Here I offer a variety of quotations, most of them I have not pulled from any of the books for which I have extracted notes. That is, these are different from the compilations I've created. Rather they have predominantly arrived in email notes or somehow fallen into my view. Some do come from the books and you can get to the book from the 'saying.'

  1. Chaos / Complexity / Scenario Planning
  2. Consulting / Coaching
  3. Culture / Change
  4. Information / Computers / Software / Design
  5. Leadership / Followership
  6. Learning / Education / Knowledge / Teaching
  7. Organizations / Organizational Development
  8. Philosophy / Thinking / Systems Thinking / Problem Solving
  9. Psychology / Creativity

Chaos / Complexity / Scenario Planning
If a rock falls on an egg,
too bad,
too bad for the egg.
But if an egg falls on a rock,
too bad for the egg.
Children's song heard on MPR

One requirement for innovation is faith that there will be a future. Innovation, the foundation of the future, can not thrive unless the top management have declared unshakable commitment to quality and productivity. Until this policy can be enthroned as an institution, middle management and everyone else in the company will be skeptical about the effectiveness of their best efforts.
W. Edwards Deming in Out of the Crisis

[There is] often a willingness to leave untouched the most important issues in order to deal objectively with those that can be adequately quantified.
T. M. Porter in
Trust in Numbers: The Pursuit of Objectivity in Science and Public Life

The definition of ‘system’ given by Gibbs as ‘any portion of the material universe which we choose to separate in thought from the rest of the universe for the purpose of considering and discussing the various changes which may occur within it under various conditions’ is superior to any that I know of. I would only propose to qualify it by omitting the word ‘material’ from the statement because we cannot be sure what that word includes or excludes.
J. N. Warfield, p xxx-xxxi
A Science of Generic Design
Managing Complexity Through Systems Design

The future has arrived; it's just not evenly distributed yet.
William Gibson

In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable.
Dwight D. Eisenhower

Consulting / Coaching
Love is helping others to complete themselves.
Bill O’Brien in The Dance of Change

For collaboration to work, we must have the stakeholders agree
+ That there is a problem/issue.
+ To work together on the problem/issue.
+ How to work together on the problem/issue.
+ On the definition of the problem/issue.
+ On the solution(s) to the problem/issue.
+ On the implementation and action steps for the solution to the problem/issue.
Chrislip and Larson in Collaborative Leadership

Things on the whole don’t work as they are supposed to.
D. T. H. Weir

Make no little plans; they have no magic to stir men’s blood.
Daniel Burnham

Culture / Change
Quality is the best business plan of all.
John Lasseter

There is no power equal to a community discovering what it cares about. …
Somewhere in the description of how it all began is the phrase:  ‘Some friends and I started talking …’
Meg Wheatley

Not only is everything changing, but everything exists in relationship to something else that is changing.
Robert Kriegel and Louis Patler
in If It Ain’t Broke …  Break It!

A new scientific truth does not triumph by convincing its opponents and making them see the light, but rather because its opponents eventually die, and a new generation grows up that is familiar with it.
Max Planck


… the traditional greeting that passes between Masai warriors: "Kasserian Ingera,"one always says to another. It means, "How are the children?" … Even warriors with no children of their own always give the traditional answer:  “Sapati Ingera” -  "All the children are well," meaning, of course, that peace and safety prevail …

I am only one,
but still I am one.
I cannot do everything,
but still I can do something;
And because I cannot do everything
I will not refuse to do the something that I can do.
            Edward Everett Hale

It is the fate of new truths to begin as heresies and end as superstitions.
Thomas Huxley

For he who freely magnifies what hath been nobly done, and fears not to declare as freely what might be done better, gives ye the best covenant of his fidelity; and that his loyalest affection and his hope waits on your proceedings.
Areopagitica by John Milton (1644)

Shared meaning is the residue of successful communication. 
Alan Klein

Men often oppose a thing merely because they have had no agency in planning it, or because it may have been planned by those whom they dislike.
Alexander Hamilton

The fact is that society is always changing, but the rate of change has been accelerating all through history for a variety of reasons. One, the change is cumulative. The very changes you make now make it easier to make further changes. . . . As time goes on, and the rate of change still continues to accelerate, it becomes more and more important to adjust what you do today to the fact of change in the future. It’s ridiculous to make your plans now on the assumption that things will continue as they are now.
Isaac Asimov

Things are getting better and better and worse and worse faster and faster.
Tom Atlee

Firms can be interpreted as systems of [balancing loops], designed to maintain favorable conditions for one dominant [reinforcing loop] based on its Business Idea, which creates the growth of the enterprise.
Kees van der Heijden in Scenarios - The Art of Strategic Conversation

The bottom line on change failure is simply that these projects deal with doing something differently. The only way to make bedrock, large-scale change in an organization is to teach it how to be different. Doing focuses on the processes. Being focuses on context. This is a seminal difference. It is a different not of magnitude but of essence. Rather than trying hard to change more processes, the idea is to change what is to what must be.
Jac Fitz-Enz in The ROI of Human Capital

It must be realized that there is nothing more difficult to plan, more uncertain of success, or more dangerous to manage than the establishment of a new order of government; for he who introduces it makes enemies of all those who derived advantage from the old order and finds but lukewarm defenders among those who stand to gain from the new one.
Machiavelli in The Prince

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead in The Wagon and the Star

Community exists when people who are interdependent struggle with/for the traditions that bind them and the interests that separate them in order to realize a future that is an improvement on the present.
Frances Lappé and Paul Dubois
quoted by Isabel Lopez at the Greenleaf Conference, 1997.

