Instead of needing lots of children, we need high-quality children.
People in America, of course, live in all sorts of fashions, because they are foreigners, or unlucky, or depraved, or without ambition; people live like that, but Americans live in white detached houses with green shutters. Rigidly, blindly, the dream takes precedence.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Topics: Courage, Doubt, Wildlife, Kindness, People, Zen, Growth, Change, Action, Teamwork
Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we’ve put it in an impossible situation.
We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment.
It is an open question whether any behavior based on fear of eternal punishment can be regarded as ethical or should be regarded as merely cowardly.
If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.
Topics: Achievement, Purpose
Each home has been reduced to the bare essentials—to barer essentials than most primitive people would consider possible. Only one woman’s hands to feed the baby, answer the telephone, turn off the gas under the pot that is boiling over, soothe the older child who has broken a toy, and open both doors at once. She is a nutritionist, a child psychologist, an engineer, a production manager, an expert buyer, all in one. Her husband sees her as free to plan her own time, and envies her; she sees him as having regular hours and envies him.
The negative cautions of science are never popular. If the experimentalist would not commit himself, the social philosopher, the preacher, and the pedagogue tried the harder to give a short-cut answer.
It’s easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet.
I’ve been married three times—and each time I married the right person.
Much of the ill-tempered railing against women that has characterized the popular writing of the last two years is a half-hearted attempt to find a way back to a more balanced relationship between our biological selves and the world we have built. So women are scolded both for being mothers and for not being mothers, for wanting to eat their cake and have it too, and for not wanting to eat their cake and have it too.
Women should be permitted to volunteer for non-combat service, they should not be accepted, voluntarily or through the draft, as combat soldiers. We know of no comparable ways of training women and girls, and we have no real way of knowing whether the kinds of training that teach men both courage and restraint would be adaptable to women or effective in a crisis. But the evidence of history and comparative studies of other species suggest that women as a fighting body might be far less amenable to the rules that prevent warfare from becoming a massacre and, with the use of modern weapons, that protect the survival of all humanity. This is what I meant by saying that women in combat might be too fierce.
From a hundred cultures, [there is] one culture which does what no culture has ever done before—gives a place to every human gift.
The liberals have not softened their view of actuality to make themselves live closer to the dream, but instead sharpen their perceptions and fight to make the dream actuality or give up the battle in despair.
Sister is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship.
Everyone needs to have access both to grandparents and grandchildren in order to be a full human being.
If you associate enough with older people who do enjoy their lives, who are not stored away in any golden ghettos, you will gain a sense of continuity and of the possibility for a full life.
Topics: Aging, Age
When human beings have been fascinated by the contemplation of their own hearts, the more intricate biological pattern of the female has become a model for the artist, the mystic, and the saint. When mankind turns instead to what can be done, altered, built, invented, in the outer world, all natural properties of men, animals, or metals become handicaps to be altered rather than clues to be followed.
Topics: Body, Man, Mankind
The city as a center where, any day in any year, there may be a fresh encounter with a new talent, a keen mind or a gifted specialist—this is essential to the life of a country. To play this role in our lives a city must have a soul—a university, a great art or music school, a cathedral or a great mosque or temple, a great laboratory or scientific center, as well as the libraries and museums and galleries that bring past and present together. A city must be a place where groups of women and men are seeking and developing the highest things they know.
Topics: Cities, City Life
Prayer does not use up artificial energy, doesn’t burn up any fossil fuel, doesn’t pollute. Neither does song, neither does love, neither does the dance.
A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again.
Topics: City Life, Cities
You just have to learn not to care about the dust-mice under the beds.
We are now at a point where we must educate our children in what no one knew yesterday, and prepare our schools for what no one knows yet.
For the very first time the young are seeing history being made before it is censored by their elders.
The prophet who fails to present a bearable alternative and yet preaches doom is part of the trap that he postulates. Not only does he picture us caught in a tremendous man-made or God-made trap from which there is no escape, but we must also listen to him day in, day out, describe how the trap is inexorably closing. To such prophecies the human race, as presently bred and educated and situated, is incapable of listening. So some dance and some immolate themselves as human torches; some take drugs and some artists spill their creativity in sets of randomly placed dots on a white ground.
Wondering Whom to Read Next?
- Carlos Castaneda Peruvian-born American Anthropologist
- Stephen Jay Gould American Paleontologist
- Erica Jong American Novelist, Poet
- William Graham Sumner American Polymath
- Francine du Plessix Gray American Writer, Literary Critic
- M. Scott Peck American Psychiatrist
- Buckminster Fuller American Inventor, Philosopher
- Joan Rivers American Entertainer
- William Safire American Columnist
- Bill Cosby American Actor