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Communication is the key to understanding, and words provide a method of communication that is at once simple and quite meaningful.  A single thought, idea or feeling expressed in words can ripple across languages and cultures to effect all who read or hear them.  Some come to us in books, some in song, some from poets and artists, and even politicians.  At their best, words allow us to communicate the nature of the human experience and make us think about how we have should live our lives.  We may not agree with everything these people have said or done in their lives, but the following quotes represent  the spirit and mission of One World Foundation.    If you have a favorite that you believe belongs here, please visit our feedback page and let us know.


You may say I'm a dreamer, 
but I'm not the only one.
I hope some day you'll join us, 
and the world will live as one.

                                   -    John Lennon

We are all one.  If we don’t know that, we will find out the hard way.

                                    Bayard Rustin.

Some see things that are and ask why.
I dream of things that never were and ask why not.

                                   -    Robert F. Kennedy

When I meet people in different parts of the world, I am always reminded 
that we are all basically alike: we are all human beings.  
Maybe we have different clothes, our skin is a different color, 
or we speak different languages.  This is on the surface, but basically we are 
the same human beings.  That is what binds us to each other . - 
that is what makes it possible for us to understand each other 
and to develop friendship and closeness.

                                    -    the 14th Dalai Lama, accepting the Nobel Peace Prize

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools.

                                    -    M. L. King, Jr.

Diversity is the one true thing we all have in common... Celebrate it every day.

                                    -    Sir Winston Churchill

A man who cannot reason is a fool, a man who will not reason is a bigot, 
and a man who dare not reason is a slave.

                                    -    William Drummond

You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; 
if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.

                                    -    Mahatma Gandhi

A life is not important – except for the impact it has on other lives 

                                    –     Jackie Robinson

Alone we can do so little; together we can do so much.

                                     –    Helen Keller

Better to light a candle than to curse the darkness.

                                       -    Chinese Proverb

Our most basic common link
is that we all inhabit this small planet.
We all breathe the same air.
We all cherish our children's future.
And we are all mortal.

                                    -    John F. Kennedy

What good am I, if I see and don't do?

                                   -    Bob Dylan

You Don't have to look too far to find someone worse off than yourself

                                    -    Bob Immel

There are two ways to demonstrate your strength..  
One is to push others down, the other is to pull others up.  

                                    -    Booker T. Washington

The sole advantage of power is that you can do more good.

                                    -    Baltasar Gracian

There is no point in proving your superiority over another person, 
but much to be gained by being superior to your former self.

                                    -    Hindu Proverb

It is not the years in a life,
but the life in the years

                                    -    Abraham Lincoln

Be the change you would like to see in the world

                                        -    Mahatma Gandhi

None but ourselves can free our minds.

                                    -    Bob Marley

Mankind must put an end to war, or war will put an end to mankind.

                                    -    John F. Kennedy

Never do anything against conscience even if the state demands it.

                             -    Albert Einstein

I may not agree with what you say, but I will fight to the death for your right to say it.

                                    -    Voltaire

I have a dream, 
that my four little children will one day live in a nation, 
where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, 
but by the content of their character.

                                   -    M. L.  King, Jr.                   

I hope to add some measure of grace to the world.

                                    -    Don Quixote

I am an optimist.  It does not seem to be much use being anything else

                                    -    Sir Winston Churchill

My only anxiety is how can I be of use in the world?

                                    -    Vincent Van Gogh

Your religion is irrelevant to me.  I care not what you think happened 
at the dawn of creation or what will happen at the end of time. I care only how 
you lived your life:  Were you kind to strangers?  Did you honor and respect the world 
around you? Were you honest and hard-working? Did you help everyone you could?  
Did you fight for justice and equality? Did you love without fear, laugh without conceit 
and sing as loud as you could?  Will you die knowing you did your best? 
These are the only things that matter.

                                    -     Unknown       

This is my simple religion.  There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophy.  Our own brain, our own heart is our temple, the philosophy is kindness.

                                    -    The 14th Dalai Lama

We have just enough religion to make us hate, 
but not enough to make us love one another.

                                    -    Jonathon Swift

It is pleasant that there will be no religions in heaven.

                                    -    Mahatma Gandhi

If you can't see God in all,
you can't see god at all.

                                    -    Yogi Bhajan

It does me no injury for my neighbor to say that there are 20 gods or no gods:
It neither picks my pocket nor breaks my leg.

                                     –    Thomas Jefferson

It is best to read the weather forecast before praying for rain.

                                     -    Mark Twain

There is only one religion, though there are a hundred versions of it.

                                    -    George Bernard Shaw

All you need is Love

                                    -    The Beatles

Love conquers all 

                                    – Virgil

Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.

                                    -    M. L.  King, Jr.