[Quoting W. H. Murray in The Scottish Himalayan Expedition.] The last two lines are often attributed to Goethe, the German poet, philosopher, and scientist, one of the greatest spirits of the past few centuries.
Until one is committed there is always hesitancy, the chance to draw back, always ineffectiveness. Concerning all acts of initiative and creation there is one elementary truth the ignorance of which kills countless ideas and splendid plans. The moment one commits oneself, then providence moves too. Multitudes of things occur to help that which otherwise could never occur. A stream of events issues from the decision, raising to one’s favor all manner of unforeseen accidents, meetings, and material assistance which no one could have dreamed would come their way:
‘Whatever you can do or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it.’ (p 308)
Dee Hock in The Birth of the Chaordic Age

The range of what we think and do is limited by what we fail to notice. And because we fail to notice that we fail to notice, there is little we can do to change; until we notice how failing to notice shapes our thoughts and deeds.
R. D. Laing

The Band-Aid is an inexpensive, convenient, and remarkably versatile solution to an astonishing array of problems. In their history, Band-Aids have probably allowed millions of people to keep working or playing tennis or cooking or walking when they would otherwise have had to stop. The Band-Aid solution is actually the best kind of solution because it involves solving a problem with the minimum amount of effort and time and cost. We have, of course, an instinctive disdain for this kind of solution because there is something in all of us that feels that true answers to problems have to be comprehensive, that there is virtue in the dogged and indiscriminate application of effort, that slow and steady should win the race.
Malcolm Gladwell in The Tipping Point

Information / Computers / Software / Design
I will contend that conceptual integrity is the most important consideration in system design. It is better to have a system omit certain anomalous features and improvements, but to reflect one set of design ideas, than to have one that contains many good but independent and uncoordinated ideas.
F. P. Brooks, The Mythical Man-Month

Great designs come from great designers. Software construction is a creative process. Sound methodology can empower and liberate the creative mind; it cannot enflame or inspire the drudge.
F. P. Brooks in The Mythical Man-Month

Leadership / Followership
Leadership exists when people are no longer victims of circumstances but participate in creating new circumstances. 
Joe Jaworski

Listening is not the same as waiting for the other person to finish speaking.
Kevin Cashman

Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.

When you’re screwing up, and nobody is saying anything to you anymore, that means they’ve given up.
Randy Pausch

It is not our abilities that show what we truly are, it is our choices.
Albus Dumbledore

The first and last task of a leader is to keep hope alive.
John Gardner

The excellence of the whole depends disproportionately on the energy and commitment of those few who, in all walks of life, want to change society for the better. 
Csikzentmihalyi and Nakamura

Forgiveness means letting go of the hope for a better past.
Marshall Goldsmith

Leaders of character build organizations of character.

Leader and followers are both following the invisible leader – the common purpose.
Mary Parker Follet

I had been asked what I would teach in a course on followership that I would not teach in a course on leadership. Once when I proposed this question to seminar participants, an undergraduate student, Scott Marquardt, present the insight that ‘followers choose their leaders, leaders do not choose their followers.’ He would teach the ‘discipline of choosing.’ Perhaps convening an institute of followership is the right idea. Imagine a movement of followers demanding, requiring, and expecting authentic action leadership. Instead of witnessing leadership heroics, we could experience the wonderful paradox of followers leading.
Robert Terry in Authentic Leadership

Making good judgments and acting wisely when one has complete data, facts, and knowledge is not leadership. It’s not even management. It’s bookkeeping. Leadership is the ability to make wise decisions, and act responsibly upon them when one has little more than a clear sense of direction and proper values; that is, a perception of how things ought to be, understanding of how they are, and some indication of the prevalent forces driving change.
Dee Hock in The Birth of the Chaordic Age

Leadership is an army you have to enlist in. You can't get drafted into leadership -- you can get drafted into management.
Rayona Sharpnack
founder and president, the Institute for Women's Leadership

The decision as to whether an order has authority or not lies with the persons to whom it is addressed, and does not reside in 'persons of authority' or those who issue these order.
Chester Barnard, 1938, The Functions of the Executive, p163

Being present means being in touch with myself and what I am truly feeling as well as what I am thinking. It also means being in touch with others and what they are feeling as well as what they are thinking. It means integrating our visions, values, and learning so completely that we can trust our ability to handle whatever presents itself.
Kay Gilley in Leading from the Heart

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll;
I am the master of my fate,
I am the captain of my soul.
W. E. Henley Invictus

The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.
Edmund Burke

"Vertraun ist gut, Kontrol noch besser" - trust is good, but control is much better.
Vladimir Ilych Lenin

This business of trusting or not trusting Tops is truly a phony issue. It’s as if the issue is about their trustworthiness. But the issue of system membership is not about ‘Them’, it is about ‘Us’. How trustworthy are we as members and citizens? Are we, even as lowly members, willing to accept our roles as co-creators of our systems? . . .
civics n: the study of government and of the rights and duties of citizens
The rights and duties of citizens: Now there’s an interesting idea!
Seeing Systems by Barry Oshry p 74 - 75

It is not failure to fall short of realizing all that we might dream. The failure is to fall short of dreaming all that we might realize.
Dee Hock in The Birth of the Chaordic Age

There are periods when the principles of experience need to be modified, when hope and trust and instinct claim a share with prudence in the guidance of affairs, when, in truth, to dare, is the highest wisdom.
Wm E Channing in The Union

To achieve greatness,
start where you are,
use what you have,
do what you can.
Arthur Ashe

Those men and women to whom we delegate authority and responsibility, if they are good people, are going to want to do their jobs in their own way ...
Mistakes will be made, but if a person is essentially right, the mistakes he or she makes are not as serious in the long run as the mistakes management will make if it is dictatorial and undertakes to tell those under its authority exactly how they must do their job.
Management that is destructively critical when mistakes are made kills initiative, and it is essential that we have people with initiative if we are to continue to grow.
from his "Philosophy of Management," a paper presented in 1941
by William L. McKnight, former President, 3M

Johnsonville Foods changed its management style to allow the people who do the work to make decisions relating to their own jobs,’ according to Linda Honold writing for Training magazine. ‘One of the keys to this transformation was changing the focus on the company from using people to build the business to using the business to build great people.’
George Pór in Community Building Edited by Kazimierz Gozdz

I have confidence that, after a bit of confusion, a new business ethic will emerge. And the best I can do at this point is to speculate on what that ethic might be. . . . Looking at two major elements, the work and the person, the new ethic, simply but quite completely stated, will be: the work exists for the person as much as the person exists for the work. Put another way, the business exists as much to provide meaningful work to the person as it exists to provide a product or service to the customer. . . . When the business manager who is fully committed to this ethic is asked, ‘What are you in business for?’ the answer may be: ‘I am in the business of growing people – people who are stronger, healthier, more autonomous, more self-reliant, more competent. Incidentally, we also make and sell at a profit things that people want to buy so we can pay for all this. We play that game hard and well and we are successful by the usual standards, but that is really incidental.’
Robert K. Greenleaf in Servant Leadership

