December 13

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Quotes of the day from previous years:

How lovely to think that no one need wait a moment, we can start now, start slowly changing the world! How lovely that everyone, great and small, can make their contribution toward introducing justice straightaway... And you can always, always give something, even if it is only kindness! ~ Anne Frank
The maple tree that night
Without a wind or rain
Let go its leaves
Because its time had come.

~ Eugene McCarthy (recent death)
We may have different religions, different languages, different colored skin, but we all belong to one human race. ~ Kofi Annan, elected Secretary General of the United Nations on this date, in 1996.
Where they burn books, they will also burn people. ~ Heinrich Heine (born 13 December 1797)
Mark this well, you proud men of action: You are nothing but the unwitting agents of the men of thought who often, in quiet self-effacement, mark out most exactly all your doings in advance. ~ Heinrich Heine
Pedantry and mastery are opposite attitudes toward rules. To apply a rule to the letter, rigidly, unquestioningly, in cases where it fits and in cases where it does not fit, is pedantry... To apply a rule with natural ease, with judgment, noticing the cases where it fits, and without ever letting the words of the rule obscure the purpose of the action or the opportunities of the situation, is mastery. ~ George Pólya (date of birth)
The best of ideas is hurt by uncritical acceptance and thrives on critical examination. ~ George Pólya (date of birth)
Life's an awfully lonesome affair. You can live close against other people yet your lives never touch. You come into the world alone and you go out of the world alone yet it seems to me you are more alone while living than even coming and going. ~ Emily Carr
If our animosities are born out of fear, then confident generosity is born out of hope. One of the central lessons I have learned after a half century of working in the developing world is that the replacement of fear by hope is probably the single most powerful trampoline of progress.
~ Aga Khan IV ~
When words leave off, music begins.
~ Heinrich Heine ~
A higher power than man power guided and watched over me and told me what to do. … There can be no doubt in the world of the fact of the divine power being in that. No other power under heaven could bring a man out of a place like that. Men were killed on both sides of me; and I was the biggest and the most exposed of all. Over thirty machine guns were maintaining rapid fire at me, point-blank from a range of about twenty-five yards.
~ Alvin C. York ~

You, the sought for; I, the seeker; this, the search:
And each is the mission of all.

For greatness is only the drayhorse that coaxes
The built cart out; and where we go is reason.
But genius is an enormous littleness, a trickling
Of heart that covers alike the hare and the hunter.

~ Kenneth Patchen ~
There are those... who enter the world in such poverty that they are deprived of both the means and the motivation to improve their lot. Unless these unfortunates can be touched with the spark which ignites the spirit of individual enterprise and determination, they will only sink back into renewed apathy, degradation and despair. It is for us, who are more fortunate, to provide that spark.
~ Aga Khan IV ~
The ability to make judgements that are grounded in solid information, and employ careful analysis, should be one of the most important goals for any educational endeavor. As students develop this capability, they can begin to grapple with the most important and difficult step: to learn to place such judgements in an ethical framework. For all these reasons, there is no better investment that individuals, parents and the nation can make than an investment in education of the highest possible quality. Such investments are reflected, and endure, in the formation of the kind of social conscience that our world so desperately needs.
~ Aga Khan IV ~
Tolerance, openness and understanding towards other peoples' cultures, social structures, values and faiths are now essential to the very survival of an interdependent world.
~ Aga Khan IV ~
I was sharpshooting. I don't think I missed a shot. It was no time to miss.
In order to sight me or to swing their machine guns on me, the Germans had to show their heads above the trench, and every time I saw a head I just touched it off. All the time I kept yelling at them to come down. I didn't want to kill any more than I had to. But it was they or I. And I was giving them the best I had.
~ Alvin C. York ~
The Muslim world, with its history and cultures, and indeed its different interpretations of Islam, is still little known in the West… The two worlds, Muslim and non-Muslim, Eastern and Western, must, as a matter of urgency, make a real effort to get to know one another, for I fear that what we have is not a clash of civilisations, but a clash of ignorance on both sides.
~ Aga Khan IV ~
We cannot make the world safe for democracy unless we also make the world safe for diversity.
~ Aga Khan IV ~
Pluralist societies are not accidents of history. They are a product of enlightened education and continuous investment by governments and all of civil society in recognizing and celebrating the diversity of the world’s peoples.
~ Aga Khan IV ~
If our animosities are born out of fear, then confident generosity is born out of hope. One of the central lessons I have learned after a half century of working in the developing world is that the replacement of fear by hope is probably the single most powerful trampoline of progress.
~ Aga Khan IV ~
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3 : Very Good – strong desire to see it used.
2 : Good – some desire to see it used.
1 : Acceptable – but with no particular desire to see it used.
0 : Not acceptable – not appropriate for use as a quote of the day.
An averaging of the rankings provided to each suggestion produces it’s general ranking in considerations for selection of Quote of the Day. The selections made are usually chosen from the top ranked options existing on the page, but the provision of highly ranked late additions, especially in regard to special events (most commonly in regard to the deaths of famous people, or other major social or physical occurrences), always remain an option for final selections.
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As long as the differences and diversities of mankind exist, democracy must allow for compromise, for accommodation, and for the recognition of differences. ~ Eugene McCarthy (recent death)

