The Pine Tree Book of Quotations

Part Five

"In a moment of decision the best thing you can do is the right thing. The worst thing you can do is nothing."

Theodore Roosevelt (1858-1919)
26th President of the United States
Founding member of the Boy Scouts of America

"Let us have faith that right makes might, and in that faith let us to the end dare to do our duty as we understand it."

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)
16th President of the United States
Address at Cooper Union
, New York,
February 27, 1860

"Even if you’re on the right track, you’ll get run over if you just sit there."

Will Rogers
American Humorist-Philosopher (1879-1935)

"Being entirely honest with oneself is a good exercise."

Sigmund Freud (1856-1939)
Austrian neurologist and founder of psychoanalysis.

You see things; and you say, "Why?"
But I dream things that never were; and I say "Why not?"

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950)
Irish dramatist, essayist, and critic.
From Back to Methuselah, 1921, Act I.

"The difference between committment and involvement
It’s like ham and eggs. The pig is committed.
The chicken is only involved."


"Two heads are better than one."

John Heywood (c. 1497-1580)
From his Proverbs, first printed in 1546.
One of the earliest collections of colloquial sayings.

"Two are better than one, because they have a good reward for their toil. For if they fall, one will lift up his fellow; but woe to him who is alone when he falls and has not another to lift him up…. And though a man might prevail against one who is alone, two will withstand him. A threefold cord is not quickly broken."

Ecclesiastes 4:9-12

"No wind favors him who has no destined port."

Michel de Montaigne,
French Philosopher (1533-1592)

"Traveler, please before you go,
Douse your fire with H2O;
Pour in more if you’re in doubt —
But be blame sure
The thing is OUT."

From: Second Class Helps,
Boy Scouts of America, 1930

"When group members have time to reflect, they can see more clearly what is essential in themselves and others."

From A Time for Reflection in The Tao of Leadership by John Heider

"Allow regular time for silent reflection.
Turn inward and digest what has happened.
Let the senses rest and grow still."

From A Time for Reflection in The Tao of Leadership by John Heider

"Teach people to let go of their superficial mental chatter and obsessions. Teach people to pay attention to the whole body’s reaction to a situation."

From A Time for Reflection in The Tao of Leadership by John Heider

"Endless drama in a group clouds consciousness.
Too much noise overwhelms the senses.
Continual input obscures genuine insight.
Do not substitute sensationalism for learning."

From A Time for Reflection in The Tao of Leadership by John Heider

"If you shut one eye, you do not hear everything."

Old Swiss Proverb

"Teaching can be compared to selling commodities. No one can sell unless someone buys . . . [yet] there are teachers who think they have done a good day’s teaching irrespective of what the pupils have learned."

John Dewey
American philosopher and educational theorist, 1859-1952
From his book, How We Think, 1933

"We pack the physical outline of the creature we see with all the ideas we have already formed about him, and in the complete picture of him we compose in our minds those ideas have certainly the principal place."

Marcel Proust
French novelist, 1871-1922
Remembrance of Things Past
, 1935

"Learning is not a spectator sport."


"Only that day dawns to which we are awake."

Henry David Thoreau (1817-1862),
American naturalist, philosopher and writer

"Many ideas grow better when translated into another mind than in the one from where they sprang up."

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr. (1841-1935),
Associate Justice, United States Supreme Court

"The only kind of learning which significantly influences human behavior is self-discovered or self-appropriated learning truth that has been assimilated in experience."

Carl R. Rogers,
American psychologist.
Founder of the client-centered or non-directive approach to counseling

"You cannot teach a man anything. You can only help him discover it within himself."

Galileo Galilei (1564-1642),
Italian astronomer and physicist

"The teacher, if he is indeed wise, does not bid you to enter the house of his wisdom, but leads you to the threshold of your own mind."

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931)
Syrian symbolist poet and painter

"I never teach my pupils; I only attempt to provide the conditions in which they can learn."