Every friend in power is a friend lost. (p 248)
Henry Adams in The Education of Henry Adams

…every generation in turn [toils] with endless agony to attain and apply power, all the while betraying the deepest alarm and horror at the power they [create]. (p 497)
Henry Adams in The Education of Henry Adams

A prince who employs [mercenaries] will stave off ruin only so long as he can stave off action. … The reason for all this is that they have no tie of devotion, no motive for taking the field except their meager pay, and this is not enough to make them willing to die for him.
Machiavelli in The Prince

It’s not what the vision is, it’s what the vision does.
Robert Fritz in Creating

The best leader is the one who has sense enough to pick good people to do what needs to be done, and self-restraint enough to keep from meddling with them while they do it.
Theodore Roosevelt

What then is the fundamental challenge for leadership? Engage in metaphorical analyses from many points of view. Test boundaries. Become a complex learner in a complex learning organization in a complex learning society.
Robert Terry in Authentic Leadership

Learning / Education / Knowledge / Teaching
Learning can be defined as increasing one's capacity to take effective action.
Daniel Kim
in The Link Between Individual and Organizational Learning

What do you do when you don’t know what to do?
Art Costa (via Bill Sommers)

Feedback is the breakfast of champions.
Ken Blanchard

If history were taught in the form of stories, it would never be forgotten.
Rudyard Kipling

The purpose of Newspeak was … to make all other modes of thought impossible. It was intended that when Newspeak had been adopted once and for all and Oldspeak forgotten, a heretical thought … should be literally unthinkable, at least so far as thought is dependent on words. … To give a single example, the word free still existed in Newspeak, but it could only be used in such statements as ‘This dog is free from lice’ or ‘This field is free from weeds’. It could not be used in its old sense of ‘politically free’ or ‘intellectually free’ since political and intellectual freedom no longer existed even as concepts, and were therefore of necessity nameless. … Newspeak was designed not to extend but to diminish the range of thought …
George Orwell
in the The Principles of Newspeak, the Appendix to 1984

If you didn’t need human interaction and someone to answer your questions, then the library would never have evolved into the university. … content is just the first step.
David Wiley

Anyone who has no desire to learn should have no involvement in the learning of others.
Russell Ackoff

In the end, the learners will inherit the earth and the knowers will find themselves beautifully equipped for a world that no longer exists.
Eric Hoffer

You are entitled to your opinion.  But you are not entitled to your own facts.
Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan

We bring forth our worlds through the networks of conversation within which we participate.
Humberto Maturana

There are some ideas so wrong that only a very intelligent person could believe in them.
George Orwell

Life is the only real counselor; wisdom unfiltered through personal experience does not become a part of the moral tissue.
Edith Wharton

It is thinking that makes what we read ours.
John Locke

Definitions, questions, metaphors – these are three of the most potent elements with which human language constructs a worldview.  And in urging, as I do, that the study of these elements be given the highest priority in school, I am suggesting that world making through language is a narrative of power, durability, and inspiration.
The End of Education by Neil Postman

To the extent that you are a generalist, in most cases, you are unfortunately an amateur. To the extent that you are an amateur, your product may suffer from inferior quality. To the extent that you can tolerate inferior quality, being a generalist is more fun.
M. B. Ayers

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.
Soren Kierkegaard

It is not sufficient to know the right answers. One must also know the questions that produced them.
The End of Education by Neil Postman

The chief wonder of education is that it does not ruin everybody concerned in it, teachers and taught.
Henry Adams in The Education of Henry Adams

Facts do not speak for themselves, for if they did, humans would find it easy to agree. Meanings, implications, significances, and portents are wrested from the flow of events, wrested by men and women who have a felt stake in how things are unfolding.
Peter B. Vaill in Learning as a Way of Being

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
Aldous Huxley, A Note on Dogma

A person who does not read has no advantage of the person who cannot read.
Mark Twain

It is not the facts which guide the conduct of men, but their opinions about facts; which may be entirely wrong.  We can only make them right by discussion.
Sir Norman Angell

The mind is like the stomach. It's not how much you put into it, but how much it digests.
Albert Jay Nock, Philosopher

Muddling through is a euphemism for failing to plan forward. It means acting tactically and without a strategy; it means confusing the means with the end. ... If we continue to avoid facing the facts ... the epitaph on the grave of our democracy will be 'They sacrificed the long-term for the short-term, and the long-term finally arrived.'
Sir James Goldsmith

No man, however strong, can serve ten years as schoolmaster, priest, or senator and remain fit for anything else. (p 102)
Henry Adams in The Education of Henry Adams

If you want one year of prosperity, grow grain. If you want ten years of prosperity, grow trees. If you want one hundred years of prosperity grow people.
Chinese Proverb

Freedom of the mind requires not only, or not even especially, the absence of legal constraints but the presence of alternative thoughts. The most successful tyranny is not the one that uses force to assure uniformity but the one that removes the awareness of other possibilities, that makes it seem inconceivable that other ways are viable, that removes the sense that there is an outside. (p 249)
The Closing of the American Mind by Allan Bloom

Unless wariness be used, as good almost kill a man as kill a good book: who kills a man kills a reasonable creature, God’s image; but he who destroys a good book, kills reason itself, kills the image of God, as it were, in the eye. Many a man lives a burden to the earth; but a good book is the precious life-blood of a master spirit, embalmed and treasured up on purpose to a life beyond life.
Areopagitica by John Milton (1644)

4.116  Everything that can be thought at all can be thought clearly.
Everything that can be put into words can be put clearly.
L Wittgenstein, Tractatus Logico-Philosophicus

The human mind, once stretched by a new idea, never regains its original dimensions.
Oliver Wendell Homes

Questions, we might say, are the principal intellectual instruments available to human beings. Then how is it possible that no more than one in one hundred students has ever been exposed to an extended and systematic study of the art and science of question-asking? How come Alan Bloom didn’t mention this, or E. D. Hirsch, Jr., or so many others who have written books on how to improve our schools? Did they simply fail to notice that the principal intellectual instrument available to human beings is not examined in school?
Neil Postman in
The End of Education: Redefining the Value of School

