- For other uses, see Human (disambiguation).
Humans (Homo sapiens) are highly intelligent primates that have become the dominant species on Earth. They are the only extant members of the subtribe Hominina and together with chimpanzees, gorillas and orangutans, they are part of the family Hominidae (the great apes, or hominids). Humans are terrestrial animals, characterized by their erect posture and bipedal locomotion; high manual dexterity and heavy tool use compared to other animals; open-ended and complex language use compared to other animal communications; larger, more complex brains than other primates; and highly advanced and organized societies.
- Human beings, who are almost unique in having the ability to learn from the experience of others, are also remarkable for their apparent disinclination to do so.
- Douglas Adams, Last Chance to See (1990).
- You are the descendant of a tiny cell of primordial protoplasm washed up on an empty beach three and a half billion years ago. You are the blind and arbitrary product of time, chance, and natural forces. You are a mere grab-bag of atomic particles, a conglomeration of genetic substance. You exist on a tiny planet in a minute solar system in an empty corner of a universe. You are a purely biological entity, different only in degree but not in kind from a microbe, virus, or amoeba. You have no essence beyond your body, and at death you will cease to exist entirely. In short you come from nothing and are going to nowhere.
- You are the special creation of a good and all-powerful God. You are created in His image; with capacities to think, feel, and worship that set you above all other life forms. You differ from the animals not simply in degree but in kind. Not only is your kind unique, but you are unique among you kind. Your Creator loves you so much and so intensely desires you companionship and affection that he has a perfect plan for you life. In addition God gave the life of His only son that you might spend eternity with Him. If you are willing to accept his gift of salvation, you can become a child of God.
- Randy Alcorn, quoted in Dinesh D'Souza, What's so Great About Christianity (Regnery, 2007), pp. 15-16
- Humans are proud of themselves. The guiding principle of the modern age is "Man is the measure of all things." And our bodies have excited physiologists and philosophers to a profound awe of the basic mammalian design. But the history of the dinosaurs should teach us some humility... If our fundamental mammalian mode of adaptation was superior to the dinosaurs', then history should record the meteoric rise of the mammals and the eclipse of the dinosaurs. Our own Class Mammalia did not seize the dominant position in life on land. Instead, the mammal clan was but one of many separate evolutionary families that succeeded as species only by taking refuge in small body size during the Age of Dinosaurs. As long as there were dinosaurs, a full 130 million years, remember, the warm-blooded league of furry mammals produced no species bigger than a cat.
- Robert T. Bakker (1986), The Dinosaur Heresies: A Revolutionary View of Dinosaurs, Longman Scientific & Technical, p. 17
- I judge people by what they might be, — not are, nor will be.
- Robert Browning, English poet. A Soul’s Tragedy, Act II.
- Someday, somehow, I am going to do something useful, something for people. They are, most of them, so helpless, so hurt and so unhappy.
- Edith Cavell, as quoted in The Economist (15 October 2010), p. 107.
- Man is, at one and the same time, a solitary being and a social being. As a solitary being, he attempts to protect his own existence and that of those who are closest to him, to satisfy his personal desires, and to develop his innate abilities. As a social being, he seeks to gain the recognition and affection of his fellow human beings, to share in their pleasures, to comfort them in their sorrows, and to improve their conditions of life. Only the existence of these varied, frequently conflicting, strivings accounts for the special character of a man, and their specific combination determines the extent to which an individual can achieve an inner equilibrium and can contribute to the well-being of society.
- 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 feelings 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 nature in its beauty.
- Mankind. That word should have new meaning for all of us today. We can't be consumed by our petty differences anymore. We will be united in our common interests. Perhaps it's fate that today is the Fourth of July, and you will once again be fighting for our freedom. Not from tyranny, oppression, or persecution... but from annihilation. We're fighting for our right to live. To exist. And should we win the day, the Fourth of July will no longer be known as an American holiday, but as the day when the world declared in one voice: We will not go quietly into the night! We will not vanish without a fight! We're going to live on! We're going to survive! Today we celebrate our Independence Day!
