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Complacency is a feeling of contented self-satisfaction with the way things are, that prevents people from trying harder.
- The real evil, the fundamental cause of all the problems of the world today — the fact that two-thirds of the world live in absolute poverty, on less than a dollar a day, while others have not even that, and are dying in the millions — the root of all of that is our complacency. If we were not complacent we could not bear to live in a world in which these events were happening, these people were dying in the midst of plenty. We would not allow it to happen if we were not complacent. This is something which we need to remember... because this is the root of all the troubles in the world. It is a sign of our separateness. Complacency results from separation — the sense that we are separate and that by competition we become superior.
- The individual finds himself already with a stock of ideas. He decides to content himself with them and to consider himself intellectually complete. As he feels the lack of nothing outside himself, he settles down definitely amid his mental furniture. Such is the mechanism of self-obliteration.
- José Ortega y Gasset, The Revolt of the Masses, p. 69
- There's a huge dichotomy between people who grow up with alienation, which, for me, was invaluable, and people who grow up so completely privileged that it breeds this complacency and lack of desire to question or challenge or do anything significant.
- Glenn Greenwald, in Snowden and Greenwald: The Men Who Leaked the Secrets (6 December 2013)
- Success breeds complacency. Complacency breeds failure.
- Attributed to Andrew S. Grove in: William J. Baumol et al (2007) Good Capitalism, Bad Capitalism, and the Economics of Growth. p. 228
- The glitz and propaganda, the ridiculous obsessions imparted by our electronic hallucinations, and the spectacles that pass for political participation mask the deadly ecological assault by the corporate state. The worse it gets, the more we retreat into self-delusion. We convince ourselves that global warming does not exist. Or we concede that it exists but insist that we can adapt. Both responses satisfy our mania for eternal optimism and our reckless pursuit of personal comfort. In America, when reality is distasteful we ignore it. But reality will soon descend like the Furies to shatter our complacency and finally our lives. We, as a species, may be doomed... a bitter, bitter fact for a father to digest.
- The complacent, the self-indulgent, the soft societies are about to be swept away with the debris of history. Only the strong, only the industrious, only the determined, only the courageous, only the visionary who determine the real nature of our struggle can possibly survive.
- John F. Kennedy in his Address to the American Society of Newspaper Editors in Washington, D.C. (April 20, 1961)
- Complacency or self-congratulation can imperil our security as much as the weapons of tyranny. A moment of pause is not a promise of peace.
- John F. Kennedy in his Annual Message to the Congress on the State of the Union (14 January 1963)
- Human progress is neither automatic nor inevitable....Without persistent effort, time itself becomes an ally of the insurgent and primitive forces of irrational emotionalism and social destruction. This is no time for apathy or complacency. This is a time for vigorous and positive action.
- It is a sad fact that, because of comfort, complacency, a morbid fear of communism, and our proneness to adjust to injustice, the Western nations that initiated so much of the revolutionary spirit of the modern world have now become the arch anti-revolutionaries.
- Despite the advances we have made in our 12 years of freedom, we must also recognise the reality that we still have a long way to go... We should never allow ourselves the dangerous luxury of complacency, believing that we are immune to the conflicts that we see and have seen in so many parts of the world.
- What is the greatest thing you can experience? It is the hour of your greatest contempt. The hour in which even your happiness becomes loathsome to you, and so also your reason and virtue. The hour when you say: 'What good is my happiness? It is poverty and filth and miserable self-complacency. But my happiness should justify existence itself!' The hour when you say: 'What good is my reason? Does it long for knowledge as the lion for his prey? It is poverty and filth and miserable self-complacency!' The hour when you say: 'What good is my virtue? It has not yet driven me mad! How weary I am of my good and my evil! It is all poverty and filth and miserable self-complacency!'...
- Complacency on Climate Change Is Killing Us. Panic may be the best and most logical reaction.
- Psychology Today, Complacency on Climate Change Is Killing Us, Patricia Prijatel (16 February 2019)
- The unsuspecting fish, who knew nothing but a life in the river, went about its routine like any other day, but in an instant was ripped out of its reality to meet with death. Like that fish, we routinely live our lives hardly aware that, at the least expected moment, the yellow-eyed hawk of fate in the form of crises, tragedy or even death, may wrench us out of our comfortable environment. We regularly hear of it in the news or see it around us but rarely take seriously that it could happen to us. Perhaps the lesson here is to guard against complacency and give a higher priority to our spiritual needs. If the fish swam deeper, the hawk would not be able to reach it. Similarly, if we go deeper into our connection to God, we will find an inner reality so deep and satisfying that it lifts the consciousness to a place where we could deal with the effects of unforeseeable fate with a stable, detached mind.
- Radhanath Swami in The Journey Home: Autobiography of an American Swami (Tulsi Books, 2010)
- WikiLeaks’ disclosures have shaken mainstream journalists out of complacency and reminded the media and the public to be skeptical of official and corporate secrecy.
- Socrates was motivated by a desire to combat what he viewed as forces creeping against morality. Socrates was disturbed by what he perceived to be the moral complacency of the Athenian citizens; he watched with concern as they lived their lives in a selfish, unreflective haze, focusing on gaining and increasing their own power and using the theories of the Sophists to justify their attitude. His solution was to act as a “gadfly,” stinging his fellow citizens into moral self-examination... The unexamined life, he declared, was not worth living, and so he would force everyone he encountered to reflect on their lives, their beliefs, and their motivations.
- Sparknotes The Republic by Plato Summary by Sparknotes
- Complacency is the deadly enemy of spiritual progress. The contented soul is the stagnant soul.
- A. W. Tozer, The Size of the Soul, p. 22