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Barbara Deming Quotes

Please enjoy these encouraging quotes by Barbara Deming.

There should be no censorship of mail.
- Barbara Deming

Punishment cannot heal spirits, can only break them.
- Barbara Deming

Vengeance is not the point; change is.
But the trouble is that in most people's minds the
thought of victory and the thought of punishing the enemy coincide.
- Barbara Deming

We believe, in fact, that the one act of respect has
little force unless matched by the other -
in balance with it...
The acting out of that dual respect I would name as
precisely the source of our power.
- Barbara Deming

 

After the revolution, let us hope, prisons simply would not exist -
if by prisons we mean places that could be experienced
by the men and women in them at all as every place
that goes by that name now is bound to be experienced.
- Barbara Deming

To resort to power one need not be violent,
and to speak to conscience one need not be meek.
The most effective action both resorts to power and engages conscience.
- Barbara Deming

The point is to change one's life.
The point is not to give some vent to the emotions
that have been destroying one;
the point is so to act that one can master them now.
- Barbara Deming

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- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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Of course it can be said of jails, too,
that they try - by punishing the troublesome -
to deter others.
No doubt, in certain instances this deterrence actually works.
But generally speaking it fails conspicuously.
- Barbara Deming

Think first of the action that is right to take,
think later about coping with one's fears.
- Barbara Deming

The injunction that we should love our neighbors as
ourselves means to us equally that we should love ourselves
as we love our neighbors.
- Barbara Deming

We learn best to listen to our own voices if we are
listening at the same time to other women -
whose stories,
for all our differences, turn out, if we listen well,
to be our stories also.
- Barbara Deming

I think the only choice that will enable us to hold to our vision...
is one that abandons the concept of naming enemies
and adopts a concept familiar to the nonviolent tradition:
naming behavior that is oppressive.
- Barbara Deming

Nonviolent action does not have to get others to be nice.
It can in effect force them to consult their consciences.
- Barbara Deming

The free man must be born before freedom can be won,
and the brotherly man must be born before full brotherhood can be won.
It will come into being only if we build it out of
our very muscle and bone -
by trying to act it out.
- Barbara Deming

Our task, of course, is to transmute the anger that
is affliction into the anger that is determination to bring about change.
I think, in fact, that one could give that as a definition of revolution.
- Barbara Deming

All prisons that have existed in our society to date
put people away as no human being should ever be put away.
- Barbara Deming

After the revolution, it might very well remain necessary
to place people where they could not do harm to others.
But the one under restraint should be cut off from
the rest of society as little as possible.
- Barbara Deming

Nonviolent tactics can move into action on our behalf
men not naturally inclined to act for us.
- Barbara Deming

This is the heart of my argument: We can put more pressure
on the antagonist for whom we show human concern.
- Barbara Deming

The longer we listen to one another -
with real attention -
the more commonality we will find in all our lives.
That is, if we are careful to exchange with one another
life stories and not simply opinions.
- Barbara Deming

People who attack others need rationalizations for doing so.
We undermine those rationalizations.
- Barbara Deming

Laugh when you can,
apologize when you should,
and let go of what you can't change.
Life's too short to be anything... but happy.
- Anonymous

The truth. It is a beautiful and terrible thing,
and should be treated with caution.
- J. K. Rowling

If the stars should appear
but one night every thousand years
how man would marvel and stare.
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

You should never be content with so little,
when you can reach out for something big.
- Charles L. Allen
(This quote is about making a big difference
in the world - not about greed)

Two things a man should never be angry at:
what he can help,
and what he cannot help.
- Thomas Fuller

If a man is called to be a street sweeper,
he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted,
or Beethoven composed music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry.
He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts
of heaven and earth will pause to say,
here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

You should not confuse your career with your life.
- Dave Barry

We may have our private opinions
but why should they be a bar to the meeting of hearts?
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

Since you get more joy out of giving joy to others,
you should put a good deal of thought
into the happiness that you are able to give.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Everyone should carefully observe
which way his heart draws him,
and then choose that way with all his strength.
- Hasidic Proverb

Don't seek God in temples.
He is close to you.
He is within you.
Only you should surrender to Him
and you will rise above happiness and unhappiness.
- Leo Tolstoy

