quotations

Here are some fine words of wisdom, advice, encouragement, and inspiration that seem useful in these times. I hope that these words will help give you renewed hope, motivation, strength, and courage whenever you need a boost.

“They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.”
– Andy Warhol

“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.”
– Lily Tomlin

“If you don’t like the news…go out and make some of your own.”
– Wes Nisker

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— Eleanor Roosevelt

“Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.”
– William James

“At the end of your life, the world will either be a more or less loving, compassionate, caring place because of your presence.”
– John Pavolvitz

— Jane Goodall

“The individual is capable of both great compassion and great indifference. He has it within his means to nourish the former and outgrow the latter.”
– Norman Cousins

“We must all face the choice between what is right and what is easy.”
— J.K. Rowling

— Amelia Earhart

“You are capable of more than you know. Choose a goal that seems right for you and strive to be the best, however hard the path. Aim high. Behave honorably. Prepare to be alone at times and to endure failure. Persist! The world needs all you can give.”
– Edward O. Wilson

“Common sense is seeing things as they are, and doing things as they ought to be.”
– Harriet Beecher Stowe

“The good you do today may be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway. Give the world your best and it may not be enough. Give your best anyway.”
– Mother Teresa

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– Mark Twain

“What after all has maintained the human race on this old globe, despite all the calamities of nature and all the tragic failings of mankind, if not the faith in new possibilities and the courage to advocate them.”
– Jane Addams

“There are no passengers on spaceship earth. We are all crew.”
— Marshall McLuhan

“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

“It always seems impossible until it’s done.”
– Nelson Mandela

“Nobody made a bigger mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.”
– Edmund Burke

“I am only one, but I am one. I cannot do everything, but I can do something. And I will not let what I cannot do interfere with what I can do.”
– Edward Everett Hale

“If you try, you risk failure. If you don’t, you ensure it.”
– source unknown

— Robert Louis Stevenson

“It is no measure of health to be well-adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
– Jiddu Krishnamurti

“For every problem there is a solution that is simple, clean, and wrong.”
– Henry Louis Mencken

“Throughout history, it has been the inaction of those who could have acted, the indifference of those who should have known better, the silence of the voice of justice when it matters most, that has made it possible for evil to triumph.”
– Haile Selassie

— MLK, Jr.

“If we do not change direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.”
— Chinese proverb

On Priorities

“Things that matter most must never be at the mercy of things that matter least.”
– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

– Henry David Thoreau

“Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.”
– Edward Abbey

“We spend more time developing means of escaping our troubles than we do solving the troubles we’re trying to escape from.”
– David Lloyd

“Perfection of means and confusion of goals seem, in my opinion, to characterize our age.”
– Albert Einstein

On Effective Approaches

“The world changes according to the way people see it, and if you can alter, even by a millimeter, the way people look at reality, then you can change the world.”
– James Baldwin

– Buckminster Fuller

“It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.”
– Chinese proverb

“Be the change you wish to see in the world.”
– Mahatma Gandhi

 

Also read this letter by E.B. White:

(Excerpts): “It is quite obvious that the human race has made a queer mess of life on this planet. But as a people we probably harbor seeds of goodness that have lain for a long time waiting to sprout when the conditions are right.”  “As long as there is one upright man, as long as there is one compassionate woman, the contagion may spread and the scene is not desolate.”

…and this letter by Clarissa Pinkola Estes, which begins:

“Do not lose heart. We were made for these times.”

 

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February 28, 2017
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9781608465767-f_medium-2f1e8dbafb4b3334d0db297eed405179Rebecca Solnit’s book, Hope in the Dark: Untold Histories, Wild Possibilities, has become a newly popular source of consolation, illumination, and inspiration. Originally published in 2004, a new edition was published this year (2016), with a new foreword and afterword by the author. Solnit is active in the climate movement, among other social movements.

Here are a few short excerpts from the book. This is just a taste—just a few morsels of Solnit’s wisdom. I encourage you to pick up a copy of the book to read more.

“Your opponents would love you to believe that it’s hopeless, that you have no power, that there’s no reason to act, that you can’t win. Hope is a gift you don’t have to surrender, a power you don’t have to throw away.”

“Hope locates itself in the premises that we don’t know what will happen and that in the spaciousness of uncertainty is room to act. When you recognize uncertainty, you recognize that you may be able to influence the outcomes—you alone or you in concert with a few dozen or several million others. Hope is an embrace of the unknown and the unknowable, an alternative to the certainty of both optimists and pessimists. …It’s the belief that what we do matters even though how and when it may matter, who and what it may impact, are not things we can know beforehand. We may not, in fact, know them afterward either, but they matter all the same.”

