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Individuality QUOTES

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“Where all think alike there is little danger of innovation.”
-- Edward Abbey

* “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.”
-- Aristotle (384-322 BC)

To be one, to be united is a great thing. But to respect the right to be different is maybe even greater.
-- Bono


“The worst curse to befall anyone is stagnation, a banal existence, the quiet desperation that comes out of a need for conformity. ”
-- Deepak Chopra

“I think everybody's weird. We should all celebrate our individuality and not be embarrassed or ashamed of it.”
-- Johnny Depp

When I was four years old they tried to test my IQ, they showed me this picture of three oranges and a pear. They asked me which one is different and does not belong; they taught me different was wrong.
-- Ani DiFranco


“It is often by a trivial, even an anecdotal decision, that we direct our activities into a certain channel, and thus determine which of the potential expressions of our individuality become manifest. Usually we know nothing of the ultimate orientation or of the outlet toward which we travel, and the stream sweeps us to a formula of life from which there is no returning. Every decision is like a murder, and our march forward is over the stillborn bodies of all our possible selves that will never be.”
~ René Dubos


* "Human diversity makes tolerance more than a virtue; it makes it a requirement for survival."
~ René Dubos


The individual is the central, rarest, most precious capital resource of our society.
-- Peter F. Drucker

“The really valuable thing in the pageant of human life seems to me not the political state, but the creative, sentient individual, the personality; in alone creates the noble and the sublime, while the herd as such remains dull in thought and dull in feeling.”
-- Albert Einstein

Great spirits have always encountered violent opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly.
-- Albert Einstein

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary.
-- Albert Einstein

The minority, the ruling class at present, has the schools and press, usually the Church as well, under its thumb. This enables it to organize and sway the emotions of the masses, and make its tool of them.
-- Albert Einstein

He who joyfully marches to music in rank and file has already earned my contempt. He has been given a large brain by mistake, since for him the spinal cord would fully suffice.
-- Albert Einstein

Few is the number who think with their own minds and feel with their own hearts.
-- Albert Einstein

Any power must be an enemy of mankind which enslaves the individual by terror and force, whether it arises under the Fascist or the Communist flag. All that is valuable in human society depends upon the opportunity for development accorded to the individual.
-- Albert Einstein


Here in America we are descended in spirit from revolutionists and rebels - men and women who dare to dissent from accepted doctrine.
-- Dwight D. Eisenhower

All my life I had been looking for something, and everywhere I turned someone tried to tell me what it was. I accepted their answers too, though they were often in contradiction and even self-contradictory. I was naïve. I was looking for myself and asking everyone except myself questions which I, and only I, could answer. It took me a long time and much painful boomeranging of my expectations to achieve a realization everyone else appears to have been born with: that I am nobody but myself. –Ralph Ellison

* "To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.” ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great man is he who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Whoso would be a man must also be a non-conformist. ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson



And truly it demands something godlike in him who cast off the common motives of humanity and ventured to trust himself for a taskmaster.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Envy is ignorance. Imitation is suicide.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

“Every revolution was first a thought in one man's mind, and when the same thought occurs to another man, it is the key to that era.”
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

What I must do is all that concerns me, not what the people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is the harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world's opinion; it is easy in solitude to live after our own; but the great person is one who in the midst of the crowd keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Masses are rude, lame, unmade, pernicious in their demands and influence, and need not to be flattered, but to be schooled. I wish not to concede anything to them, but to tame, drill, divide, and break them up, and draw individuals out of them.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson


It is the chiefest point of happiness that a man is willing to be what he is.
-- Desiderius Erasmus

Education either functions as an instrument which is used to facilitate integration of the younger generation into the logic of the present system and bring about conformity or it becomes the practice of freedom, the means by which men and women deal critically and creatively with reality and discover how to participate in the transformation of their world.
Paulo Freire


It is easier to live through someone else than to become complete yourself.
-- Betty Friedan


“Taking into account the public's regrettable lack of taste, it is incumbent upon you not to fit in.”
-- Janeane Garofalo

We are at the very point in time when a 400-year old age is dying and another is struggling to be born - a shifting of culture, science, society, and institutions enormously greater than the world has ever experienced. Ahead, the possibility of the regeneration of individuality, liberty, community and ethics such as the world has never know, and a harmony with nature, with one another, and with the divine intelligence such as the world has never dreamed.
-- Dee Ward Hock, founder of Visa.

Most of the things we do, we do for no better reason than that our fathers have done them or that our neighbors do them, and the same is true of a larger part than we suspect of what we think.
~Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr.