- What they [the Cactus Bristle gang] discovered is that people were not influenced by principles, such as the difference between democracy and communism, Judaism versus Islam, or even rich versus poor. They found people did not generally comprehend or like abstract principles. All people wanted was a place they called their own, a good job, and the ability to make life decisions with ample access to television.
- Michael Scott Gallegos, "Lid: A Desert Shanty Town" (Nov 5, 2011) in "Cactus Bristle"
- I've helped him into an act of humanity. Anyone else like the sound of that: act of humanity?
- The sick in soul insist that it is humanity that is sick, and they are the surgeons to operate on it. They want to turn the world into a sickroom. And once they get humanity strapped to the operating table, they operate on it with an ax.
- Eric Hoffer, The Passionate State Of Mind, and Other Aphorisms (1955), Section 124.
- It is easier to love humanity as a whole than to love one's neighbor. … Some of the worst tyrannies of our day genuinely are "vowed" to the service of mankind, yet can function only by pitting neighbor against neighbor. The all-seeing eye of a totalitarian regime is usually the watchful eye of the next-door neighbor. In a Communist state love of neighbor may be classed as counter-revolutionary.
- Eric Hoffer, The Ordeal of Change (1963), Ch. 11: Brotherhood.
- In this unexpected scenario, the UFO occupants -- despite their obvious technological superiority -- are desperate for both human genetic material and the ability to feel human emotions -- particularly maternal emotions. Unlikely though it may seem, it is possible that the very survival of these extraterrestrials depends upon their success in absorbing chemical and psychological properties received from human abductees.
- Budd Hopkins, in Intruders: The Incredible Visitations at Copley Woods , p. 190
- With that I heard a loud voice from the throne say: “Look! The tent of God is with mankind, and he will reside with them, and they will be his people. And God himself will be with them. And he will wipe out every tear from their eyes, and death will be no more, neither will mourning nor outcry nor pain be anymore. The former things have passed away.”
- Out of the crooked timber of humanity, no straight thing was ever made.
- Immanuel Kant, Idea for a General History with a Cosmopolitan Purpose (1784), Proposition 6.
- I have tried to express that to apply the category “human race” to what it means to be a human being, especially as a term for the highest, is a misunderstanding and paganism, because the human race, humankind, is different from an “animalkind” not only by the advantage of race but by this humanness, that every individual in the human race (not just an outstanding individual, but every individual) is more than the race. This has its basis in the God-relationship (and this is Christianity, whose category the single individual is so strangely laughed to scorn by an esteemed Christian age), because to relate oneself to God is far superior to relating oneself to the race or through the race to God. This I have striven to express.
- The Point of View On My Work As An Author by Soren Kierkegaard (finished 1848) published by Peter Christian Kierkegaard 1859 translated by Howard and Edna Hong 1998 Princeton University Press Note p. 87-88
- I think the noblest part of man is the fact that he could transcend himself if he really tried. I mean, man is a very pliable object. It's been proven that you can put a man in 120 degrees of heat, hold him there for a certain amount of time and this guy - he's not going to walk out chipper, but he's going to walk out. Man has been subjected to what they might call 'killing stress' and he's walked out of that. In fact, I underate stress. Man can do something we might consider a super-act. Man can bend steel, and under stress he might be able to bend some even more intractable object. Man with training can perform super-acts. In other words, man can transcend himself in many ways.
- Show me a man or a woman alone and I'll show you a saint. Give me two and they'll fall in love. Give me three and they'll invent the charming thing we call 'society'. Give me four and they'll build a pyramid. Give me five and they'll make one an outcast. Give me six and they'll reinvent prejudice. Give me seven and in seven years they'll reinvent warfare. Man may have been made in the image of God, but human society was made in the image of His opposite number, and is always trying to get back home.