“We cannot eliminate all devastation for all time, but we can reduce it, outlaw it, undermine its sources and foundations; these are victories. A better world, yes; a perfect world, never.”

“…You’d have to be an amnesiac or at least ignorant of history and even current events to fail to see that our country and our world have always been changing, are in the midst of great and terrible changes, and are occasionally changed through the power of popular will and idealistic movements.”

“Much has changed; much needs to change; being able to celebrate or at least recognize milestones and victories and keep working is what the times require of us. Instead, a lot of people seem to be looking for trouble, the trouble that reinforces their dismal worldview. Everything that’s not perfect is failed, disappointing, a betrayal. There’s idealism in there, but also unrealistic expectations, ones that cannot meet with anything but disappointment. Perfectionists often position themselves on the sidelines, from which they point out that nothing is good enough.”

“I have found that…a lot of people respond to almost any achievement, positive development, or outright victory with ‘yes but.’ Naysaying becomes a habit. It [boils] down to: we can’t talk about good things until there are no more bad things.”

“How do we get back to the struggle over the future? I think you have to hope, and hope in this sense is not a prize or a gift, but something you can earn through study, through resisting the ease of despair, and through digging tunnels, cutting windows, opening doors, or finding the people who do these things. They exist.”

Also see Rebecca Solnit’s July 2016 essay on this theme published in The Guardian, as well as her May 2016 essay in Harper’s magazine, “The Habits of Highly Cynical People.” Solnit is a contributing editor at Harper’s.

You can also follow her daily musings and posts on her Facebook page.

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December 30, 2016
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Over the past few years, several of my posts on this blog have presented a selection of my favorite quotations. Here is an index of those posts, for anyone who enjoys reading good quotations for the wisdom, inspiration, or humor that they convey:

I have also prepared quotations-based posts that have been published on MotherEarthNews.com:

For a more comprehensive compilation of quotations, see our QUOTATIONS page.

Please share your own favorite quotations in the Comments!

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August 27, 2014
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The Green Spotlight has created some simple, colorful graphics of some of our favorite Quotations.  Here’s a batch of four new ones:

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Click on each image to see a larger (full-size, e-card) version.

Please feel free to pass them on. You can use the Share icons at the bottom of the post (for direct links to email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), or just drag a full-size graphic onto your desktop and share it from there.

Click here to see four other quotation graphics, which were posted previously.

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June 29, 2012
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Please take a look at The Green Spotlight’s Facebook Page to see our daily green blurbs and links. You can view the page even if you don’t have a Facebook account. But if you do have an account, we hope you’ll click on the Like button (if you haven’t already “Liked” the page).

Visit the Page to get a sense of the wide variety of topics that it covers, and feel free to comment on the posts or add your own.

Here’s a sampling of topics that we’ve spotlighted on the page over the last month or so:

  • One Planet Living principles
  • The Great Animal Orchestra, a new book by Bernie Krause
  • 2012 Cleantech Forum
  • Buckminster Fuller Challenge 2012 semi-finalists
  • The Future of Hope, a film about Iceland
  • Waking the Green Tiger, a film about China
  • Urban Roots, a film about Detroit
  • Physicians for Social Responsibility
  • Rural Renewable Energy Alliance
  • Good Jobs, Green Jobs regional conferences
  • Wastewater treatment technology that uses renewable energy
  • Evolve electric motorcycles and scooters
  • Better World Books
  • GMO food labeling
  • The growth of clean energy markets
  • The top B Corp businesses
  • TED talks (e.g. urban farming and enterprise in a school in the Bronx)
  • Quotations from Thomas Edison, Wendell Berry, Barbara Kingsolver, etc.
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March 27, 2012
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The Green Spotlight has begun creating simple, colorful graphics of some of our favorite Quotations. We hope that you enjoy these and will share your favorites with your friends. More of these graphics will be available in coming weeks; check the Quotations page for new additions.

Click on each image to see a larger (full-size, e-card) version.

Please feel free to pass them on! You can use the Share icons at the bottom of the post (for direct links to email, Facebook, Twitter, etc.), or just drag a full-size graphic onto your desktop and share it from there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you have a favorite quotation (whether it’s one that’s already on our Quotations page or not) and you’d like to see it presented in graphic form like these, please mention it in the Comments section below, or send us a note (email: info[at]thegreenspotlight.com). Thanks.