It will be a sad day for man when nobody is allowed to ask questions that do not have any answers.
Beyond Economics by Kenneth E. Boulding

Books are not made to be believed, but to be subjected to inquiry. When we consider a book, we mustn’t ask ourselves what it says but what it means ….
from Umberto Eco’s novel The Name of the Rose,
and the voice of Brother William of Baskerville

Ordinarily we think of competence as a linear ‘good’ – out to infinity. Not so! A critical disability that goes with expanding competence is the inability (or unwillingness) to examine the assumptions by which one operates.
Robert K. Greenleaf in Servant Leadership

If it be true that a wise man, like a good refiner, can gather gold out of the drossiest volume, and that a fool will be a fool with the best book, yea or without the book, there is no reason that we should deprive a wise man of any advantage to his wisdom, while we seek to restrain from a fool that which being restrained will be no hindrance to his folly.
Areopagitica by John Milton (1644)

A teacher affects eternity; he can never tell where his influence stops. (p 300)
Henry Adams in The Education of Henry Adams

Asking dumb questions is easier than correcting dumb mistakes
Launegayer’s Observation

[Overestimation of the intelligence of the people] sometimes may be wrong, but not as wrong as to proceed from an underestimation of their intelligence. By now our educational, informational, and entertainment bureaucracies proceed from a fairly cynical underestimation of the intelligence of the common people. . . .
The evidence is all around us. The reason for this cynicism is not some kind of conspiracy or evil. It is laziness. The bureaucratic mind is lazy. It thinks in categories. It wants to follow definitions. It seeks the easy way out. Some people think that large numbers of us are just too stupid to think. But the problem in a modern mass society, and perhaps a problem since Adam and Eve, is not the inability to think. It's the unwillingness to think. Most people are unwilling to think about certain things, they're unwilling to exercise their minds, and they're unwilling to ask questions. . . .
In forty-one years of teaching in this country, I may have taught about six thousand students. I don't think that among these six thousand I have ever met more than one tenth of one percent who were really stupid. But I have met many who wanted to be stupid, that is, who did not want to study, who were lazy. This was a question of their will, not of how their minds were wired. Obviously there were some people who found it easier to memorize, learn, and connect than others. But that was a very small fraction. There were many more students who really wanted the easy way out. They could have gotten B's or A's if they had studied, but they didn't want to. . . . There is such a thing in this world as willful ignorance.
John Lukacs

During an inquisition only one person asks the questions, but during an enquiry all the people who want to participate ask questions. An inquisition is used to justify a preconceived judgment, but an enquiry is used to prevent preconceived judgments. Answers given during an inquisition means nothing except to signify the justification, but answers during an enquiry form the basis for new questions.
At de Lange <>

Where there is much desire to learn, there of necessity will be much arguing, much writing, much opinions; for opinion in good men is but knowledge in the making.
Areopagitica by John Milton (1644)

You can't judge a book by its cover . . . And some people can't even judge it by its contents.
Dick Cavett

What must be said is that most students in our society do not have minds well enough trained to think. A central pedagogical task is to tell students that their problem is that they do not have minds worth making up.
Stanley Hauerwas in
"Discipleship as a Craft, Church as a Disciplined Community" in
The Grey Wolf Annual Ten (1993)

In consideration of the disintegrative power of Technopoly, perhaps the most important contribution schools can make to the education of our youth is to give them a sense of coherence in their studies, a sense of purpose, meaning, and interconnectedness in what they learn.
Neil Postman in Technopoly: The Surrender of Culture to Technology (p 186)

The rate at which individuals and organizations learn may become the only sustainable competitive advantage, especially in knowledge-intensive industries.
Ray Stata, CEO, Analog Devices, SMR 1989

The ability to learn faster than your competitors may be the only sustainable competitive advantage.
Arie De Geus, Royal Dutch/Shell, HBR 1988
Quoted by Peter Senge in The Fifth Discipline

In the emerging economy, a firm's only advantage is its ability to leverage and utilize its knowledge.
Larry Prusak, IBM

… our education system is unbalanced. We have an education system for about 30 percent of the population which is very, very good, maybe the world’s best. And then we have an education system for the bottom 30 percent of the population that in terms of the industrial world may be the world’s worst. So we’re producing a first-world economy and a third-world economy that live side by side in one country.
Rethinking the Future

[I believe that the hope of democracy rests entirely on the earnest student and the dedicated teacher.] That is the only stable and permanent thing in human society. I'm not bringing in religious perspectives at this point, but insofar as we're speaking of human beings constituting a human society, that is what stabilizes and makes permanent the whole structure of society.
The student who's not earnest is simply a middle-class product. He's a member of a privileged class who takes his privileges because he thinks it's the thing to do. But his is a career without discovery. And a career without discovery is going to move within the prison of his social conditioning. He's never going to see a crack in it anywhere.
The teacher who is not dedicated is a mass man, and he gets a mass product. He teaches largely because he has particular certainties that he wants to implant in the minds of his students. But the dedicated teacher realizes that the end of education is to get yourself detached from society without withdrawing from it. If a man is teaching English literature, for example, he's in contact with the entire verbal experience of his students. Now nine tenths of the verbal experience is picked up from prejudice and cliché and things the student hears on the street corners, on the playgrounds, and from his family and his home, and so forth. The dedicated teacher tries to detach from all that and to look into it as something objective. It's not something he can withdraw from, because it's his own society, but it's something that he cultivate a free and individual approach to. . . .
I suggest that the trained mind has acquired techniques which, in a world like ours, will probably be out of date in ten or fifteen years. Training is not the important thing, it's the readiness to take on training. That's what I mean by the dedicated mind.
Northrop Frye

To conceive of knowledge as a collection of information seems to rob the concept of all of its life. . . . Knowledge resides in the user and not in the collection. It is how the user reacts to a collection of information that matters.
C. W. Churchman, The Design of Inquiring Systems, 1971

Never has humanity combined so much power with so much disorder, so much anxiety with so many playthings, so much knowledge with so much uncertainty.
Paul Valéry