- Society is composed only of various conditions, professions, functions, and ways of life, among those who form what we call a Nation; of proprietors of the soil, and proprietors of houses; of investments, of handicrafts, of merchants, of manufacturers, of formers; of day-laborers becoming fanners, manufacturers, merchants, or possessors of houses or capital, in their turn; of the rich, of those in easy circumstances, of the poor, of workmen with their hands, workmen with their minds; of day-laborers, of those in need, of a small number of men enjoying considerable acquired or inherited wealth, of others of a smaller fortune painfully increased and improved, of others with property only sufficient for their needs; there are some, finally, without any personal possession but their hands, and gleaning for themselves and for their families, in the workshop, or the field, and at the threshold of the homes of others on the earth, the asylum, the wages, the bread, the instruction, the tools, the daily pay, all those means of existence which they have neither inherited, saved, nor acquired. These last are what have been improperly called the People.
- Alphonse de Lamartine, Atheism Among the People, (1850) p. 19-20.
- You know what I want to think of myself? As a human being. Because, I mean I don't want to be like "As Confucius say," but under the sky, under the heavens there is but one family. It just so happens man that people are different.
- Bruce Lee, Bruce Lee: The Lost Interview (1971)
- Every human heart is human.
- Nine human species walked the Earth 300,000 years ago. Now there is just one. The Neanderthals, Homo neanderthalensis, were stocky hunters adapted to Europe's cold steppes.
The related Denisovans inhabited Asia, while the more primitive Homo erectus lived in Indonesia, and Homo rhodesiensis in central Africa.
Several short, small-brained species survived alongside them: Homo naledi in South Africa, Homo luzonensis in the Philippines, Homo floresiensis ("hobbits") in Indonesia, and the mysterious Red Deer Cave People in China.
Given how quickly we're discovering new species, more are likely waiting to be found.
By 10,000 years ago, they were all gone. The disappearance of these other species resembles a mass extinction. But there's no obvious environmental catastrophe – volcanic eruptions, climate change, asteroid impact – driving it.
- Nick Longrich, “Were other humans the first victims of the sixth mass extinction?”, The Conversation, (November 21, 2019)
- Laborin' man an' laborin' woman
Hev one glory an' one shame;
Ev'ythin' thet's done inhuman
Injers all on 'em the same.
- James Russell Lowell, The Biglow Papers (1848), First Series. No. 1, Stanza 10.
- Adam Strange: Monsters. Always one kind of another: Cactus man; Bird man…
Sometimes I forget. I forget that I have an appendix and she doesn’t; hair on my body where her people have none. Forget that however we dress, to them…
To them we’re all monsters.
- I don't think that corporations are these big bogeymen that a lot of people paint them to be. … A corporation is a group of people, and if you want to come together for profit or nonprofit, that's your business—whatever you want to do.
- Krist Novoselic, interviewed by Nick Gillespie, "Nirvana's Krist Novoselic on Punk, Politics, & Why He Dumped the Dems", ReasonTV (19 June 2014), 15:30–15:37, 17:10–17:20.
- Man and woman cease to be humans
once they get lost into crowds.
- Suman Pokhrel, Standing in a Market
- Think not that God doth not heed the deeds of those who do mischief. He but giveth them respite against a Day when the eyes will fixedly stare in horror: They running forward with necks outstretched, their heads uplifted, their gaze returning not towards them, and their hearts a (gaping) void! So warn mankind of the Day when the Wrath will reach them: then will the wrongdoers say: "Our Lord! respite us (if only) for a short term: we will answer Thy call, and follow the apostles!" "What! were ye not wont to swear aforetime that ye should suffer no decline? "And ye dwelt in the dwellings of men who wronged their own souls; ye were clearly shown how We dealt with them; and We put forth (many) parables in your behoof!" Mighty indeed were the plots which they made, but their plots were (well) within the sight of God, even though they were such as to shake the hills!
- Quran 14:42-46
- Woe to man! How ungrateful is he! Of what substance did He create him? Of a sperm-drop. It is He who creates him, and fashions him, then provides nourishment for him, Then it is He who decides him to die, then puts him to a grave, Then; when He will, He revives him. (But) Nay! had he fulfilled what He had commanded him?
- Quran 80:17-23
- It seems that every life form on this planet strives toward its maximum potential...except human beings. A tree does not row to half its potential size and then say, “l guess that will do.” A tree will drive its roots as deep as possible. It will soak up as much nourishment as it can, stretch as high and as wide as nature will allow, and then look down as if to remind us of how much each of us could become if we would only do all that we can.