Also see our newer post: Great Quotations II: More Graphics to Share

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November 30, 2011
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Take a peek at The Green Spotlight’s Facebook Page to see our daily blurbs and links. Anyone can view the page, whether or not you have a Facebook account. But if you do have an account, be sure to click on the “Like” button to join our growing online community (if you haven’t already); then you should be able to see The Green Spotlight’s posts in your daily Facebook news feed.

Please visit the Page to get a sense of the wide variety of topics that are featured. Here’s a sampling of a few of the solutions, efforts, and success stories that we’ve spotlighted on the page in recent weeks:

  • the electric DeLorean, coming out in 2013
  • LEED for Homes Awards: this year’s winning projects
  • hybrid wind/solar systems
  • Reinventing Fire, the new book by Amory Lovins
  • Earthjustice
  • Global Community Monitor
  • Silicon Valley Toxics Coalition
  • Green Corps’ Field School for Environmental Organizing
  • Silent Spring Institute
  • Arctic Live
  • Revenge of the Electric Car (new documentary)
  • CleanTech Open: this year’s finalists and Forum
  • Brower Youth Awards: videos and info about this year’s winners
  • Solar Decathlon home design competition’s winning projects
  • DIY solar installations in Ypsilanti, Michigan
  • how to size a solar PV system for charging an electric car
  • B Corporation legislation passed in California
  • quotations from Ray Anderson, Buckminster Fuller, Annie Dillard, and others
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October 26, 2011
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Of the many quotations that I’ve compiled over the years, I think that these ten are among the most witty, wry, and clever — and almost all of them have some relevance (directly or indirectly) to sustainability:

“The trouble with the rat race is that, even if you win, you’re still a rat.”
– Lily Tomlin

“Growth for the sake of growth is the ideology of the cancer cell.”
– Edward Abbey

“Urban friends ask me how I can stand living here, ‘so far from everything?’ When I hear this question over the phone, I’m usually looking out the window at a forest, a running creek, and a vegetable garden, thinking: Define everything.”
– Barbara Kingsolver (from her book Animal, Vegetable, Miracle: A Year of Food Life)

“Always do right. That will gratify some of the people and astonish the rest.”
– Mark Twain

“I always wondered why somebody doesn’t do something about that. Then I realized I was somebody.”
– Lily Tomlin

“If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.”
– Bette Reese (perhaps paraphrasing from an African proverb?)

“Eighty percent of success is showing up.”
– Woody Allen

“For every problem there is a solution that is simple, clean, and wrong.”
– Henry Louis Mencken

“Things should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler.”
– (attributed to/paraphrased from) Albert Einstein

“The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”
– Albert Einstein

If you enjoy these, share them with others. And please add your favorite funny quotations in the Comments below.

For more quotations, see The Green Spotlight’s Quotations page.

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March 16, 2011
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We post briefer and more frequent green blurbs on our Facebook page than we do on this site. Please visit The Green Spotlight’s Facebook Page. You can view the page even you don’t have a Facebook account. But if you do have an account, click on the “Like” button (if you’re not already a “Friend” of the page). Then you can get a daily dose of The Green Spotlight in your Facebook news feed, and you can share your comments and recommendations with a large audience.

Take a look at the Page to get a sense of the wide variety of topics that have been touched on or linked to. Here’s a sampling of past topics:

  • Biomimicry in product design
  • Solar window shutters
  • Ecovative’s alternative to petroleum-based plastics
  • Biofuel made from whiskey-distilling by-products
  • Dog poop converted into electrical energy
  • Landfill gas turned into fuel for garbage trucks
  • Organic farming programs in India, Mexico, Detroit, etc.
  • Gardening tips
  • Non-toxic cleaners and household products
  • Green-certified restaurants
  • Net-zero-energy and “passive” homes around the world
  • The Yes Men satirize Chevron
  • Daryl Hannah
  • Rachel Carson
  • The greening of corporate supply chains
  • Solar panel recycling
  • Electric cars, motorcycles, trucks, scooters, ATVs, and other vehicles (Green Lite Motors, Barefoot Motors, Mission Motors, Brammo, ZAP, Bright Automotive, etc.)
  • World Green Building Council
  • Living Building Challenge
  • Bioneers
  • Farm Aid
  • Teens Turning Green
  • League of Conservation Voters
  • Trees for the Future: Haiti
  • 350.org
  • California Brightspot
  • Green Economy Roadmap
  • TED videos
  • New films: e.g., Big River; Dirt!
  • Interesting facts and stats
  • Quotation of the Month
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November 5, 2010
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