a long time. At a given moment in history, 99 percent of a society may think and act one way on a certain matter, and only 1 percent think and act very differently. In time, that 1 percent may become 2 percent, then 5 percent, then 10, 20, 30 percent, until finally it becomes the dominant majority, and social change has taken place.
When people made up their minds that they wanted to be free and took action, then there was a change. But they cannot rest on just that change. It has to continue.
We are beginning to understand that the world is always being made and never finished; that activism can be the journey rather than the arrival; that struggle doesn’t always have to be confrontational but can take the form of reaching out to find common ground.
Patience is also a form of action.
It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.