Society

 

 

Improving society and the world:

A better world allows us to live out a better life.

– A Godsosn Truth

 

What’s the use of a fine house if you haven’t got a tolerable planet to put it on?

– Henry David Thoreau

 

Individual commitment to a group effort – that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work.

– Vince Lombardi

 

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.

– Margaret Mead

 

The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything

– Albert Einstein

 

The price of apathy towards public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.

– Plato

 

There are two primary choices in life: to accept conditions as they exist, or accept the responsibility for changing them.

– Dr. Denis Waitley

 

Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.

– William James

 

The world is changed by your example, not your opinion.

– Paulo Coelho

 

We need people who can dream of things that never were.

– John F. Kennedy

 

Some men see things as they are and say why – I dream things that never were and say why not.

– George Bernard Shaw

 

Here’s to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They’re not fond of rules, and they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify and vilify them. About the only thing you can’t do is ignore them because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as crazy, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

– Steve Jobs

 

What counts in life is not the mere fact that we have lived. It is what difference we have made to the lives of others that will determine the significance of the life we lead.

– Nelson Mandela

 

The philosophers have only interpreted the world, in various ways; the point is to change it.

– Karl Marx

 

The greatest threat to our planet is the belief that someone else will save it.

– Robert Swan

I always wondered why somebody didn’t do something about that, then I realised I am somebody.

– Unknown

 

 

The importance of education and free thinking:

Ignorance has always been the weapon of tyrants; enlightenment the salvation of the free.

– Bill Richardson

 

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

– Nelson Mandela

 

It is always a much easier task to educate uneducated people than to re-educate the mis-educated.

– Herbert M. Shelton

 

It’s easier to fool people than to convince them that they have been fooled.

– Mark Twain

 

It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!

– Upton Sinclair

 

Few are those who see with their own eyes and feel with their own hearts.

– Albert Einstein

 

In our struggle for freedom, truth is the only weapon we possess.

– DALAI LAMA

 

 

Societal discontent:

Discontent is the first necessity of progress.

– Thomas Alva Edison

 

If your not pissed off at the world, you’re just not paying attention.

– Kasey Chambers

 

What do I think of Western civilization? I think it would be a very good idea.

– Mohandas Gandhi

 

If there was an observer on Mars, they would probably be amazed that we have survived this long.

– Noam Chomsky

 

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is being run by smart people who are putting us on or by imbeciles who really mean it.

– Mark Twain

 

Anyone who believes in indefinite growth in anything physical, on a physically finite planet is either mad – or an economist.

– Kenneth Boulding

 

Our society is run by insane people for insane objectives. I think we’re being run by maniacs for maniacal ends and I think I’m liable to be put away as insane for expressing that. That’s what’s insane about it.

– John Lennon

 

Just look at us. Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys information, religions destroy spirituality and governments destroy freedom.

– Michael Ellner

 

It is well enough that people of the nation do not understand our banking and monetary system, for if they did, I believe there would be a revolution before tomorrow morning.

– Henry Ford

Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.

– Benjamin Franklin

 

Selling your life to sit in a box and work for a machine. An uncaring machine that demands productivity that doesn’t understand you and doesn’t want to understand you…There’s no natural behaviour. Everyone is wearing clothes they don’t want to wear. Everybody is showing up and doing something they don’t want to do. They have no connection to it. That’s the problem with our society… And then what’s the reward for all this stuff? Go home and get a big TV. Your going to get that shiney big car. Every week we’re chasing down this new object and every week we are trying to fill this hole in this sad shadow of a life we’ve been left with after work. That you worked 8 to whatever hours a day plus commuting and that is your life, that’s your real fucking life. And most of us have committed to that (and we understand that it’s a trap). But for the people that are in it, alot of the time they don’t even understand it’s a trap.

– Joe Rogan

 

The inescapable failure of a society built upon growth and its destruction of the Earth’s living systems are the overwhelming facts of our existence. As a result, they are mentioned almost nowhere. They are the 21st century’s great taboo, the subjects guaranteed to alienate your friends and neighbours. We live as if trapped inside a Sunday supplement: obsessed with fame, fashion and the three dreary staples of middle-class conversation: recipes, renovations and resorts. Anything but the topic that demands our attention.

– George Monbiot

 

They call us Taxpayers, Consumers, Workers. Like cogs in a large machine. But we are people, human-beings, individuals, with needs, wishes and dreams like everyone else. This system we all live in, our government, should be there to serve the people and the best interests of the people, instead it seems the people are there to serve the system. And the system is there to serve the so called “elite”, the rich, the powerfull, the corporations, those at the very top of the pile. But things aren’t working, the system is breaking down. Things need to change. Society needs to move on – so the system serves us all and not just the few.

