Words of widsom…about the world

In March I asked people to send me their favourite words of wisdom so I could make a book for my daughter. I received so many lovely words about all sorts of things. I’ve organised these words into themes. Over the next few weeks I’ll share these bit by bit. Perhaps some of these words will resonate, and be useful in some way during these times of great change.

On the world

“The world will tell you there are things you cannot be. You will speak up and you will be told to keep it down because it isn’t ladylike for a woman to be this loud, this daring, this outspoken. When this day comes, I hope you tell them, better yet, I hope you show them how you were born with enough fire inside you to set the whole sky in flames. When you do this, you’ll see how there’s nothing that scares them as much as a woman who is not afraid to use her voice. But listen, be that woman anyway, because if there’s one thing I never want to you to forget is that you can be anything you want to be.” F.E.Marie.


We live in a world in which we need to share responsibility. It’s easy to say “It’s not my child, not my community, not my world, not my problem.  Then there are those who see the need and respond. I consider those people my heroes.”  Ted Rogers.


“A society grows great when old men plant trees in whose shade they know they will never sit”. Updated for today or for a younger audience – do little things for others, and those little things will grow into stronger and happier communities.


“To be alive in this beautiful, self-organizing universe – to participate in the dance of life with senses to perceive it, lungs that breathe it, organs that draw nourishment from it – is a wonder beyond words.” Joanna Macy


“We thought of life by analogy with a journey, a pilgrimage, which had a serious purpose at the end, and the thing was to get to that end, success or whatever it is, maybe heaven after you’re dead. But we missed the point the whole way along. It was a musical thing and you were supposed to sing or to dance while the music was being played.”  Alan Watts


“from each according to ability; to each according to need” really changed the way I thought about the world when I was small. It’s often attributed to Karl Marx, but it’s a traditional saying that pre-dates him.  Marx added that we’d only be able to achieve it when “all the springs of co-operative wealth flow more abundantly”.


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