‘If you’ve heard this before don’t stop me because I’d like to hear it again’ – Groucho Marks

Wisdom and wit on sustainability, the natural environment, and people.

All of life is interrelated. We are all caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied to a single garment of destiny. Whatever affects one directly affects all indirectly - Martin Luther King (Ohio, June 1965)

We live not, in reality, on the summit of a solid earth but at the bottom of an ocean of air - Thales of Miletus (c.625 - 545 BC)

We need a new environmental consciousness on a global basis. To do this, we need to educate people - Mikhail Gorbachev

When future generations judge those who came before them on environmental issues, they may conclude “they didn’t know”: let us not go down in history as the generations who knew, but didn’t care - Mikhail Gorbachev (2002)

If the world should blow itself up, the last audible voice would be that of an expert saying it can't be done - Peter Ustinov, actor, writer and raconteur (1921-2004)

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew - Marshall McLuhan

A man's life does not consist in the abundance of his possessions - Luke 19:20

Any fool can make things bigger, more complex, and more violent. It takes a touch of genius - and a lot of courage - to move in the opposite direction - Albert Einstein

The future is already here, it's just not evenly distributed - William Gibson (author)

You never reach the promised land. You can march towards it - James Callaghan

Today's problems cannot be solved if we still think the way we thought when we created them - Albert Einstein

There must be a better way to make the things we want, a way that doesn't spoil the sky, or the rain or the land - Sir Paul McCartney

The best way to predict the future...is to create it - unattributable

Woe to those who add house to house, who join field to field, until there is no more room and they are the sole inhabitants of the land - Isaiah 5:8

A man reaps what he sows - Galations 6:7

Nothing in excess - Greek proverb

There are two possible routes to affluence. Either produce much, or desire little - unattributable

The human race is challenged more than ever before to demonstrate our mastery, not over nature but of ourselves - Rachel Carson

He who knows that enough is enough will always have enough - Lao Tzu

He is not poor that has little, but he who desires much - proverb

Contentment is natural wealth; luxury, artificial poverty - Socrates (469-399 BC)

Treat the Earth well. It is not inherited from your parents, it is borrowed from your children - old Kenyan proverb

Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could only do a little - Edmund Burke, Whig MP for Bristol 1774-80

The probability that we face global warming caused by fossil fuels is now so overwhelming that it is legitimate to doubt the motives of those who deny it - Adair Turner, Vice Chairman, Merrill Lynch (addressing The Inaugural Carbon Trust Lecture, London, April 2003)

If civilization has risen from the stone age, it can rise again from the wastepaper age - Jacques Barzun

Our biggest challenge in this new century is to take an idea that seems abstract - sustainable development - and turn it into a reality for all the world's people - Kofi Annan, UN Secretary General

The wealthiest 300 people have greater riches than the three billion poorest. The three wealthiest people have greater riches than the 48 poorest countries put together. With only limited environmental space to accommodate the expected 9 billion human inhabitants of the world by 2050, such disparities in consumption are clearly not sustainable - Tony Juniper, Executive Director, Friends of the Earth (2003)

Building a world where we meet our own needs without denying future generations a healthy society is not impossible, as some would assert. The question is where societies choose to put their creative efforts - Christopher Flavin, Worldwatch Institute President, January 2003

In the end, our society will be defined not only by what we create, but by what we refuse to destroy - John Sawhill

Today, more than ever before, life must be characterised by a sense of Universal responsibility, not only nation to nation and human to human, but also human to other forms of life - Dalai Lama

Climate is an angry beast and we are poking at it with sticks - Wallace Broecker, Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, New York (2003)

Human history is a race between education and catastrophe - H G Wells

Unless we change direction, we are likely to end up where we are going - Chinese proverb

Dig the well before you are thirsty - Chinese proverb

Start with the end in mind - leader's proverb

It is easier to do a job right than explain why you didn't - Martin Van Buren

It is not the strongest species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones who are most responsive to change – Charles Darwin

Success is getting what you want. Happiness is liking what you get - anonymous

A business that makes nothing but money is a poor kind of business - Henry Ford

We spend most of our lives working. So why do so few people have a good time doing it? - Richard Branson

If the muscle is strong but the motivation is weak, you still won't achieve your goals - Eileen Shapiro