– Anonymous

 

To remain silent and indifferent is the greatest sin of all.

– Elie Wiesel

 

 

The mass-media:

Those who control the mass-media control the public mind

– Anonymous

 

Propaganda is to a democracy what the bludgeon is to a totalitarian state.

– Noam Chomsky

 

The conscious and intelligent manipulation of the organized habits and opinions of the masses is an important element in democratic society. Those who manipulate this unseen mechanism of society constitute an invisible government which is the true ruling power of our country. …We are governed, our minds are molded, our tastes formed, our ideas suggested, largely by men we have never heard of. This is a logical result of the way in which our democratic society is organized. Vast numbers of human beings must cooperate in this manner if they are to live together as a smoothly functioning society. …In almost every act of our daily lives, whether in the sphere of politics or business, in our social conduct or our ethical thinking, we are dominated by the relatively small number of persons…who understand the mental processes and social patterns of the masses. It is they who pull the wires which control the public mind.

– Edward L. Bernays, A quote from his book ‘Propodanda’

 

All over the place, from the popular culture to the propaganda system, there is constant pressure to make people feel that they are helpless, that the only role they can have is to ratify decisions and to consume.

– Noam Chomsky

 

The more you can increase fear of drugs and crime, welfare mothers, immigrants and aliens, the more you control all the people.

– Noam Chomsky

 

Any dictator would admire the uniformity and obedience of the U.S. media.

– Noam Chomsky

 

Information is the currency of democracy.

– Thomas Jefferson

 

Journalism is printing what someone else does not want printed: everything else is public relations.

– George Orwell

If you are working 50 hours a week in a factory, you don’t have time to read 10 newspapers a day and go back to declassified government archives. But such people may have far-reaching insights into the way the world works.

– Noam Chomsky

 

 

Advertising & Consumerism:

Hundreds of billions of dollars are spent every year to control the public mind.

– Noam chomsky

 

There is massive propaganda for everyone to consume. Consumption is good for profits and consumption is good for the political establishment.

– Noam chomsky

 

We must shift America from a needs – to a desires-culture. People must be trained to desire, to want new things, even before the old have been entirely consumed. […] Man’s desires must overshadow his needs.

– Lehman Bros’ Paul Mazur ca.1930

 

… people are being persuaded to spend money we don’t have, on things we don’t need, to create impressions that won’t last, on people we don’t care about

– Tim Jackson

 

Advertising has us chasing cars and clothes, working jobs we hate so we can buy shit we don’t need.

– Tyler Durden

 

“[advertising is] the most prevalent and toxic of the mental pollutants. From the moment your radio alarm sounds in the morning to the wee hours of late-night TV, microjolts of commercial pollution flooding into your brain at the rate of around 3,000 marketing messages per day. Every day an estimated twelve billion display ads, 3 million radio commercials and more than 200,000 television commercials are dumped into North America’s collective unconscious.”

– Kalle Lasn

The spectacle of a lot of advertising creates images of false, digitised, touched-up beauty so seductive and so impossible to attain that we will become ever so slightly dissatisfied with who we are and what we have. Day by day, bit by bit, this form of advertising will gradually make us more and more dissatisfied with our lot and make us hurt inside. Yet, for most we’ll never even realise where the dissatisfaction and hurt comes from.

– Adapted from Robert Montgomery

Wealth does not involve having many things. It involves having what we long for. Wealth is not an absolute. It is relative to desire. Every time we seek something we cannot afford, we grow poorer, whatever our resources. And every time we feel satisfied with what we have, we can be counted as rich, however little we may actually own.

– Rousseau

 

 

Environmental destruction:

Anything else you’re interested in is not going to happen if you can’t breathe the air and drink the water. Don’t sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.

– Carl Sagan

 

Man is the most insane species. He worships an invisible God and destroys a visible Nature. Unaware that this Nature he’s destroying is this God he’s worshipping.

– Hubert Reeves

The United States makes up less than 5% of the population on earth, yet easily consumes over 30% of its resources. While us humans would appear to be doing well, spreading our population like wild fire across the globe, the diminishing resources and other life forms on the planet tell a different story. “We are in the midst of a mass extinction, an event not seen since the disappearance of the dinosaurs, 65 million years ago,”

– Worldwatch Institute

 

A large study has found that up to one half of all plants and animals species on dry land could face extinction by the year 2050 due to global warming. According to the World Resources Institute, 100 species die each day due to tropical deforestation.

– World Resources Institute.

