Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world’s ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all.
Category Archive: John W. Gardner
One of the reasons people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure.
Leaders come in many forms, with many styles and diverse qualities. There are quiet leaders and leaders one can hear in the next county. Some find strength in eloquence, some in judgment, some in courage.
The creative individual has the capacity to free himself from the web of social pressures in which the rest of us are caught. He is capable of questioning the assumptions that the rest of us accept.
Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them.
If you don’t give your kid freedom to make choices with money, including stupid choices, he’ll make plenty when he gets to college.
Whoever I am, or whatever I am doing, some kind of excellence is within my reach.
History never looks like history when you are living through it.
The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.
Men of integrity, by their very existence, rekindle the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor. We need that belief; a cynical community is a corrupt community.