Let justice be done, though the heavens fall.

                                    -    Lord Mansfield

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

                                    -    Edmund Burke

The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, 
but because of the people who don't do anything about it.

                                      -    Albert Einstein

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

                                    -    Aesop

How wonderful that no one need wait a single moment to improve the world

                                    -    Anne Frank

When you cease to make a contribution you begin to die.

                             -    Eleanor Roosevelt

You may never know what results come from your
action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.

                                       -    Mahatma Gandhi

The hottest places in hell are reserved for those 
who in time of great moral crises maintain their neutrality.

                                    -    Dante Alighieri

Each time a person stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, 
or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope, 
and crossing each other from a million different centers of energy and daring, 
these ripples build a current that can sweep down the mightiest walls of oppression and resistance

                                    -    Robert F. Kennedy

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful committed citizens can change the world:
Indeed it's the only thing that ever has.

                                    -    Margaret Mead

To do injustice is more disgraceful than to suffer it

                                    -    Plato

In Germany they came first for the Communists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist. 
Then they came for the Jews, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew. 
Then they came for the trade unionists, and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist. 
Then they came for the Catholics, and I didn’t speak up because I was a Protestant. 
Then they came for me, and by that time no one was left to speak up.

                                    -    Martin Niemoeller, German Lutheran Pastor

I still believe, in spite of everything, that people are truly good at heart

                                    -    Anne Frank

I don't believe it has to be this way

                                    - John Mellencamp

If a free society cannot help the many who are poor, it cannot save the few who are rich.

                                    -    John F. Kennedy

We did not inherit the earth from our ancestors,
we are borrowing it from our children.

                                    -    Unknown

No man is an island...
any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind;
and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
It tolls for thee.

                                    -    John Donne

I am part of all that I have met.

                                    -    Alfred Lord Tennyson

Knowledge is power.

                                    -    Thomas Hobbes

Ignorance is the father of all fear.

                                    -    Herman Melville

People have a voice inside of them that talk to them.  
That is the voice these people must listen to.  
Because in everything you're going to do, there is a wrong way and a right way.  
And if you listen good, you will know the right way.  
There's a voice inside talking to everyone.

                                    -    Bob Marley

There is nothing so powerful as an idea whose time has come 

                                    –    Victor Hugo

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops.

                                    -    Henry Adams

You can count the number of seeds in an apple,
but not the number of apples in a seed.

                                    -    Unknown

How Many times can a man turn his head 
and pretend that he just doesn't see?

                                    -    Bob Dylan

A child knows nothing of hatred, violence, war and "ethnic cleansing".  
All of these things are taught.

                                    -    an unidentified victim of atrocities in Kosovo

Let us put our minds together and see what life we can make for our children

                                    -    Chief Sitting Bull

Don't judge a man until you've walked a mile in his shoes.

                                    -    American proverb

To understand is to forgive

                                    -    French proverb

I let no man drag me down so low as to make me hate him.

                                    -    Booker T. Washington

There is a treasure, if it can be found, in the heart of every man.

                                    -    Winston Churchill

So Many Worlds, so much to do,
So little done, such things to be.

                                    -    Alfred Lord Tennyson

Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all 

                                    -    Helen Keller

Let us endeavor to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

                                    -    Mark Twain

Remember that when you leave this earth, you can take with you
nothing that you have received - only what you have given.

                                    -    Francis of Assisi

Far better is it to dare mighty things
than to take rank with those poor spirits
who neither enjoy much nor suffer much
because they live in the gray twilight
that knows not victory nor defeat.

                                    -    Theodore Roosevelt

The courageous struggle for a noble cause
should be considered success itself.

                                   -    John Wooden

Here is a test to see if your mission on Earth is finished:
If you are alive, it isn't

                                    -     Richard Bach

Only those who dare to fail greatly can ever achieve greatly.

                                    -    Robert F. Kennedy

I would much rather fail at the impossible than succeed at what anyone can do.

                                    -      Unknown

Twenty years from now, you will be more disappointed by the things you didn't do
than by the things you did do.  So throw off the bowlines.  Sail away from the safe harbor.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.  Explore.  Dream.  discover.

                                    -    Mark Twain

For of all sad words of tongue or pen,
The saddest are these:  “It might have been."

                                    -    Whittier

The ideal man bears the accidents of life with dignity and grace, 
making the best of circumstances.

                                    -    Aristotle

There are two types of people who will tell you that you cannot 
make a difference in the this world:  those who are afraid to try themselves, 
and those who are afraid that you will succeed.

                                    -    Ray GoForth

All glory comes from daring to begin.

                                    -    Eugene F. Ware

Peace is not the absence of war, it is a virtue.  A disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.