 

75% of all the fish stocks in the world are already either: exploited, over-exploited or recovering. 27% of coral reefs have already been decimated and 70% of Earth’s coral reefs will cease to exist within the next forty years. The world has lost half of its coastal wetlands, including mangrove swamps and salt marshes.

– worldcentric.org

 

The world has already lost 80% of its original forests. 1.1 billion acres of tropical forest were cleared in just thirty years, between 1960 and 1990.

– worldcentric.org

 

Destroying rainforest for economic gain is like burning a Renaissance painting to cook a meal.

– E.O wilson

 

Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.

– Mahatma Gandhi

For human-beings to live in any way that isn’t sustainable, is quite simply a collective form of insanity. It means we would eventually destroy the environment on which we all depend, and thus destroy our species. It would mean we are like a cancer upon the earth. Fortunately there are those amongst us who see this, and set about promoting sustainability. We need more people like them, before it’s too late.

– Unknown

Sustainability is based on a simple principle: Everything that we need for our survival and well-being depends, either directly or indirectly, on our natural environment. Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the social, economic and other requirements of present and future generations. Sustainability is important to making sure that we have and will continue to have, the water, materials, and resources to protect human health and our environment. True sustainability would mean that we, and everyone else on the planet, can live and continue to live the way we are for generations and generations without negatively impacting the planet for future generations.

– US EPA

 

 

Hatreds:

Hate. It has caused a lot of problems in this world but has not solved one yet.

– Maya Angelou

 

Fighting for peace is like fucking for virginity.

– Unknown

 

Violence encourages violence, peace promotes peace.

– Unknown

 

Hatreds never cease by hatreds. By love alone they cease.

– Buddha

 

Everybody’s worried about stopping terrorism. Well, there’s a really easy way: stop participating in it.

– Noam Chomsky

 

Peace is not achieved by controlling nations, but by mastering our thoughts

– John Harricharan

 

World peace is impossible without inner peace.

– Geshe-la

 

When the power of love overcomes the love of power the world will know peace.

– Jimi Hendrix

 

All great changes are preceded by chaos.

– Deepak Chopra

 

 

 

Individual responsibility & persoanl change:

We are the legacy of 15 billion years of cosmic evolution. We have a choice. We can enhance life and come to know the universe that made us. Or we can squander our 15 billion year heritage in meaningless self destruction.

– Carl Sagan

 

No social change can come about until the consciousness of individuals is changed first. When a young man asked how he should go about reforming the world, he was told, “Reform yourself. That way there will be one less rascal in the world”

– Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi

 

Everybody wants to change the world but nobody wants to change.

– Unknown

 

They always say time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

– Andy Warhol

 

Knowing what’s right doesn’t mean much unless you do what’s right.

– Theodore Roosevelt

Never be afraid to raise your voice for honesty and truth and compassion against injustice and lying and greed. If people all over the world…would do this, it would change the earth.

– William Faulkner

Evil only prospers when good people do nothing

– Proverb

 

Your beliefs don’t make you a better person, your behavior does

– Unknown

 

Every truth passes through three stages before it is recognized. In the first, it is ridiculed. In the second, it is opposed. In the third, it is regarded as self evident.

– Arthur Schopenhauer

 

The place to improve the world is first in one’s own heart and head and hands, and then work outward from there.

– Robert M. Pirsig

 

When we change the world changes

– Anoymous

 

It is only through a change of consciousness that the world will be “saved”. Everyone must begin with themselves. Political actions, this “ism” that “ology” are all incomplete, futile actions unless accompanied by a new and elevated mode of awareness. In other words, the true revolution, is revelation. When that has occured on a global scale, the old problems and prejudices and inhumanities will vanish and the revolution will become evolution.

– John White, Highest State of Consciousness

 

Joy lies in the fight, in the attempt, in the suffering involved, not in the victory itself.

– Mahatma Gandhi

 

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

– Anne Frank

 

If not us, who? If not now, when?

– John F. Kennedy

 

There has never been a statue erected to honor a critic.

– Zig Ziglar

 

It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change

– Charles Darwin

 

Better to light a candle than curse the darkness.

– Eleanor Roosevelt

 

It is the greatest of all mistakes to do nothing because you can only do little – do what you can.

– Sydney Smith

 

A human being is a part of the whole called by us universe, a part limited in time and space. He experiences himself, his thoughts and feeling as something separated from the rest, a kind of optical delusion of his consciousness. This delusion is a kind of prison for us, restricting us to our personal desires and to affection for a few persons nearest to us. Our task must be to free ourselves from this prison by widening our circle of compassion to embrace all living creatures and the whole of nature in its beauty.

– Albert Einstein

 

The greatest revolution in our generation is that of human beings, who by changing the inner attitudes of their minds, can change the outer aspects of their lives.

