John W Gardner Quotes (25 quotations)

1. All laws are an attempt to domesticate the natural ferocity of the species. - John W Gardner

2. Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. - John W Gardner

3. For every talent that poverty has stimulated it has blighted a hundred. - John W Gardner

4. History never looks like history when you are living through it. - John W Gardner

5. I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we will look back at education as it is practiced in most schools today and wonder that we could have tolerated anything so primitive. - John W Gardner

6. It is hard to feel individually responsible with respect to the invisible processes of a huge and distant government. - John W Gardner

7. Josh Billings said, "It is not only the most difficult thing to know oneself, but the most inconvenient one, too." Human beings have always employed an enormous variety of clever devices for running away from themselves, and the modern world is particularly rich in such stratagems. - John W Gardner

8. Leaders come in many forms, with many styles and diverse qualities. There are quiet leaders and leaders one can hear in the next county. Some find strength in eloquence, some in judgment, some in courage. - John W Gardner

9. Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. - John W Gardner

10. Men of integrity, by their very existence, rekindle the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor. We need that belief; a cynical community is a corrupt community. - John W Gardner

11. Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants. - John W Gardner

12. One of the reasons people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure. - John W Gardner

13. Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all. - John W Gardner

14. Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the nonpharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality. - John W Gardner

15. Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them. - John W Gardner

16. Some people strengthen the society just by being the kind of people they are. - John W Gardner

17. Storybook happiness involves every form of pleasant thumb-twiddling; true happiness involves the full use of one's powers and talents. - John W Gardner

18. The creative individual has the capacity to free himself from the web of social pressures in which the rest of us are caught. He is capable of questioning the assumptions that the rest of us accept. - John W Gardner

19. The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy...neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water. - John W Gardner

20. The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursing his own education. This will not be a widely shared pursuit until we get over our odd conviction that education is what goes on in school buildings and nowhere else. - John W Gardner

21. True happiness involves the full use of one's power and talents. - John W Gardner

22. We are all faced with a series of great opportunities - brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems. - John W Gardner

23. We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems. - John W Gardner

24. When Alexander the Great visited Diogenes and asked whether he could do anything for the famed teacher, Diogenes replied: 'Only stand out of my light.' Perhaps some day we shall know how to heighten creativity. Until then, one of the best things we can do for creative men and women is to stand out of their light. - John W Gardner

25. When one may pay out over two million dollars to presidential and Congressional campaigns, the U.S. government is virtually up for sale. - John W Gardner

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