Quotes and Stories

“There are only two ways to live ones life: either as if nothing is a miracle or as if everything is a miracle.”              – Albert Einstein

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“When in despair, I remember that all through history the way of truth and love has always won.  There have been tyrants and murders, and for a time they can seem inevitable.  But in the end, they always fall.”             – M.K. Gandhi

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If we could read the secret history of our enemies, we should find in each man’s life sorrow and suffering enough to disarm all hostility.”                    – Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

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“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.”                                          – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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“Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.”  – African proverb

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“Pain is inevitable.  Suffering is optional.”  – Thich Nhat Hanh

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“At first people refuse to believe that a strange new thing can be done, then they begin to hope it can be done, then they see it can be done, then it is done, and the world wonders why it was not done centuries ago.”     – Frances Hodgson Burnette

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“Unbroken wholeness in flowing movement”  – Physicist David Bohm’s description of reality

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“The wicked leader is one whom the people despise. The good leader is one whom the people revere. The great leader is one whom the people say, “We did it ourselves”.    – Lao Tzu

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Business man to Whitney Young:  “If all Negroes were like you, we wouldn’t have a race problem.”  Young replied, “If all white people were like me, we wouldn’t have a race problem.”

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“All our problems stem from the acceptance of this filthy, rotten system!”         – Dorothy Day, founder, Catholic Workers Party

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“Freedom is now or never.”      – Krishnamurti

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Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”   – Albert Einstein

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“When I dare to be powerful–to use my strength in the service of my vision, then it becomes less important whether I am afraid.”                                – Audre Lord

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“Fear leads to anger, anger leads to hate, hate leads to suffering.”         – Jedi Master Yoda

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“I seek not to win over my enemy but to win my enemy over.”     – Martin Luther King, Jr.

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“It is from the numberless diverse acts of courage and belief that humna history is shaped.  Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends a tiny ripple of hope, and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, those ripples bujild a current which can sweep down the mightest walls of oppression and resistance.”     – Robert Kennedy

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“Never fight evil as if it is something that arose totally outside of yourself.”         – St. Augustine

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“Hard work pays off in the future.  Laziness pays off now.”   – Unknown

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“A question that sometimes drives my hazy:  am I or the others crazy?”                – Albert Einstein

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“The political machine works because it is a united minority acting against a divided majority.”    – Will Durant

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“They don’t care what you know until they know that you care.”                – Brother Lee, youth counselor, summarizing what matters to young people.

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“Whatever your age, your upbringing, your education, what you are is made of is mostly unused potential.”      – George Leonard

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“A mighty oak is just yesterday’s nut that stood its ground.”    – Unknown

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“You are not required to finish the work, but neither are you at liberty to neglect it.”       – Sayings of the Fathers, 2nd Century Jewish text.

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“If you love the sacred and despire the ordinary, you are still bobbing in the ocean of delusion.”           – Buddhist Master Lin Chi

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“The outward freedom that we shall attain will only be in exact proportion to the inward freedom to which we may have grown at a given moment.  And if this is a correct view of freedom, our chief energy must be concentrated on achieving reform from within.”       – M.K. Gandhi

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“We can always make a difference if we muster the courage to think critically, to care for others, and to sustain hope, so we can organize and mobilize with one another to bring power and pressure to bear on the prevailing status quo.”      – Cornell West

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“Things are going to get a lot worse before they get worse!” and “I try to be cynical, but the way things are going, it’s hard to keep up!”                                           – Lily Tomlin

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“Hatred never ceases by hatred but by love only.”    – Buddha

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“Love until it hurts, and then love some more.”     – Mother Teresa

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“May you be filled with lovingkindness.

May you be safe from inner and outer danger.

May you be healthy in body and mind.

May you be happy and free.”             – Buddhist blessing

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About John Bell

John Bell most recently was Vice President at YouthBuild USA (www.youthbuild.org) for Leadership Development and Graduate Leadership, an international youth development and leadership program. He has over forty years of experience in the youth field as teacher, counselor, community organizer, program developer, leadership trainer, director, and parent. He was a founding staff member of three youth organizations: Youth Action Program (in 1978) in East Harlem, the original YouthBuild; Children of War (in 1984), an international youth leadership organization; and of YouthBuild USA (in 1988). He is a nationally known trainer and consultant in the areas of youth leadership development, peer counseling and healing, and diversity. Mr. Bell has done training and consulting work for the Peace Corps in Africa and South America. He is the author of numerous published articles and handbooks on youth leadership, including YouthBuild's North Star. He is a steadfast advocate for including young people as partners in community development. He is also a trained peer-counseling teacher and an ordained Buddhist Dharma Teacher in the tradition of Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh. In all his work, he tries to integrate social justice, emotional healing, and spiritual practice. Mr. Bell holds a BA and MA from Stanford University.
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