- Jim Rohn, Five Major Pieces To the Life Puzzle (1991).
- A person's lifeworm is a tangle of atomic worldlines. A braid. The dotty little atoms trace out smooth lines in spacetime: you are the pattern that these lines make up. There is no one single atom that is exclusively yours. I breathe an atom out, you breathe it in. Your garbage helps my tomatoes grow. And so the little spacetime threads weave us all together. The human race is a single vast tapestry, linked by our shared food and air. There are larger links as well: sperm, egg and umblilicus. Each family tree is an organic whole. Your spacetime body tapers back to the threads of mother's egg and father's sperm. And children, if you have them, are forever rooted in your flesh.
- Rudy Rucker in The Sex Sphere, p. 108.
- Humankind has become so much one family that we cannot ensure our own prosperity except by ensuring that of everyone else. If you wish to be happy yourself, you must resign yourself to seeing others also happy.
- "I swear that what I went through, no animal would have gone through." This sentence, the noblest ever spoken, this sentence that defines man's place in the universe, that honors him, that re-establishes the true hierarchy, floated back into my thoughts.
- Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, French writer. Wind, Sand and Stars
- The people will live on.
The learning and blundering people will live on.
- Carl Sandburg, The People, Yes (1936).
- Der Mensch kann tun was er will; er kann aber nicht wollen was er will.
- Man can do what he wills but he cannot will what he wills.
- Variant translations:
- Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.
- As quoted in The Motivated Brain : A Neurophysiological Analysis of Human Behavior (1991) by Pavel Vasilʹevich Simonov, p. 198.
- Man can do what he wants but he cannot want what he wants.
- [F]rom the time of our emergence as Homo sapiens, perhaps as long as 195,000 years ago (McDougall et al. 2005; White et al. 2003), we have lived as hunter-gatherers, picking fruit from trees, foraging wild grains, digging for vegetables, and hunting animals both large and small. The power of our own experiences, “living in the now” and the effects of socialization that make “normal” simply what we are used to, can obscure the fact that the technocratic society we know and reproduce in today accounts for less than 1% of human history (Table 1). Only 1-2% of our biological make-up has evolved since the ape-human split between 5 and 7 million years ago, meaning that the vast majority of our genes are ancient in origin (Trevathan et al. 2008). There have been a few simple genetic changes since the third little pig and his wife invented agriculture around 10-12,000 years ago, but the pace of cultural evolution is generally much faster than biological evolution. As a result, humans today occupy 35,000-year-old model bodies that are not particularly well adapted to the technocratic and industrializing cultures many of us live in (Armelagos et a. 2005; Eaton et al. 2002).
- Helaine Selin, “Childbirth Across Cultures: Ideas and Practices of Pregnancy, Childbirth and the Postpartum”, edited Helaine Selin, Pamela K Stone, (2009), p.4
- I think the destiny of all men is not to sit in the rubble of their own making but to reach out for an ultimate perfection which is to be had. At the moment, it is a dream. But as of the moment we clasp hands with our neighbor, we build the first span to bridge the gap between the young and the old. At this hour, it’s a wish. But we have it within our power to make it a reality. If you want to prove that God is not dead, first prove that man is alive.
- Every man’s death does diminish us. And it follows that every man’s poverty, every man’s indignity, every man’s frustration and hopelessness – they are a part of mankind.
- A person is smart. People are dumb, panicky, dangerous animals, and you know it.
- Not only did the lord make the world appear in its correct form, the lord who never changes the destinies which he determines – Enlil – who will make the human seed of the Land come forth from the earth – and not only did he hasten to separate heaven from earth, and hasten to separate earth from heaven, but, in order to make it possible for humans to grow in "where flesh came forth" [the name of a cosmic location], he first raised the axis of the world at Dur-an-ki. He did this with the help of the hoe -- and so daylight broke forth. By distributing the shares of duty he established daily tasks, and for the hoe and the carrying-basket wages were even established. ... Here, in 'Where Flesh Came Forth', he set this very hoe to work; he had it place the first model of mankind in the brick mould. His Land started to break through the soil towards Enlil. He looked with favour at his black-headed people. Now the Anuna gods stepped forward to him, and did obeisance to him. They calmed Enlil with a prayer, for they wanted to demand the black-headed people from him. Ninmena, the lady who had given birth to the ruler, who had given birth to the king, now set human reproduction going.