We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence then, is not an act, but a habit - Aristotle

Perception is strong and sight weak. In strategy it is important to see distant things as if they were close and to take a distanced view of close things - Miyamoto Musashi, Japanese warrior and strategist (1584 - 1645)

Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later - O G Mandino

Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits - Thomas Edison

A leader is a dealer in hope - Napoleon

When the leader's work is done, the people say we did it ourselves - Lau Tzu

Every wall is a door - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

A stumble may prevent a fall - English Proverb

No matter what happens, there's always somebody who knew it would - Lonny Starr

If you want truly to understand something, try to change it - Kurt Lewin

The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams - Eleanor Roosevelt

Environmental problems are really social problems anyway. They begin with people as the cause and end with people as the victims - Sir Edmund Hilary

Do for others as you would have them do for you - Luke 6:31

Interdependence is a higher value than independence - Stephen Covey

Appreciation motivates - unattributable

When people are laughing, they're generally not killing each other - Alan Alda

I have never met a man so ignorant that I couldn't learn something from him - Galileo Galilei

Treat everyone with politeness, even those who are rude to you - not because they are nice, but because you are - unattributable

It has become appallingly obvious that our technology has exceeded our humanity - Albert Einstein

Be the change in the world you want to see - Ghandi

We must learn to live together as brothers or perish together as fools - Martin Luther King

There was a man, they called him mad. The more he gave, the more he had - John Bunyan

Our prime purpose in this life is to help others. And if you can’t help them, at least don’t hurt them - Dalai Lama

The test of the morality of a society is what it does for its children - Dietrich Bonhoeffer

Everybody has something good inside them. Some hide it, some neglect it, but it is there - Mother Teresa

Wicked men obey from fear; good men, from love - Aristotle

There are no menial jobs, only menial attitudes - William Bennett

Keep interested in others, keep interested in the wide and wonderful world. Then in a spiritual sense you will always be young - Fredric March

Love is the best part of life - Suzi Quatro

One of the most difficult things is not to change society, but to change yourself - Nelson Mandela

He who wishes to secure the good of others has already secured his own - Confucius

People whose main concern is their own happiness seldom find it - unattributable

Our lives are inextricably linked by the common thread of humanity. If we break it, we are all undone - unattributable

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single minute before starting to improve the world - Anne Frank

THINK before you speak. Is it True, Helpful, Inspiring, Necessary, Kind? - Alan Redpath, Mutual Encouragement Fellowship

Life is a journey towards truth, we have something to learn from each other, and everybody ought to have a chance to make the journey. So for us, a community is just made up of anybody who accepts the rules of the game, everybody counts, everybody has a role to play, everybody deserves a chance and we all do better when we work together - Bill Clinton (2001)

Tell me and I will forget. Show me and I may remember. Involve me and I will remember - Chinese proverb

Our character is what we do when we think no one is looking - H Jackson Brown (Jnr)

If happiness is your mode of travel, it will be your state on arrival - anonymous

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit - Harry Truman

Let’s go hand in hand, not one before another - William Shakespeare (The Comedy of Errors)

Be nice to people on your way up because you meet them on your way down - Jimmy Durante

Remember, no one can make you feel inferior without your consent - Eleanor Roosevelt

There are two types of people. Those we who come into a room and say, "Well, here I am!" and those who come in and say, "Ah, there you are" - Frederick L Collins

Why are the poor poor? Better to ask "Why are the rich rich?" - unattributable

Why should society feel responsible only for the education of children, and not for the education of all adults of every age? - Erich Fromm

At the end of the game the king and the pawn go back in the same box - Italian proverb

To the world you may be just somebody, but to somebody you may just be the world – unattributable

Time is the most valuable thing a man can spend - Theophrastus, Greek philosopher

The team on top of the mountain didn't fall there - unattributable

Life is a mystery to be lived, not a problem to be solved - unattributable

I learnt in the jungle that there is a great tranquility associated with having nothing of value - Jenny Bond, broadcaster (2004)

Live simply, laugh often, love deeply - unattributable

Reduce the complexity of life by eliminating the needless wants of life, and the labours of life reduce themselves - Edwin Way Teale (1899-1980)