                                    -    Baruch Spinoza

True peace is not just the absence of tension; it is the presence of justice.

                                    - Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is no flag large enough to cover the shame of killing innocent people.

                                    -    Howard Zinn

And who are the greater criminals - those who sell the instruments of death,
or those who buy them and use them?

                                    -    Robert E. Sherwood

Civilization is a stream with banks. The stream is sometimes filled with blood
from people killing, stealing, shouting and doing the things historians usually
record, while on the banks, unnoticed, people build homes, make love, raise
children, sing songs, write poetry and even whittle statues. The story of
civilization is what happened on the banks.

                                    -    Will Durant

Better to build schoolrooms for the boy,
than cells and gibbets for the man.

                                    -    Eliza Cook

It is a very great poverty to decide that a child must die that you might live as you wish.

                                    -    Mother Teresa

Progress is more plausibly judged by the reduction of deprivation 
than by the further enrichment of the opulent 

                                    -     Amartya Sen

When you say 'dabble in politics', I don't know what that is.
You say stand up and talk for my rights - I know what that is.

                                    -    Bob Marley

What happens to a dream deferred?  Does it dry up like a raison in the sun?   
Does it fester like a sore?...Or does it explode?

                                    -    Langston Hughes

You have no more right to consume happiness without producing it 
than to consume wealth without producing it

                                    -    Bernard Shaw

Bowed by the weight of centuries he leans
Upon his hoe and gazes on the ground,
The emptiness of ages in his face,
And on his back the burden of the world.

                                    -    Edwin Markham

If I have freedom in my love,
and in my soul am free,
angels alone that soar above
enjoy such liberty.

                                    -    Richard Lovelace 

For what is a man profited, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?

                                    -    New Testament, Matthew, XVI, 26

Do not believe in anything simply because you have heard it. 
Do not believe in anything simply because it is spoken and rumored by many. 
Do not believe in anything simply because it is found written in your religious books. 
Do not believe in anything merely on the authority of your teachers and elders. 
Do not believe in traditions because they have been handed down for many generations.
But after observation and analysis, when you find that anything agrees with reason 
and is conducive to the good and benefit of one and all, then accept it and live up to it.

                                       -    Buddha

All that you have is your soul.

                                     -    Tracy Chapman

Not everything that can be counted counts, and not everything that counts can be counted

                                    -    A sign that hung in Albert Einstein's Office

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about the things that matter.

                                    -    Martin Luther King, Jr.

It was easier to deal with poverty and death in India that the lack of spirituality in America.

                                    -    Mother Teresa

We are here not to get all we can out of life for ourselves, 
but to try to make the lives of others happier.

                                      -    Sir William Osler

We make a living of what we get
But we make a life of what we give.

                                    -    Winston Churchill 

If I can stop one heart from breaking,
I shall not live in vain;
If I can ease one life the aching, 
or cool one pain,
Or help one fainting robin,
Unto his nest again,
I shall not live in vain.

                                    -    Emily Dickinson

The Moving Finger writes; and having writ,
moves on: nor all your piety nor wit
shall lure it back to cancel half a line,
nor all your tears wash out a word of it.

                                    -    Omar Khayyam

Happy the man, and happy he alone,
He who can call today his own:
He who, secure within, can say:
"Tomorrow do thy worst, for I have lived today."

                                    -    Horace

I take it not only a day at a time, but a moment at a time.  
If you can be happy right now, then you’ll always be happy, 
because it’s always in the now.

                                    –     Willie Nelson

Lives of great men all remind us
we can make our lives sublime.
And, departing, leave behind us
footprints in the sands of time.

                                    -    Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Beauty is truth, truth beauty,
that is all ye know on earth
and all ye need to know.

                                    -    John Keats

I am not poor.  Poor are those who desire many things.

                                    -    Leonardo Da Vinci

Through our eyes all forms of life are equally important.  
To us, we are simply one part woven into the great creation.  
the wind is our breath, the sun our eyes, the ocean waves our heart beat, 
the rivers and streams our veins.  Through our eyes, we are no greater than the wolf, 
the butterfly or even the pine tree.  All creation is connected to us and we to it.  We are one.

                                    -    Unknown Native American

The world doesn't owe you anything.  It was here first.

                                    -    Mark Twain

Don't it always seem to go: 
you don't know what you've got 'till it's gone.
You paved paradise and you put up a parking lot.

                                    -    Joni Mitchell

Remember no man is a failure who has friends.

                                    -    Clarance

A man who hasn't found anything he'd die for doesn't deserve to live.

                                    -    Martin Luther King, Jr.

Hope Dies Last.

                                    -    Spanish Proverb



And now....

Those of you who had the perseverance to read all the quotes get a BONUS CARTOON!




Copyright Shell Silverstein 1978