Learning is . . . the correct response to failure.
Kenneth Boulding

It is useful to talk about several kinds of "knowledge":
A. Strictly speaking, all of this knowledge is out of date.
+ Much of it probably is still useful, but you cannot be certain of this. All of our knowledge has a probability attached to it.
+ Much of this first-hand knowledge is ignored as un-important or dismissed as "obvious".
+ If you are certain, you don’t need faith. but you cannot be certain; all you have is faith.
B. What you know about (from reading, listening, etc.).
+ Much of your knowledge is of this kind.
+ At best this kind of knowledge is your abstraction of someone else’s abstraction of an event. Often many levels of abstraction are involved: reports of statements about generalizations from inferences about events, etc.
+ Strictly speaking, this knowledge, too, is out of date.
C. What you know you don’t know.
+ You probably know you don’t know how to make an atomic pile, how to read Sanskrit, etc.
+ "To be conscious that you are ignorant is a great step toward knowledge." B. Disraeli
D. What you don’t know you don’t know.
+ It is a serious thing to be ignorant of your ignorance. Before bacteria were discovered, people acted as if they "knew" there were no bacteria.
+ Some areas of thought are closed to us because we do not know or have not invented words to represent them. For example, the invention of the zero spurred the developed of mathematics. What action will a native take on meeting a stranger if his language is limited to terms for friend and enemy?
E. What you "know" that is not so.
+ "What ails most people is not that they are ignorant, but that they know too much that isn’t so." Psychiatrist Adolf Meyer
F. What nobody knows now.
+ What new knowledge will come out of developing a more powerful telescope or from a rocket probe of outer space?
G. What you believe with such conviction that you feel you "know".
+ "I know he could not do such a thing."
+ "Knowing" in this sense is personal, unique, not publicly demonstrable, therefore not subject to scientific analysis. "Every man, whether he is religiously inclined or not, has his own ultimate presuppositions. He finds he cannot live his life without them, and for him they are true. Such presuppositions -- whether they be called ideologies, philosophies, notions, or merely hunches about life -- exert pressure upon all conduct that is subsidiary to them (which is to say, upon nearly all of man’s conduct)." Gordon W. Allport
It is important to be aware of the personal nature of this kind of "knowledge". One cannot "prove" it in a scientific sense, nor can he insist that others believe as he believes.
Many arguments result because the word know has so many different meanings. Perhaps if we recognize that all evaluations, inferences, generalizations, etc., are, in a very real sense, beliefs, we would be more willing to use that term.
From General Semantics, An Outline Survey, by Kenneth G. Johnson

Noise, in its broadest sense, is any undifferentiated thing which assaults the senses. It is pervasive and ubiquitous, whether auditory, visual, or textural [sic]. The supply of noise is infinite. Noise becomes data when it transcends the purely sensual and has cognitive pattern; when it can be discerned and differentiated by the mind. Data, in turn, becomes information when it is assembled into a coherent whole which can be related to other information in a way that adds meaning. … Information becomes knowledge when it is integrated with other information in a form useful for deciding, acting, or composing new knowledge. Knowledge becomes understanding when related to other knowledge in a manner useful in conceiving, anticipating, evaluating, and judging. Understanding becomes wisdom when informed by purpose, ethics, principle, memory of the past, and projection into the future. (p 223)
Dee Hock in The Birth of the Chaordic Age

It is impossible for anyone to begin to learn what he thinks he already knows.

A question which inherently embodies a number of invalid assumptions and unclear terminology should never be answered by anyone who values his personal sanity.
John Warfield, Internet Correspondence

Through education men acquire the civilization of the past, and are enabled both to take part in the civilization of the present, and make the civilization of the future. In short, the purpose of education is three-fold: inheritance, participation, and contribution.
Ralph Barton Perry in
Ralph Barton Perry on Education for Democracy

The mere formulation of a problem is far more essential than its solution, which may be merely a matter of mathematical or experimental skills. To raise new questions, new possibilities, to regard old problems from a new angle requires creative imagination and marks real advances in science.
Albert Einstein

Reading maketh a full man, conference a ready man, and writing an exact man.
Francis Bacon, 1625

Bigge and Hunt cite the Zeigarnik effect, a phenomenon where students show greater recall of uncompleted tasks over those that are completed. Following this line of reasoning, these authors suggest that good teachers will (within certain limits) allow students to leave each class with some unanswered questions.

Research is the transformation of money into knowledge.  Innovation is the transformation of knowledge into money.
Geoff Nicholson former 3M VP

The greatest discovery of any generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his attitude.
The Will To Believe
William James (1842 – 1910)

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 were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.
It is not just in some of us, it is in everyone.
As we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.
As we are liberated from our fear, our presence automatically liberates others.
written by Marianne Williamson
and used in Nelson Mandella's Inaugural Address in 1995

Je n'ai fait celle-ci plus longue que parce que je n'ai pas eu le loisir de la faire plus courte.
I have made this letter longer than usual because I lack the time to make it shorter.
Blaise Pascal in 1657
although often attributed to Mark Twain or Samuel Johnson

Organizations / Organizational Development
The critical distinction is not between business and social, but between great and good. 
Jim Collins

Everybody here has a customer. And if he doesn't know who it is and what constitutes the needs of the customer . . . then he does not understand his job.
W. Edwards Deming

This [deterministic] way of thinking about and modeling an enterprise was possible for the following reasons:
1. Workers were poorly educated and relatively unskilled, but were adequate for the simple repetitive tasks assigned to them. These tasks required behavior that was more machine-like than human.
2. Since there was virtually no social security available, unemployment implied financial destitution for many. This resulted in workers who were willing to tolerate working conditions suitable for machines but not people.
3. There was a large pool of people looking for work, hence workers could easily be replaced, like machine parts, and the workers knew this.
Russell Ackoff in Re-Creating the Corporation p 30-31

You can buy a person's time; you can buy his physical presence in a given place; you can even buy a measured number of his skilled muscular motions per hour. But you cannot buy enthusiasm. You cannot buy initiative. You cannot buy the devotion of hearts, minds and souls. You have to earn those things.
Clarence Francis

Never go to a meeting unless you have something to contribute to the minutes; you can efficiently find out what went on from the minutes.
If an agenda isn't published in advance of a meeting, you don't have to go.
If no minutes are published, it's fair to conclude that nothing went on.
Leder's Law for Meetings