Energy is equal to desire and purpose - Sheryl Adams

When the winds of change blow, some people build walls and others build windmills - Chinese proverb

If you want things to stay the same, they are going to have to change - Lampedusa's The Leopard
Change your thoughts and you change your world - Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993), preacher and author of The Power of Positive Thinking

Don't judge each day by the harvest you reap, but by the seeds you plant - Robert Louis Stevenson

You do not really understand something unless you can explain it to your grandmother - Albert Einstein

Those who mind don't matter, and those who matter don't mind - old maxim

We live in a society exquisitely dependent on science and technology, in which hardly anyone knows anything about science and technology - Carl Sagan

Imagination is more important than knowledge - Albert Einstein

Where is all the knowledge we lost with information? - T S Elliot

The important thing is not to stop questioning - Albert Einstein

Now that we have everything we need, we discover that there is almost nothing that we have that we want - John Cage

There are no pockets in a shroud - unattributable

That which seems to be wealth may in verity be only the gilded index of far reaching ruin - John Ruskin

How many things I can do without! - Socrates (469 - 399 BC)

What one generation sees as a luxury, the next sees as a necessity - Anthony Crossland (1975)

I've been told I'll go far in life. I hope I'm on the right route - bumper sticker

It takes a real storm in the average person's life to make him realise how much worrying he has done over the squalls - Heartland Advisor

In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: it goes on - Robert Frost (American Poet 1875 - 1963)

I am an optimist. It does not seem too much use being anything else - Winston Churchill

Not everything that can be counted counts; and not everything that counts can be counted - Albert Einstein

There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, the other is getting it - Oscar Wilde

All mankind is divided into three classes: Those that are immovable, those that are movable, and those that move - Arab proverb

Einstein's three rules of work: 1) Out of clutter find simplicity; 2) From discord find harmony; 3) In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity - Albert Einstein

Whatever you are, be a good one - Abraham Lincoln

A person who has never made a mistake has never tried anything new - Albert Einstein

Smooth seas do not make skillful sailors - African proverb

Take this tip from nature: The woods would be a very silent place if no birds sang except those who sang best - Bernard Meltzer

Even if you fall on your face, you're still moving forward - Robert C Gallagher

We learn fastest when we're vulnerable - unattributable

What keeps me going is goals - Muhammad Ali

Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right - Isaac Asimov

Thinking is one of the most important weapons in dealing with problems - Nelson Mandela

Our destiny is shaped by our thoughts and our actions. We cannot direct the wind but we can adjust the sails - unattributable

I do not believe in a fate that falls on men however they act; but I do believe in a fate that falls on them unless they act - G K Chesterton (1874-1936)

The truth is not always the same as the majority decision - Pope John Paul II (1920 - 2005)

God provides the wind but man must raise the sails - St Augustine

A philospher sees the Earth as a large planet, travelling through the heavens, covered with fools - Bernard de Fontenelle, 17th Century French philosopher

Sometimes I think the surest sign that intelligent life exists elsewhere in the universe is that none of it has tried to contact us - unattributable

The man who moves a mountain begins by carrying small stones - Chinese proverb

The best armour is to keep out of range - Italian proverb

Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens - Jimi Hendrix

If you are stimulated by what you do, you never get tired - Nelson Mandela

It is never too late to be what you might have been - George Eliot

Great things are not done by impulse, but by a series of small things brought together - Vincent van Gogh

If you think you're too small to make a difference, you've obviously never been in bed with a mosquito - Michelle Walker

Have no fear of perfection, you'll never reach it - Salvador Dali

If liberty means anything at all, it means the right to tell people what they don't want to hear - George Orwell

Freedom consists not in doing what we like, but in having the right to do what we ought - Pope John Paul II (1920 - 2005)

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it - Aristotle

Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result - Albert Einstein

You were born an original. Don't die a copy - John Mason

Never argue with a fool. People might not know the difference - unattributable

Out of intense complexities intense simplicities emerge - Winston Churchill

Our deeds determine us as much as we determine our deeds - George Eliot

The solution to the population problem is....more monks - Dalai Lama

Life is like playing a violin solo in public and learning the instrument as one goes on - Samuel Butler

Life must be lived forwards, but it can only be understood backwards - Soren Kierkegaard