  • 2 Kalki 00:11, 12 December 2007 (UTC) 3 Kalki 23:58, 12 December 2005 (UTC) link to date no longer strong.
  • 2 InvisibleSun 21:52, 12 December 2006 (UTC)
  • 3 Zarbon 16:18, 26 April 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 AdamKadmon 00:45, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

They that won't be counselled, can't be helped. ~ Benjamin Franklin

Have you wondered why all the windows in heaven were
Have you seen the homeless in the grave of God's
Do you want to acquaint the larks with the fatuous
music of war?
~ Kenneth Patchen

The animal I wanted
Couldn't get into the world...
I can hear it crying
When I sit like this away from life.
~ Kenneth Patchen

O my love there are larks in our morning
And the finding flame of your hands
And the moss on the bank of the river
And the butterflies
And the whirling-mad
~ Kenneth Patchen

A proper home can provide the bridge across that terrible gulf between poverty and a better future. ~ Aga Khan IV

  • 3 Zarbon 05:01, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 21:48, 10 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Ningauble 14:01, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Antiquary 19:59, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:29, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

One should forgive one's enemies, but not before they are hanged. ~ Heinrich Heine

  • 3 for a living enemy is more deadly than one that is gone. Zarbon 05:01, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Kalki 21:48, 10 December 2008 (UTC) Might give this a 2 or even a 3 eventually, though I don't actually agree with it, in the normal interpretations of the words used.
  • 1 Ningauble 14:01, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 Antiquary 19:59, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 1 InvisibleSun 23:29, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 3 AdamKadmon 00:45, 27 November 2010 (UTC)

At first I was almost about to despair, I thought I never could bear it — but I did I bear it. The question remains: how? ~ Heinrich Heine

  • 4 because after the initial act, one may be stunned as to how they lived through it. Whatever "it" is characterized by, I assume any difficult and strenuous task may be applied into the equation. Zarbon 05:05, 10 November 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Kalki 21:48, 10 December 2008 (UTC) I might rank this higher in the future.
  • 1 Ningauble 14:01, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Antiquary 19:59, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:29, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

He who will establish himself on a certain height must yield according to circumstances, like the weather-cock on a church-spire, which, though it be made of iron, would soon be broken by the storm-wind if it remained obstinately immovable, and did not understand the noble art of turning to every wind. ~ Heinrich Heine

  • 3 Kalki 21:48, 10 December 2008 (UTC) with a lean towards 4.
  • 1 Zarbon 15:34, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Ningauble 14:01, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Antiquary 19:59, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:29, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

What! Think you that my flashes show me
Only in lightnings to excel?
Believe me, friends, you do not know me,
For I can thunder quite as well.

~ Heinrich Heine ~

  • 3 Kalki 21:48, 10 December 2008 (UTC) with a very strong lean towards 4.
  • 2 Zarbon 15:34, 11 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Ningauble 14:01, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 Antiquary 19:59, 12 December 2008 (UTC)
  • 2 InvisibleSun 23:29, 12 December 2008 (UTC)

I noticed the bushes all around where I stood in my fight with the machine guns were all cut down. The bullets went over my head and on either side. But they never touched me.
~ Alvin C. York ~

Suddenly a German officer and five men jumped out of the trench and charged me with fixed bayonets. I changed to the old automatic and just touched them off too. I touched off the sixth man first, then the fifth, then the fourth, then the third and so on. I wanted them to keep coming.
I didn't want the rear ones to see me touching off the front ones.
~ Alvin C. York ~

God would never be cruel enough to create a cyclone as terrible as that Argonne battle. Only man would ever think of doing an awful thing like that. It looked like "the abomination of desolation" must look like. And all through the long night those big guns flashed and growled just like the lightning and the thunder when it storms in the mountains at home.
And, oh my, we had to pass the wounded. And some of them were on stretchers going back to the dressing stations, and some of them were lying around, moaning and twitching. And the dead were all along the road. And it was wet and cold. And it all made me think of the Bible and the story of the Anti-Christ and Armageddon.
And I'm telling you the little log cabin in Wolf Valley in old Tennessee seemed a long long way off.
~ Alvin C. York ~

Analogy pervades all our thinking, our everyday speech and our trivial conclusions as well as artistic ways of expression and the highest scientific achievements.
~ George Pólya ~

To write and speak correctly is certainly necessary; but it is not sufficient. A derivation correctly presented in the book or on the blackboard may be inaccessible and uninstructive, if the purpose of the successive steps is incomprehensible, if the reader or listener cannot understand how it was humanly possible to find such an argument.
~ George Pólya ~

The cookbook gives a detailed description of ingredients and procedures but no proofs for its prescriptions or reasons for its recipes; the proof of the pudding is in the eating. … Mathematics cannot be tested in exactly the same manner as a pudding; if all sorts of reasoning are debarred, a course of calculus may easily become an incoherent inventory of indigestible information.
~ George Pólya ~

Euclid's manner of exposition, progressing relentlessly from the data to the unknown and from the hypothesis to the conclusion, is perfect for checking the argument in detail but far from being perfect for making understandable the main line of the argument.
~ George Pólya ~

Conflict situations are driven by concepts of victory, power, and elimination of inherited culture, and not by the underlying values of civilization. There are many interpretations of Islam within the wider Islamic community, but generally we are instructed to leave the world a better place than it was when we came into it.
~ Aga Khan IV ~