- Social science means inventing a certain brand of human we can understand.
- Nassim Nicholas Taleb, The Bed of Procrustes: Philosophical and Practical Aphorisms (2010) The Sage, the Weak, and the Magnificent, p. 95.
- On the level of the body, humans are very close to animals. All the basic bodily functions - pleasure, pain, breathing, eating, drinking, defecating, sleeping, the drive to find a mate and procreate, and of course birth and death - we share with the animals. A long time after their fall from a state of grace and oneness into illusion, humans suddenly woke up in what seemed to be an animal body - and they found this very disturbing. "Don't fool yourself. You are no more than an animal." This seemed to be the truth that was staring them in the face. But it was too disturbing a truth to tolerate. Adam and Eve saw that they were naked, and they became afraid. Unconscious denial of their animal nature set in very quickly. The threat that they might be taken over by powerful instinctual drives and revert back to complete unconsciousness was indeed a very real one. Shame and taboos appeared around certain parts of the body and bodily functions, especially sexuality. The light of their consciousness was not yet strong enough to make friends with their animal nature, to allow it to be and even enjoy that aspect of themselves - let alone to go deeply into it to find the divine hidden within it, the reality within the illusion.
- Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997) p. 73
- As the egoic mode of consciousness and all the social, political, and economic structures that it created enter the final stage of collapse, the relationships between men and women reflect the deep state of crisis in which humanity now finds itself. As humans have become increasingly identified with their mind, most relationships are not rooted in Being and so turn into a source of pain and become dominated by problems and conflict.
- Eckhart Tolle in The Power of Now: A Guide to Spiritual Enlightenment (1997) p. 99
- Until very recently, the transformation of human consciousness – also pointed to by the ancient teachers – was no more than a possibility, realized by a few rare individuals here and there, irrespective of cultural or religious background. A widespread flowering of human consciousness did not happen because it was not yet imperative. A significant portion of the earth’s population will soon recognize, if they haven’t already done so, that humanity is now faced with a stark choice: Evolve or die. A still relatively small but rapidly growing percentage of humanity is already experiencing within themselves the breakup of the old egoic mind patterns and the emergence of a new dimension of consciousness.
- Eckhart Tolle in A New Earth:Awakening to Your Life's Purpose, (2005)
- Thomas: My mistakes are my own, but over the ages humans have proven to be violent, short sighted and hostile. Is this really something I can do anything about?
- I have learned
To look on nature, not as in the hour
Of thoughtless youth; but hearing oftentimes
The still, sad music of humanity,
Nor harsh nor grating, though of ample power
To chasten and subdue. And I have felt
A presence that disturbs me with the joy
Of elevated thoughts; a sense sublime
Of something far more deeply interfused,
Whose dwelling is the light of setting suns,
And the round ocean and the living air,
And the blue sky, and in the mind of man;
A motion and a spirit, that impels
All thinking things, all objects of all thought,
And rolls through all things.
Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical QuotationsEdit
- Quotes reported in Hoyt's New Cyclopedia Of Practical Quotations (1922), p. 380.
- Love, hope, fear, faith — these make humanity;
These are its sign and note and character.
- W'en you see a man in woe,
Walk right up and say "hullo."
Say "hullo" and "how d'ye do,"
"How's the world a-usin' you?"
. . . . .
W'en you travel through the strange
Country t'other side the range,
Then the souls you've cheered will know
Who you be, an' say "hullo."
- Sam Walter Foss, Hullo.
- He held his seat; a friend to human race.
- Homer, The Iliad, Book VI, line 18. Pope's translation.
- Respect us, human, and relieve us, poor.
- Homer, The Odyssey, Book IX, line 338. Pope's translation.