– Marilyn Ferguson

 

Most of us may not be able to radically change the world, yet we can all aim to do our little bit and change ourselves to be better in the world. When we have millions of people doing their little bit – then without knowing – we have all radically changed the world.

– Anoymous

 

Do your little bit of good where you are; it’s those little bits of good put together that overwhelm the world

– Desmond Tutu

 

We can change the world simply by changing ourselves. If we become a center of wisdom, understanding, peace & compassion in this very moment, then in perhaps a small, but hardly significant way, the world has a nucleus of wisdom, understanding, peace & compassion that it lacked the moment before. This changes the world in an instant.

– Unknown

 

There is only one part of the world that you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.

– Unknown

 

For us to live & act now, as we think human beings have the potential live, despite all that is around us, is in itself the greatest of achievements.

– An Godsons Truth

 

Remake the world, a little at a time, each in your own corner of the world.

– Rick Riordan

 

You never change things by fighting the existing reality. To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.

– Buckminster Fuller

 

The secret of change is to focus all your energy, not on fighting the old, but on building the new

– Socrates

We live in very important, yet turbulent times and the world is at a cross-roads. Tremendous change is possible and will happen – but what sort of change depends on us. What sort of world do you want to leave for your children, and their children, and their children…

– A Godsons Truth

 

What we achieve in life, echoes in eternity.

– Unknown

 

 

A better way forward?

The purpose of government is to enable the people of a nation to live in safety and happiness. Government exists for the interests of the governed, not for the governors.

– Thomas Jefferson

 

The gross national product does not allow for the health of our children, the quality of their education or the joy of their play. It does not include the beauty of our poetry or the strength of our marriages, the intelligence of our public debate or the integrity of our public officials. It measures neither our wit nor our courage, neither our wisdom nor our learning, neither our compassion nor our devotion to our country, it measures everything in short, except that which makes life worthwhile.

– Robert Kennedy

 

For fifty years we’ve aimed relentlessly at higher incomes. But despite being much wealthier, we’re no happier than we were five decades ago. At the same time we’ve seen an increase in wider social issues, including a worrying rise in anxiety and depression in young people. It’s time for a positive change in what we mean by progress.

– Action for happiness

 

Lets take a step back and question things? Why do societies and governments exist? What purpose are they serving and in whose interests? What goals are they striving for? Are they truly worthwhile goals? Will they truly benefit citizens lives? Indeed on a personal level – what goals are we striving for? Most of us spend a big chunk of our waking lives at work, and work hard? Why? For what? What is the goal? What are we doing it for? We have become so obsessed with making money, the economy, as an end in itself – but surely that should just be part of a means to a bigger end – helping people live better, more enjoyable, more fulfilling lives?

– A Godsosn Truth

 

There is a growing global consensus that we need new measures of progress. It is critical that these measures clearly reflect what we value – something the current approach fails to do.

– New Economics Foundation

 

The world would be a much better place if governments understood that their real purpose is to enhance the wellbeing of the people.

– Action for Happiness

A successful society is one where economic activity delivers high levels of sustainable well-being for all its citizens.

– New Economics Foundation

 

When massive, seemingly soulless corporations recognize that the happiness of the workforce is a great predictor of long-term sustainable success, then you’ll see the societal tip occur.

– Shawn Achor

 

The Happy Planet Index is a new measure of progress that focuses on what matters: sustainable well-being for all. It tells us how well nations are doing in terms of supporting their inhabitants to live good lives now, while ensuring that others can do the same in future. At a time of uncertainty, the index provides a clear compass pointing nations in the direction they need to travel, and helping groups around the world to advocate for a vision of progress that is truly about people’s lives.

– New Economics Foundation. www.happyplanetindex.org

 

It is my view that promoting the wellbeing of its citizens should be the primary aim of any truly civilised & modern society. Sure a productive economy is an important thing – but it should not be the be all and end all. Somewhere down the line it’s all become just about making more money (For a country – increasing GDP, increasing economic growth; For a business; increasing profits; For an individual: getting more money). But why this endless pursuit of money? Probably because of the belief that more money will promote more happiness somewhere down the line. But it isn’t. Despite an increase in wealth over the last 40 years or so, citizens in countries such as the UK, are no more happier now. In fact mental illness such as depression is on the rise.

But imagine living in a society where improving well-being was the most valued aim. Where governments chief priority was concerned with creating the conditions to increase the well-being of it’s citizens. Imagine how so much better things could be, a society that is absolutely thriving, it’s people happy and flourishing. A truly inspirational society – with well-being of it’s citizens at it’s heart.

– Stuart Hodgson