Organizations are like fish with people as their cells. They evolved to thrive in the ocean, the high-viscosity world of the industrial age. These fish must now change into fowl to thrive in the zero-viscosity world of the information age. Most of them won’t make it. Evolution doesn’t work that way.
Brad Cox

A Board is an incompetent group of competent people.
John Carver

Only ecclesiastical principalities … are secure and happy [since] they are sustained by superior causes which transcend human understanding ….
Machiavelli in The Prince

If there is to be any chance at all of success, there is only one way to strive for decency, reason, responsibility, sincerity, civility, and tolerance, and that is decently, reasonably, responsibly, sincerely, civilly, and tolerantly.
Václav Havel in Summer Meditations

A team is a small number of people with complementary skills who are committed to a common purpose, performance goals, and approach for which they hold themselves mutually accountable.
The Wisdom of Teams, by Jon R. Katzenbach and Douglas K. Smith

Fourteen aphorisms from experience
1.         No conflict, negotiation, settlement, or bargain is merely two-sided.
2.         A third party is usually indispensable and often lacking.
3.         All real-world problems are interdisciplinary, interprofessional, and international.
4.         Courage is directly proportional to distance from the problem.
5.         Force by itself is not power.
6.         Creep up carefully on the use of force.
7.         Widen the community of the concerned.
8.         Voting is an inferior means of conflict management; consensus procedure usually works better.
9.         Consensus is not the same as unanimous consent.
10.       Openness has costs as well as benefits.
11.       Process is often the surrogate for substance.
12.       Our standards are not universal standards.
13.       Resolving the conflict is not always a good thing.
14.       People can agree on the next steps to be taken together if they carefully avoid trying to agree on why they are agreeing. (p 220-23)
Harlan Cleveland in The Knowledge Executive

Never attribute to malice what can be adequately explained by stupidity.
Nick Diamos

The right to be heard does not automatically include the right to be taken seriously.
Hubert Humphrey

Of all the decisions an executive makes, none is as important as the decisions about people, because they determine the performance capacity of the organization.
Peter F. Drucker

The assets of most businesses walk out of the door at the end of each day. The challenge to management is to create an environment which will motivate them to want to return the next day.
Lynn Yates

Concomitant with the increasing need for technical expertise is an attenuation of the specialists’ bonds to the rest of society. Experts must spend so much time focusing on their specialties that they have very little time to devote to issues of the more general good. Many experts have a lessened sense of obligation to the wider society, or even to a wider profession, apart from their own specific area of technical knowledge. The sense of identity of contemporary experts is less frequently rooted in their community or the nation, let alone in the wide world; nor is it, as seems to have been the case a century ago, linked to a morally tinged calling such as the law, medicine, the academy, or the clergy. Particularly because experts are so mobile and the institutions for which they work are so fluid, their bonds are chiefly to the few individuals who know what they know (an exceedingly circumscribed domain) and, equally, to themselves (an exceedingly selfish constituency).
Howard Gardner in Leading Minds

Philosophy / Thinking / Systems Thinking / Problem Solving

Belief will not save you.
Only actions
Guided and shaped
By belief and knowledge
Will save you.
Initiates and guides action –
Or it does nothing.
Octavia Butler

The objective of the legal profession is not to arrive at the truth.  An attorney’s responsibility is to zealously advocate for the client.  We do not have an inquisitorial system of justice; we have an adversarial system of justice.  So there’s nobody, except for the jury or the judge, trying to find out the truth.
Law Professor Dale Carpenter
Quoted in MN Monthly July 2012

It was not Siddhartha’s aim to be happy.  His path does not ultimately lead to happiness.  Instead it is a direct route to freedom from suffering, freedom from delusion and confusion.  Thus nirvana is neither happiness nor unhappiness – it goes beyond all such dualistic concepts.  Nirvana is peace. … If enlightenment were merely happiness, then it too could be discarded when something better comes along.  Happiness is a flimsy premise upon which to base one’s life.
Dzongsar Jamyang Khyentse

The quality of life is in proportion, always, to the capacity for delight.  The capacity for delight is the gift of paying attention. 
Julia Cameron

Understanding requires mastery of four ways of looking at things – as they were, as they are, as they might become, and as they ought to be
Dee Hock

No conflict, negotiation, settlement, or bargain is merely two-sided. 
Harland Cleveland

Possibility without accountability results in a wishful thinking.  Accountability without possibility creates despair.
Peter Block

Hofstadter’s Law:  “It always takes longer than you think it will, even when you take into account Hofstadter’s Law.”
Douglas Hofstadter

Theirs was a world in which defeat was impossible, hence compromise meaningless.
Azar Nafisi

What happens is fact, not truth.  Truth is what we think about what happens. 
Robert McKee
I find I can ask an awful lot more interesting questions if I don’t have to supply the answers to them. 
Edward Albee

The best things in life are not things.

We are drowning in information, while starving for wisdom. The world henceforth will be run by synthesizers, people able to put together the right information at the right time, think critically about it, and make important choices wisely.
E. O. Wilson

'Thou shalt not' might reach the head, but it takes 'Once upon a time' to reach the heart.
Phillip Pullman
Part of the problem is that we think very poorly.  But how could it be otherwise when few of us have been given any instruction in that difficult task?  Do schools teach us how to think?  Very rarely.  They teach us what to think.
Steve Allen

In nature there are neither rewards nor punishments; there are consequences.
Robert Green Ingersoll

Where there is no vision, the people perish.
Proverbs 29:18

It is not our abilities that show what we truly are, it is our choices.
Albus Dumbledore
(Headmaster at Hogwarts in Harry Potter …)

Do I contradict myself? Very well, then I contradict myself, I am large, I contain multitudes.
Walt Whitman

A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

Models are only a means to an end, which is to have a well-structured and coherent debate about a problematical situation in order to decide how to improve it.  That debate is structured by using the models based on a range of worldviews to question perceptions on the situation. 
Checkland and Scholes

I would rather have it said, He lived usefully, than, He died rich.
Benjamin Franklin

Sometimes I think we don't solve anything, we just rearrange the mystery.
Lieutenant Joe Leaphorn to Officer Jim Chee
in Tony Hillerman’s Coyote Waits 