- Over the brink of it
Picture it—think of it,
Lave in it—drink of it
Then, if you can.
- Thomas Hood, Bridge of Sighs.
- Oh, God! that bread should be so dear,
And flesh and blood so cheap!
- Thomas Hood, Song of a Shirt.
- For He, who gave this vast machine to roll,
Breathed Life in them, in us a Reasoning Soul;
That kindred feelings might our state improve,
And mutual wants conduct to mutual love.
- Juvenal, Satire XV, line 203.
- It is good to be often reminded of the inconsistency of human nature, and to learn to look without wonder or disgust on the weaknesses which are found in the strongest minds.
- Thomas Babington Macaulay, 1st Baron Macaulay, Warren Hastings.
- For nothing human foreign was to him.
- James Thomson, To the Memory of Lord Talbot, translation of "Humani nihil a me alienum puto".
- For the interesting and inspiring thing about America, gentlemen, is that she asks nothing for herself except what she has a right to ask for humanity itself.
- Woodrow Wilson, speech at the luncheon of the Mayor of New York, May 17, 1915.
- Never to blend our pleasure or our pride
With sorrow of the meanest thing that feels.
- William Wordsworth, Hart-leap Well, Part II.
- We declare our right on this earth to be a human being, to be respected as a human being, to be given the rights of a human being in this society, on this earth, in this day, which we intend to bring into existence by any means necessary.
- Malcolm X Interview (January 1965?); quoted in By Any Means Necessary
Respectfully Quoted: A Dictionary of Quotations (1989)Edit
- There are people in our society who should be separated and discarded. I think it's one of the tendencies of the liberal community to feel that every person in a nation of over 200 million people can be made into a productive citizen.
I'm realist enough to believe this can't be. We're always going to have our prisons, we're always going to have our places of preventive detention for psychopaths, and we're always going to have a certain number of people in our community who have no desire to achieve or who have no desire to even fit in an amicable way with the rest of society.
And these people should be separated from the community, not in a callous way but they should be separated as far as any idea that their opinions shall have any effect on the course we follow.
- Spiro T. Agnew, comments during interview for European audiences which was recorded in Washington, D.C., then broadcast over British Independent Television on June 30, 1970, as reported by The Washington Post, July 2, 1970, p. A3.
- Where there is no vision, the people perish.
- The Bible, Proverbs 29:18.
- I can not wish you success in your effort to reject the treaty because while it may win the fight it may destroy our cause. My plan cannot fail if the people are with us and we ought not to succeed unless we do have the people with us.
- William Jennings Bryan, letter to Andrew Carnegie, January 13, 1899. Bryan papers, Library of Congress. Andrew Carnegie, working to defeat the treaty of peace with Spain, unsuccessfully sought Bryan's help.
- I am a child of the House of Commons. I was brought up in my father's house to believe in democracy. "Trust the people"—that was his message.
- Winston Churchill, speech to a joint session of Congress, Washington, D.C., December 26, 1941. Winston S. Churchill: His Complete Speeches, 1897–1963, ed. Robert Rhodes James, vol. 6, p. 6536 (1974).
- Your people, sir, is nothing but a great beast!
- Attributed to Alexander Hamilton, in a political argument with Thomas Jefferson. David S. Muzzey, An American History, p. 192 (1911). For similar expressions of this idea going back to Horace, see Bartlett's Familiar Quotations, 15th ed., p. 108, no. 19 and footnotes (1982), and The Home Book of Quotations, ed. Burton Stevenson, 9th ed., p. 1483–84, section 7 (1964).
- Would yee both eat your cake, and have your cake?
- John Heywood, The Proverbs of John Heywood, part 2, chapter 9, p. 162 (1598, reprinted 1874, 1978). The idea that if you spend a thing you cannot have it goes back much further than Heywood's original 1546 work. Plautus wrote c. 194 B.C. in Trinummus (act II, scene iv, line 414), "Non tibi illud apparere si sumas potest" (if you spend a thing you cannot have it), translated as "You cannot eat your cake and have it too" by one Englishman. Comedies of Plautus, trans. Bonnell Thornton, 2d ed., rev., vol. 2, p. 29 (1769).