Luck never gives: it only lends - Chinese proverb

The optimist sees opportunity in every danger; the pessimist sees danger in every opportunity - Winston Churchill

Failure is the opportunity to begin again more intelligently - Henry Ford

Success is a journey, not a destination - unattributable

Just don't give up trying to do what you really want to do. Where there is love and inspiration, I don't think you can go wrong - Ella Fitzgerald

Don't curse the darkness, light a candle - unattributable

Always forgive your enemies, nothing annoys them so much - Oscar Wilde

Happiness is nothing more than good health and a bad memory - Albert Schweitzer

First they ignore you. Then they ridicule you. Then they attack you. Then you win - Gandhi

Too many people miss the silver lining because they're expecting gold - Maurice Seitter

When one door closes another door opens; but we often look so long and so regretfully upon the closed door that we do not see the ones which open for us - Alexander Graham Bell

Only dead fish float with the current. Live fish swim against it - unattributable

Vision without action is dreaming, action without vision is a nightmare - unattributable

Follow where your enthusiasm takes you - unattributable

There are two ways of meeting difficulties. You alter the difficulties or you alter yourself to meet them - unattributable

You may never know what results come form your action, but if you do nothing, there will be no result - Gandhi

The only thing necessary for evil to survive is for good men to do nothing - Edmund Burke, Whig MP for Bristol 1774-80

The more I want to get something done, the less I call it work - Richard Bach

Our greatest glory consists not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall - Confucious

The empty vessel makes the loudest sound - William Shakespeare

Laughter is the shortest distance between two people - Victor Borge

A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men - Willy Wonka

Truth never damages a cause that is just - Ghandi

If you always tell the truth you never have to remember anything - Mark Twain

To be good is noble, but to teach others how to be good is nobler, and less trouble - Mark Twain

The wise man points to the moon, the fool looks at the finger - Chinese proverb

A fanatic is one who can’t change his mind and won’t change the subject - Winston Churchill

A sceptic is a person who, when he sees the handwriting on the wall, claims it is a forgery - Morris

It often takes more courage to change one's opinion than to stick to it - Geoffrey Abert

Is anyone afraid of change? What then is more pleasing to the universal nature? Can anything that is useful be accomplished without change? - Emperor Marcus Aurelius (A.D. 121 - 180)

It is only the wisest and stupidest who never change - Confucius

If you're not riding the wave of change, you'll find yourself beneath it - unattributable

The voyage of discovery is not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes - Marcel Proust

We grow neither better nor worse as we get old, but more like ourselves - Mary Lamberton Becker

Every man is the architect of his own fortune - Appius Claudius

Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything. 14% of people know that - Homer Simpson

A good plan executed today is better than a perfect plan executed next week - General George Patton (1944)

We haven't got a plan so nothing can go wrong! - Spike Milligan

When a man tells you that he got rich through hard work, ask him: 'Whose? - Don Marquis (1878 - 1937)

If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it? - Albert Einstein

To beat the bureaucracy, make your problem their problem - principle of displaced hassle

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain; and most fools do - Dale Carnegie

The farther backward you can look, the farther forward you are likely to see - Winston Churchill

What we learn from history is that man can never learn anything from history - Heger

Personally, I'm always ready to learn, although I do not always like being taught - Winston Churchill

Reactionary: A man walking backwards with his face to the future - Aneurin Bevan

The trouble with the future is that it usually arrives before we're ready for it - Arnold Glasgow

The future starts today, not tomorrow - Pope John Paul II (1920 - 2005)

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn't - Erica Jong

The wise man doesn’t give the right answers, he poses the right questions - Claude Levi Strauss

If you're in a hole, stop digging - Denis Healey

When you lose, don't lose the lesson - Dalai Lama

You must do things you think you cannot do - Eleanor Roosevelt

The one who says it cannot be done should not interrupt the one doing it - Roman rule

To laugh often and much. To win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children. To earn the appreciation of honest critics and endure the betrayal of false friends. To appreciate beauty,
to find the best in others. To leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch, or a redeemed social condition. To know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded - Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882)

All philosophy lies in two words, sustain and abstain - Epictetus

When all is said and done, a lot more is said than done – unattributable

(Quotes compiled by Phil Harding, Government Office for the South West)