The quotations that follow are some of our favorites. They are arranged somewhat randomly.
Clues for a Time of Turmoil
- Act in a spirit of hope. Hope, not optimism….Hope has to do with looking directly at the circumstances we are dealing with and still go on because one hopes that one can make a difference in the face of all that stands in the way of making a difference.
- Act according to a “tentative commitment.” Be willing to look at a situation carefully enough, to risk enough, to contribute enough effort, enough hope, to undertake your project…and to recognize that we might have it wrong. We may have to back off or change not only how we are doing something but whether to do it at all.
- Be “context alert” as a moral and operational necessity.
- Be a learner/teacher, a wary guide, and explorer in the wilderness. Be question askers all the time, not answer givers.
- Practice compassion. Facing life requires all the compassion we can bring to ourselves and others. The blind must care for the blind.
Note: Don Michael was an extraordinary person. Ruben privileged to know him as a friend and colleague. If you do not know his work you are missing a rare opportunity to learn deeply and well. A few of his many essays have been collected by Graham Leicester. See: In Search of the Missing Elephant.
Because things are the way they are, things will not stay the way they are. —Bertolt Brecht
We shall not cease from exploration
And the end of all our exploring
Will be to arrive where we started
And know the place for the first time. —T.S. Elliot
And therein lies the central truth of globalization today: We’re all connected and nobody is in charge…. —Thomas L. Friedman
Even the most unlikely events should be prepared for, if the consequences are great enough. —Peter Swartz
I have always believed that hope is that stubborn thing inside us that insists, despite all the evidence to the contrary, that something better awaits us so long as we have the courage to keep reaching, to keep working, to keep fighting. —Barack Obama
Ideas that we do not know we have, have us. —William Appleman Williams
The loss of certainty that there will be a future is, I believe, the pivotal psychological reality of our time. —Joanna Macy