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The economic anarchy of capitalist society as it exists today is, in my opinion, the real source of the evil. We see before us a huge community of producers the members of which are unceasingly striving to deprive each other of the fruits of their collective labor - not by force, but on the whole in faithful compliance with legally established rules. I am convinced there is only one way to eliminate these grave evils, namely through the establishment of a socialist economy, accompanied by an educational system which would be oriented toward social goals.


- Albert Einstein, The World As I See It (1949)

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“A human being should be able to change a diaper, plan an invasion, butcher a hog, conn a ship, design a building, write a sonnet, balance accounts, build a wall, set a bone, comfort the dying, take orders, give orders, cooperate, act alone, solve equations, analyze a new problem, pitch manure, program a computer, cook a tasty meal, fight efficiently, die gallantly. Specialization is for insects.”


― Robert A. Heinlein

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“Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.”

-Marianne Williamson, Author, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles"


The above quote was improperly attributed to many people, including Nelson Mandela, whose foundation admitted the quote should be attributed to Williamson.


My other favorite quote:

“To be nobody but yourself in a world which is doing its best, night and day, to make you everybody else - means to fight the hardest battle which any human being can fight; and never stop fighting.”

-E. E. Cummings, American poet


This is a beautifully structured quote and resonates with me very much. The last four words serve as a double entendre, perhaps even a verbally ironic one, because “and never stop fighting” can be interpreted as either a command from the author to never give up being yourself or as simply the ending to his definition of what it means to be yourself.


I see some irony in these last four words, because the tone of the quote is one of exhaustion, but his command is to keep fighting anyway. It is almost as if he feels exhausted by being himself. Life is hard enough as it is, but to be nobody but yourself, well, that's exhausting. And so when he commands the reader to "never stop fighting", well he is saying something a little contrary to what it means to be yourself because fighting back at life would also be exhausting. The irony is that he is telling us that the feelings that come with fighting back at life are worth the exhaustion of being yourself. Or perhaps irony is the wrong word. Perhaps that's the message of this quote!


Another thing I like about this quote is that the word "like"—ordinarily used for comparative purposes—is missing from this sentence where it is to be expected. When we speak, we would normally say, "to make you like everybody else", not "to make you everybody else".


The author is doing a few things here. First, he is emphasizing the exhausting force of the world attempting to make us march to the beat of its own drum. He is saying there is no need to compare you to everybody else by using the word "like", because you are either being yourself, or you are everybody else. But this is exactly what makes this part of the quote so powerful. Second, by NOT using the word "like", he is subtly telling us to join the fight to be ourselves, in rebellion against the world, because when you interpret the last four words of the quote as a command, he is telling us to never stop fighting at being yourself. The moment you give up, you are (like)everybody else. But if you fight, then there is is no need to use "like" in this sentence, because you are not "like" everybody else. He isn't using the word "like", so he is obviously fighting the fight, and leading us by example. 



There's a Japanese proverb that goes, "The nail that sticks out shall be hammered down" that pretty much sums up the world we live in and highlights the importance of such powerful quotes to be ourselves.


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