- People don't eat in the long run—they eat every day.
- Attributed to Harry L. Hopkins, who headed the Federal Emergency Relief Administration in 1933. Robert E. Sherwood, Roosevelt and Hopkins: An Intimate History, p. 52 (1948).
- The mobs of great cities add just so much to the support of pure government, as sores do to the strength of the human body. It is the manners and spirit of a people which preserve a republic in vigor. A degeneracy in these is a canker which soon eats to the heart of its laws and constitution.
- Thomas Jefferson, Notes on Virginia, query 19, reprinted in Andrew A. Lipscomb, ed., The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, vol. 2 (1903), p. 230.
- A sense of this necessity, and a submission to it, is to me a new and consolatory proof that wherever the people are well informed they can be trusted with their own government; that whenever things get so far wrong as to attract their notice, they may be relied on to set them to rights.
- Thomas Jefferson, letter to Richard Price (January 8, 1789); in Julian P. Boyd, ed., The Papers of Thomas Jefferson (1958), vol. 14, p. 420.
- The President to-night has a dream:—He was in a party of plain people, and, as it became known who he was, they began to comment on his appearance. One of them said:—"He is a very common-looking man". The President replied:—"The Lord prefers common-looking people. That is the reason he makes so many of them".
- Attributed to President Abraham Lincoln, December 23, 1863. John Hay, Letters of John Hay and Extracts from Diary, vol. 1, p. 142–43 (1908, reprinted 1969).
- No democracy has ever long survived the failure of its adherents to be ready to die for it…. My own conviction is this, the people must either go on or go under.
- David Lloyd George, address, conference of trade union delegates, London, January 18, 1918, as reported by The Times (London), January 19, 1918, p. 8.
- I do not want the voice of the people shut out.
- Huey Long, remarks in the Senate, May 16, 1932, Congressional Record, vol. 75, p. 10297.
- Your country is calling you. Our people are calling us. The people of America are calling us to relieve them from the distress that has infested this entire Nation as the result of following the Cabinet officers of the present administration. Your people are asking you to deliver them from this condition that now exists. They are asking relief.
- Huey Long, remarks in the Senate, May 16, 1932, Congressional Record, vol. 75, p. 10307.
- Let’s have what many people were calling for long before this disaster hit: a green new deal. But please let’s stop describing it as a stimulus package. We have stimulated consumption too much over the past century, which is why we face environmental disaster. Let us call it a survival package, whose purpose is to provide incomes, distribute wealth and avoid catastrophe, without stoking perpetual economic growth. Bail out the people, not the corporations. Bail out the living world, not its destroyers.
- If I were to attempt to put my political philosophy tonight into a single phrase, it would be this: Trust the people. Trust their good sense, their decency, their fortitude, their faith. Trust them with the facts. Trust them with the great decisions. And fix as our guiding star the passion to create a society where people can fulfill their own best selves—where no American is held down by race or color, by worldly condition or social status, from gaining what his character earns him as an American citizen, as a human being and as a child of God.
- Adlai Stevenson, speech at Harrisburg, Pennsylvania, September 13, 1956. Stevenson, The New America, ed. Seymour E. Harris, Jr., p. 13–14 (1971).
- No People can be bound to acknowledge and adore the invisible hand, which conducts the Affairs of men more than the People of the United States. Every step, by which they have advanced to the character of an independent nation, seems to have been distinguished by some token of providential agency.
- George Washington, first inaugural address, April 30, 1789. The Writings of George Washington, ed. John C. Fitzpatrick, vol. 30, p. 293 (1939).
- People are not an interruption of our business. People are our business.
- Walter E. Washington, mayor of Washington, D.C., c. 1971.
- Anan: There can be no peace. Don't you see? We've admitted it to ourselves. We're a killer species. It's instinctive. It's the same with you. Your General Order Twenty Four.
- Kirk: All right. It's instinctive. But the instinct can be fought. We're human beings with the blood of a million savage years on our hands! But we can stop it. We can admit that we're killers... but we're not going to kill today. That's all it takes! Knowing that we're not going to kill - today!