To sin by silence when they should protest makes cowards of men.
- Abraham Lincoln

Life is a great big canvas,
and you should throw all the paint you can on it.
- Danny Kaye

Failure does not exist.
Failure is simply someone else's opinion of how
a certain act should have been completed.
Once you believe that no act must be performed
in any specific other-directed way,
then failing becomes impossible.
- Wayne Dyer

Instead of comparing our lot with that
of those who are more fortunate than we are,
we should compare it with the lot
of the great majority of our fellow men.
It then appears that we are among the privileged.
- Helen Keller

There is NOTHING that I "must",
"have to", or "should" do today.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

The value of a man should be seen in what he gives
and not in what he is able to receive.
- Albert Einstein

The best remedy for those who are afraid, lonely or unhappy
is to go outside, somewhere where they can be quiet,
alone with the heavens, nature and God.
Because only then does one feel that all is as it should be.
- Anne Frank

Knowledge of what is, does not open
the door directly to what should be.
- Albert Einstein

You either do it completely and utterly,
or you should stop doing it.
- Bono (paraphrase)

Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed,
and in such desperate enterprises?
If a man does not keep pace with his companions,
perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer.
- Henry David Thoreau

NO ONE has been granted the authority to tell me
how my life should be lived.
I answer only to myself and to Spirit.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

Whatever words we utter should be chosen with care
for people will hear them and be influenced
by them for good or ill.
- The Buddha

People should think things out fresh
and not just accept conventional terms
and the conventional way of doing things.
- R. Buckminster Fuller

The physician can bury his mistakes,
but the architect can only advise his client to plant vines -
so they should go as far as possible from home
to build their first buildings.
- Frank Lloyd Wright

However beautiful the strategy,
you should occasionally look at the results.
- Winston Churchill

No statement should be believed because it is made by an authority.
- Robert A. Heinlein

Whatever your life's work is, do it well.
A man should do his job so well that the living,
the dead, and the unborn could do it no better.
- Martin Luther King, Jr.

Could we change our attitude,
we should not only see life differently,
but life itself would be different.
- Katherine Mansfield

Books and friends should be few but good.
- Anonymous

Neither should a ship rely on one small anchor,
nor should life rest on a single hope.
- Epictetus

Each contact with a human being is so rare, so precious,
one should preserve it.
- Anais Nin

Old age has deformities enough of its own.
It should never add to them the deformity of vice.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

I surrender to life as it is, not as it should be.
- Richard Carlson

There is nothing that wastes the body like worry,
and one who has any faith in God
should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

Religion is the masterpiece of the art of animal training,
for it trains people as to how they should think.
- Arthur Schopenhauer

If you have built castles in the air,
your work need not be lost;
that is where they should be.
Now put foundations under them.
- Henry David Thoreau

The person who says it cannot be done
should not interrupt the person who is doing it.
- Chinese proverb

If there is anything that we wish to change in the child,
we should first examine it and see whether it is
not something that could better be changed in ourselves.
- Carl Jung

One who has any faith in God
should be ashamed to worry about anything whatsoever.
- Mohandas (Mahatma) Gandhi

I think, at a child's birth,
if a mother could ask a fairy godmother
to endow it with the most useful gift,
that gift should be curiosity.
- Eleanor Roosevelt

Every man should have a fair-sized cemetery
in which to bury the faults of his friends.
- Henry Brooks Adams

A benevolent man should allow a few faults in himself,
to keep his friends in countenance.
- Benjamin Franklin

Our prayers should be for blessings in general,
for God knows best what is good for us.
- Socrates

We should take care not to make the intellect our god;
it has, of course, powerful muscles, but no personality.
- Albert Einstein

If a man is proud of his wealth,
he should not be praised until it is known how he employs it.
- Socrates

In order to succeed, your desire for success should
be greater than your fear of failure.
- Bill Cosby

Christian voters should start looking
at global warming and extreme poverty
as religious issues that speak to the culture of life.
- Al Franken

Sex education may be a good idea in the schools,
but I don't believe the kids should be given homework.
- Bill Cosby

A man should look for what is,
and not for what he thinks should be.
- Albert Einstein


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May the world be kind to you,
and may your own thoughts be gentle upon yourself.
- Jonathan Lockwood Huie

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