What happens to the hole when the cheese is gone?
Bertolt Brecht

Ah, I am beginning to get it.  There is confusion between "cause" and "because".  Physical things move when there is cause.  People behave when there is because.  And we just gently mix up the two.
Sri Sridharan

Orville Wright did not have a pilot's license.
Gordon MacKenzie in Orbiting the Giant Hairball

What if the question is not, ‘Why am I so infrequently the person I really want to be?’ but ‘Why do I so infrequently want to be the person I really am?’
Oriah Mountain Dreamer, author of The Invitation

Whenever agreement or assent is arrived at in human affairs, this agreement is reached by linguistic process or else it is not reached.
Benjamin Lee Whorf

No matter which factors we choose as causes, the important point to remember is that we do the choosing.  We are forced to abstract because we cannot deal with the tremendous numbers of factors involved in even the simplest phenomenon.  The vital question is any instant is this:  Does this particular selection of causes enable me to function effectively in this situation?  And effectiveness will be measured by such matters as predictability, simplicity, ease-of-decision-making, verifiability, relief of tension, and the like, depending on the problem-solving situation.
Harry Weinberg in Levels of Knowing and Existence

He who has a why to live can bear with almost any how.

Many years ago, when I was in the foreign aid business in Washington, I complained that we were “tackling twenty-year problems with five-year plans manned by two-year personnel and funded by one-year appropriations.”  That is still an uncomfortably accurate description of the world development enterprise. 
Harland Cleveland

Any noun can be verbed.
M. B. Ayers

Some years ago I first became dimly aware of radical differences in the ways of thinking as between two kinds of situations: one, where simple cause and effect or what I now call linear reasoning is sufficient and effective; and, two, the reasoning applicable to systems consisting of a number of interdependent variables. Pareto in his Mind and Society discusses this subject, saying that the only logic applicable to systems of many interdependent variables is that of sets of differential equations. There is no purely verbal description of such systems that can be adequate. Nevertheless, it is not possible to apply mathematics to the description of such systems unless the variable elements composing them can be measured and this is rarely the case. Consequently, the understanding of such systems has to be a matter of judgment almost aesthetic in character and this feeling for the situation to the extent it is attempted to be expressed in words has to be translated into simple cause and effect reasoning or into terms of strategic factors. Such translation is always defective, frequently misleading, and not too seldom completely erroneous in practical consequence. It involves the error of misplaced concreteness, to use Whitehead’s term, or the fallacy of ‘other things being equal.’
Charles I. Barnard, 1947

'Point of view' is that quintessentially human solution to information overload, an intuitive process of reducing things to an essential relevant and manageable minimum. ...In a world of hyperabundant content, point of view will become the scarcest of resources...
Paul Saffo

The uncreative mind can spot wrong answers, but it takes a creative mind to spot wrong questions.
Antony Jay, Management and Machiavelli

Sometimes the right question is, 'Are we asking the right question?'
M. B. Ayers

All truth passes through three stages. First, it is ridiculed. Second, it is violently opposed. Third, it is accepted as being self-evident.
Arthur Schopenhauer

Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them.
Laurence J. Peter

You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.
Naguib Mahfouz, Nobel Prize Winner

Managers maintain and tune systems. Leaders create systems. But both must exercise their capacity to think systemically.
M. B. Ayers

No one means all he says, and yet very few say all they mean, for words are slippery and thought is viscous; but since Bacon and Newton, English thought had gone on impatiently protesting that no one must try to know the unknowable at the same time that everyone went on thinking about it. (p 451)
Henry Adams in The Education of Henry Adams

The end does not justify the means – it provides it.
Indries Shah

You know, Gandhi was not nonviolent because he believed that was the road to purity. He was nonviolent because he knew he could be wrong, and he didn't want ever to act in such a way that he did harm to another when he was wrong. There's a tremendous humility in that posture It was not to improve his spirit or soul, it was to acknowledge his own sinfulness and to say that he was going to live in such a way that when he was wrong, he would do the least amount of violence to another.
F. Forrester Church

First They Came for the Jews
In Germany they first came for the Communists
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Communist.
Then they came for the Jews,
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a Jew.
Then they came for the trade unionists
and I didn't speak up because I wasn't a trade unionist.
Then they came for the Catholics
and I didn't speak up because I was a Protestant.
Then they came for me
and by that time no one was left to speak up.
Pastor Martin Niemöller
[According to Harry W. Mazal, the exact text of what Martin Niemöller said, and which appears in the Congressional Record, 14, October 1968, page 31636, is: "When Hitler attacked the Jews I was not a Jew, therefore I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the Catholics, I was not a Catholic, and therefore, I was not concerned. And when Hitler attacked the unions and the industrialists, I was not a member of the unions and I was not concerned. Then Hitler attacked me and the Protestant church — and there was nobody left to be concerned."]

If you don’t want the effect, do something to remove the causes. There is no use loving the cause and fearing the effect and being surprised when the effect inevitably follows the cause.
Thomas Merton in The Seven Storey Mountain

All models are wrong. Some models are useful.
G. Box in Statistics for Experimenters

Philosopher General’s Warning:
Thinking may be hazardous to your sense of well-being.
Or maybe not.
M. B. Ayers

It is insufficiently considered that men more often require to be reminded than informed.
Samuel Johnson

Wealth without Work
Pleasure without Conscience
Knowledge without Character
Commerce without Morality
Science without Humanity
Worship without Sacrifice
Politics without Principles
The Seven Great Sins identified by Mohandas K. Gandhi

Social systems are systems that have purposes of their own, are made up of parts that have purposes of their own, and are parts of larger systems that also have purposes of their own, and these larger containing systems include other systems that have purposes of their own.
Russell Ackoff in The Democratic Corporation

We have not succeeded in answering all your questions. The answers we have found only serve to raise a whole set of new questions. In some ways we feel we are as confused as ever. but we believe we are confused on a higher level and about more important things.

Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.
John Wesley (1703-1791)

Before: I returned and saw under the sun, that the race is not to the swift, nor the battle to the strong, neither yet bread to the wise, nor yet riches to men of understanding, nor yet favour to men of skill; but time and chance happeneth to them all.
After: Objective considerations of contemporary phenomena compels the conclusion that success or failure in competitive activities exhibits no tendency to be commensurate with innate capacity, but that a considerable element of the unpredictable must invariably be taken into account.
George Orwell in “Politics and the English Language”

Psychology / Creativity
Capitalism depends on the fundamental principle of inequality, some may do better than others, but [capitalism] will only be acceptable in the long term in a democracy if most people have an equal chance to aspire to that inequality. 
Charles Handy

As management consultant Barry Stein put it, only partially tongue-in-cheek, the ‘mean time between surprises’ is becoming less than the time it takes to make decisions, so ‘long range’ planning is futile! 
Cohen and Bradford

The first sign that we don't know what we're doing is obsession with numbers.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

If you were born on third base, you shouldn’t think you hit a triple.
Marshall Goldsmith

Psychologically, I should say that a person becomes an adult at the point
when he produces more than he consumes or earns more than he spends ... Some people remain unproductive and dependent children forever and therefore
intellectually and emotionally immature.
Henry C. Link

One of the most enduring lessons of social psychology is that behavior change often precedes change in attitudes and feelings.
Timothy Wilson,
quoted by David Brooks (NYTimes)

What can you do against the lunatic who is more intelligent than yourself, who gives your arguments a fair hearing and then simply persists in his lunacy?
George Orwell

Who controls the past controls the future. Who controls the present controls the past.
George Orwell in 1984

Jorge Luis Borges captures this Western perception in his well-know citation of ‘a certain Chinese encyclopedia’ in which the category ‘animals’ is divided into:
1) belonging to the Emperor,
2) embalmed,
3) tame,
4) suckling pigs,
5) sirens,
6) fabulous,
7) stray dogs,
8) included in the present classification,
9) frenzied,
10) innumerable,
11) drawn with a very fine camel-hair brush,
12) et cetera,
13) having just broken the water pitcher, and
14) that from a long way off look like flies.
Sun-Tzu -- The Art of Warfare by R. T. Ames

In apprehending the real world, people constantly employ three methods of organization, which pervade all of their thinking:
(1) the differentiation into particular objects and their attributes -- e.g., when they distinguish between a tree and its size or spatial relations to other objects,
(2) the distinction between whole objects and their component parts -- e.g., when they contrast a tree with its component branches,
(3) the formation of and the distinction between different classes of objects -- e.g., when they form the class of all trees and the class of all stones and distinguish between them.
Encyclopaedia Britannica, ‘"Classification Theory", 1986

The family context promoting optimal experience could be described as having five characteristics. The first one is clarity: the teenagers feel that they know what their parents expect from them -- goals and feedback in the family interaction are unambiguous. The second is centering, of the children’s perception that their parents are interested I what they are doing in the present, in their concrete feeling and experience, rather than being preoccupied with whether they will be getting into a good college or obtaining a well-paying job. Next is the issue of choice: children feel that they have a variety of possibilities from which to choose, including that of breaking parental rules -- as long as they are prepared to face the consequence. The fourth differentiating characteristic is commitment, or the trust that allows the child to feel comfortable enough to set aside the shield of his defenses and become unselfconsciously involved in whatever he is interested in. And finally there is challenge, or the parent’s dedication to provide increasingly complex opportunities for action to their children. . . .
Children who know what they can and cannot do, who do not have to constantly argue about rules and controls, who are not worried about their parents’ expectations for future success always hanging over their heads, are released from many of the attentional demands that more chaotic households generate. They are free to develop interests in activities that will expand their selves.
FLOW -- The Psychology of Optimal Experience by Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

How can I tell what I think until I see what I say?
E. M. Forster

Psychologists say that a typical group can abide about fifteen seconds of silence before someone feels the need to break the tension by speaking. It is our old friend fear at work, interpreting the silence as something gone wrong, certain that worthwhile things will not happen if we are not making noise. But in authentic education, silence is treated as a trustworthy matrix for the inner work students must do, a medium for learning of the deepest sort. (p 77)
The Courage to Teach, Parker Palmer

… the McNamara Fallacy: The first step is to measure whatever can be easily measured. This is OK as far as it goes. The second step is to disregard that which can’t be easily measured or to give it an arbitrary quantitative value. This is artificial and misleading. The third step is to presume that what can’t be measured easily really isn’t important. This is blindness. The fourth step is to say that what can’t be easily measured really doesn’t exist. This is suicide.
Charles Handy in The Age of Paradox

If you cannot solve the proposed problem, do not let this failure afflict you too much but try to find consolation with some easier success, try to solve first some related problem; then you may find courage to attack your original problem again. Do not forget that human superiority consists in going around an obstacle that cannot be overcome directly, in devising some suitable auxiliary problem when the original one appears insoluble.
G Polya, How to Solve It, page 114

To feel threatened that imposing a common language infringes on a certain kind of undefined freedom is to forget that the real threat is the threat of complexity, the threat that, unless we work to resolve the mutual problems existing among systems, the systems themselves will grind to a halt.
System Design, Modeling, and Metamodeling, J. P. van Gigch

The first objective of modeling is to attempt a simplification of the real world situation through abstraction. Abstraction involves selecting, from all those available, certain prominent features by which the real world system can be represented meaningfully. A good model must display the same characteristics or properties as the slice of world from which it has been extracted. However, because a model is much simpler, it can be more easily studied and manipulated to yield a solution. . . .
Soft-Systems Methodology makes a clear distinction between what is considered correct and what is meaningful. What is correct depends on the eye of the beholder. The observer is influenced by his or her perspective. What is correct from the perspective of one observer may be incorrect from that of another. Consequently and throughout, SSM replaces the idea that a definition is correct by the idea that a definition be meaningful. Besides, through discussion and iteration, the danger of believing that a solution is absolutely or forever meaningful is avoided.
System Design, Modeling, and Metamodeling, John P. van Gigch

The world is exactly like we think it is, and that's why.
John Woods

A really excellent model allows us to answer questions we hadn’t even thought to ask.
M. B. Ayers

Jobs are not big enough for people. It's not just the assembly line worker whose job is too small for his spirit, you know? 
Nora Watson, in Working by Studs Terkel

See everything.  Overlook a great deal.  Correct a little.
Pope John XXIII


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