Albert Einstein (1879-1955)
German-Swiss-American physicist,
winner of the 1921 Nobel Prize for physics for his work on theory of relativity

"No problem is so large or so complex that it can’t be run away from"

Charlie Brown

In the outskirts of Dubuque, on the farm, when I was growing up back there, back then
I learned, with all the pigs and chickens and the endless sameness everywhere you looked
though I doubt I knew I was learning it — that all of the values were relative save one …
"Who am I?"
All the rest are semantics liberty, dignity, possession.
There’s only one that matters: "Who am I?"

Elizabeth, in The Lady from Dubuque,
a play by Edward Albee, American playwright

"There is always an easy solution to every human problem neat, plausible and wrong."

H. L. Mencken (1880-1956),
American journalist, essayist, critic, and lexicographer

"To put one’s thoughts into action is the most difficult thing in the world."

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1740-1832),
German poet, dramatist, novelist, and philosopher

"Plans are only good intentions unless they immediately degenerate into hard work."

Peter Drucker,
Management authority, consultant, author and educator

"Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is success."

Henry Ford (1863-1947),
American industrialist, founder of the Ford Motor Company,
father of the modern assembly line system of production

"People acting together as a group can accomplish things which no individual acting alone could ever hope to bring about."

Franklin Delano Roosevelt (1889-1945),
32nd President of the United States

"Many person might have achieved wisdom had they not supposed that they already possessed it."

Lucius Annaeus Seneca (c. 4 BC – c. 65 AD)
Roman philosopher and author

"The real voyage of discovery consists not in seeking new lands, but in seeing with new eyes."

Marcel Proust (1871-1922),
French novelist

"The biggest enemy to learning is the talking teacher."

John Holt, American educator and author

"Education is what survives when what has been learned has been forgotten."

B. F. Skinner (1904-1990),
American psychologist, leading exponent of behavioral psychology

"Nothing is more terrible than activity without insight."

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881)
Scottish essayist and historian

"The art of teaching is the art of assisting discovery."

Mark Van Doren (1894-1972),
American poet, critic and editor
Professor of English at Columbia University

John W. Gardner, On Leadership

"Leaders develop their styles as they interact with their constituencies. They move toward the style that seems most effective in dealing with the mixture of elements that make up their constituencies."

"All that we know about the interaction between leaders and constituents or followers tells us that communication and influence flow in both directions; and in that two-way communication, nonrational, nonverbal, and unconscious elements play their part."

"The ablest and most effective leaders do not hold to a single style; they may be highly supportive in personal relations when that is needed, yet capable of a quick, authoritative decision when the situation requires it."

"One generalization that is supported both by research and experience is that effective two-way communication is essential to proper functioning of the leader-follower relationship."

"Perhaps the most promising trend in our thinking about leadership is the growing conviction that the purposes of the group are best served when the leader helps followers develop their own initiative, strengthens them in the use of their own judgment, enables them to grow, and to become better contributors."

I told the doctor that when I build my fireplace I am going to have a sentence out of Frederic Remington’s Sundown Leflare graved on the mantel. Sundown and another mountain man cooked and ate their supper. "Then," says Remington, "they sat down with the greatest philosopher on earth — the fire."

J. Frank Dobie, professor of history at the University of Texas and a writer of Texas tales, was the second American invited to lecture under the newly founded professorship of American history at Cambridge University in England during World War II. From his book, A Texan in England, 1944

"I make it my business not to make people angry, not to laugh at them, but to seek to understand them."

Benedict Spinoza

Mortem ubi contemnas viceris omnes metus
When you can despise death, you have conquered all fears.

Publius Syrus

"To live well, to misbehave in style."

Alexandre Dumas


The Pine Tree Book of Quotations (1997)

  Part One
  Part Two
  Part Three
  Part Four
  Part Five
  Appendix (Quotations added since 1997)

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Last Modified: 8:20 AM on May 10, 2010