Consistency is contrary to nature, contrary to life. The only completely consistent people are the dead.
~ Aldous Huxley

Mental slavery is mental death, and every man who has given up his intellectual freedom is the living coffin of his dead soul.
~ Robert Green Ingersoll

It is a blessed thing that in every age some one has had the individuality enough and courage enough to stand by his own convictions.
~ Robert Green Ingersoll

Some people say you are going the wrong way, when it’s simply a way of your own.
~ Angelina Jolie


Conformity is that jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.
-- John F. Kennedy

"The hope of a secure and livable world lies with disciplined nonconformists who are dedicated to justice, peace and brotherhood."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr

An individual has not started living until he can rise above the narrow confines of his individualistic concerns to the broader concerns of all humanity.
Martin Luther King, Jr



* Peace is not just the absence of war, it is the active presence of a capacity for love and compassion, and reciprocity. It is an awareness that our lives are not to be lived simply for ourselves through expressing our individuality, but we confirm the purpose of our lives through the work of expressing our shared sense of community in a purposeful and practical way; to sustain our own lives we sustain the lives of others - in family, in a community of neighborhoods called a city, and in a community of nations called the world.
-- Dennis Kucinich

When you are content to be simply yourself and don’t compare or compete, everybody will respect you.
–Lao Tzu

Care about people’s approval and you will be their prisoner.
- Lao Tzu

New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not common.
-- John Locke

* “Emancipate yourselves
from mental slavery.
None but ourselves
can free our minds.
Won't you help to sing
The songs of freedom?”
-- Bob Marley


Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
-- Margaret Mead


The fatal tendency of mankind to leave off thinking about a thing when it is no longer doubtful, is the cause of half their errors.
-- John Stuart Mill

That so few now dare to be eccentric, marks the chief danger of the time.
-- John Stuart Mill

Whatever crushes individuality is despotism, by whatever name it may be called
-- John Stuart Mill

Our emotional symptoms are precious sources of life and individuality.
Thomas More

All national institutions of churches, whether Jewish, Christian, or Turkish, appear to me no other than human inventions, set up to terrify and enslave mankind, and monopolize power and profit.
-- Thomas Paine


“Its hard to be a diamond in a rhinestone world.”
-- Dolly Parton


"It is our task—our essential, central, crucial task—to transform ourselves from mere social creatures into community creatures." Although the act of nurturing another's spiritual growth has the effect of nurturing one's own, a major characteristic of genuine love is that the distinction between oneself and the other is always maintained and preserved.
-- M. Scott Peck

“There’s a lot of mediocrity being celebrated, and a lot of wonderful stuff being ignored or discouraged.”
-- Sean Penn


Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual, you have an obligation to be one.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

Do what you feel in your heart to be right - for you'll be criticized anyway.
-- Eleanor Roosevelt

In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted.
-- Bertrand Russell


Finding the occasional straw of truth awash in a great ocean of confusion and bamboozle requires intelligence, vigilance, dedication and courage. But if we don't practice these tough habits of thought, we cannot hope to solve the truly serious problems that face us - and we risk becoming a nation of suckers, up for grabs by the next charlatan who comes along.
-- Carl Sagan

One of the saddest lessons of history is this: If we've been bamboozled long enough, we tend to reject any evidence of the bamboozle. The bamboozle has captured us. Once you give a charlatan power over you, you almost never get it back.
-- Carl Sagan


Custom will reconcile people to any atrocity; and fashion will drive them to acquire any custom.
-- George Bernard Shaw

Forgive him, for he believes that the customs of his tribe are the laws of nature.
-- George Bernard Shaw

The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man.
-- George Bernard Shaw

Progress is impossible without change, and those who cannot change their minds cannot change anything.
-- George Bernard Shaw

All lies and jests, still a man hears what he wants to hear and disregards the rest.
-- Paul Simon

All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions.
-- Adlai Stevenson

Be yourself, no matter what they say.
-- Sting

Every generation laughs at the old fashions, but follows religiously the new.
-- Henry David Thoreau

If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.
-- Henry David Thoreau

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.
-- Mark Twain

We all live in the protection of certain cowardices which we call our principles.
-- Mark Twain

Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.
-- Mark Twain


In America, through pressure of conformity, there is freedom of choice, but nothing to choose from.
-- Peter Ustinov


Do the common thing in an uncommon way.
-- Booker T. Washington


Heresies are experiments in man's unsatisfied search for truth.
-- H. G. Wells


The eager and often inconsiderate appeals of reformers and revolutionists are indispensable to counterbalance the inertia and fossilism marking so large a part of human institutions.
~ Walt Whitman

* “I've come to believe that each of us has a personal calling that's as unique as a fingerprint - and that the best way to succeed is to discover what you love and then find a way to offer it to others in the form of service, working hard, and also allowing the energy of the universe to lead you. ”
-- Oprah Winfrey

Individuality realized is the supreme attainment of the human soul, the master-master’s work of art. Individuality is sacred.
-- Frank Lloyd Wright

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DO ONE THING and BetterWorld Kids Clubs are projects of The EMILY Fund (The Emily Silverstein Fund, Inc.)
Hero portraits are included for illustration purposes only - no celebrity endorsement implied

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