Apathy and Empathy Quotes

"The ordinary man is passive. Within a narrow circle, home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics, he feels himself master of his fate. But otherwise he simply lies down and lets things happen to him." - George Orwell [Eric Arthur Blair] (1903-1950) British author Source: Inside the Whale, 1940
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"If once [the people] become inattentive to the public affairs, you and I, and Congress and Assemblies, Judges and Governors, shall all become wolves. It seems to be the law of our general nature, in spite of individual exceptions." -- Thomas Jefferson to Edward Carrington, 1787
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I have a very strong feeling that the opposite of love is not hate-it's apathy. It's not giving a damn. Leo Buscaglia

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"One who knows how to show and to accept kindness will be a friend better than any possession." Sophocles

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Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie, but rather mourn the apathetic, throng the coward and the meek who see the world's great anguish and its wrong, and dare not speak. Ralph Chaplin

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"Only your compassion and your loving kindness are invincible, and without limit." Thich Nhat Hanh

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Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

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"People will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel." Bonnie Jean Wasmund

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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. Albert Einstein

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"Remember there's no such thing as a small act of kindness. Every act creates a ripple with no logical end." Scott Adams

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Most human beings have an infinite capacity for taking things for granted. Aldous Huxley

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"Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned." Peter Marshall

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We may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all-the apathy of human beings. Helen Keller

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"Smile at each other, smile at your wife, smile at your husband, smile at your children, smile at each other-it doesn't matter who it is-and that will help you to grow up in greater love for each other." Mother Teresa

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I don't know, I don't care, and it doesn't make any difference! Jack Kerouac

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"So long as we love we serve; so long as we are loved by others, I would almost say that we are indispensable; and no one is useless while they have a friend." Robert Louis Stevenson

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There are some men formed with feelings so blunt that they can hardly be said to be awake during the whole course of their lives. Edmund Burke

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"Stop the habit of wishful thinking and start the habit of thoughtful wishes." Mary Martin

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Apathy is a sort of living oblivion. Horace Greeley

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"Tell them, that, to ease them of their griefs, their fear of hostile strokes, their aches, losses, their pangs of love, with other incident throes. That nature's fragile vessel doth sustain in life's uncertain voyage, I will some kindness do them." Shakespeare

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Such has often been my apathy, when objects long sought, and earnestly desired, were placed within my reach. Nathaniel Hawthorne

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"Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair, but manifestations of strength and resolution." Kahlil Gibran

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In this sullen apathy neither true wisdom nor true happiness can be found. David Hume

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" Yet, taught by time, my heart has learned to glow for other's good, and melt at other's woe." Homer

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Not to him who is offensive to us are we most unfair, but to him who doth not concern us at all. Friedrich Wilhelm Nietzsche

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"When a good man is hurt all who would be called good must suffer with him." Euripides
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Public apathy is more powerful than public opinion. There's more of it. Dr. Jim Boren

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" Two parts of empathy: Skill (tip of iceberg) and Attitude (mass of the iceberg)." Source Unknown
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We can't be so fixated on our desire to preserve the rights of ordinary Americans.

Bill Clinton

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" Are you then unable to recognize unless it has the same sound as yours?" Andre Gide

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It is the common fate of the indolent to see their rights become prey to the active. The conditions upon which God hath given liberty to man is eternal vigilance; which condition if he break, servitude is at once the consequence of his crime, and the punishment of his guilt. John Philpot Curran

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"Sometimes I'm asked by kids why I condemn marijuana when I haven't tried it. The greatest obstetricians in the world have never been pregnant." Art Linkletter
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The deterioration of every government begins with the decay of the principles on which it was founded. Charles-Louis De Secondat

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"We care how things turn out because the character cares-our interest comes from empathy." John Gardner

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I hear much of peoples' calling out to punish the guilty, but very few are concerned to clear the innocent. Daniel Defoe

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"We empathize-it's our chief way of learning. And the more complex the pattern of ideational connections-that is, the more fully we understand the scene adding up the facts, metaphors, and rhythms-the more completely we slip, unwittingly, into it, pitying, smiling at, or despising the crate. Thus the idea that the writer's only material is words is true only in a trivial sense." John Gardner

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We must not overlook the role that extremists play. They are the gadflies that keep society from being too complacent. Abraham Flexner

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"He must be able to report, with convincing precision, how the world looks to a child, a young woman, an elderly murderer, or the governor of Utah ." John Gardner

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These are the days when men of all social disciplines and all political faiths seek the comfortable and the accepted; when the man of controversy is looked upon as a disturbing influence; when originality is taken to be a mark of instability; and when, in minor modification of the original parable, the bland lead the bland. John Kenneth Galbraith

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"That is, in great fiction, we are moved by characters and events, not by the emotion of the person telling the story." John Gardner

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I wish there was a knob on the TV to turn up the intelligence. There's a knob called "brightness", but it doesn't work. Gallagher

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"Within a single scene, . . . it seems to be unwise to have access to the inner reflections of more than one character. The reader generally needs a single character as the means of perception, as the character to whom the events are happening, as the character with whom he is to empathize in order to have the events of the writing happen to him." John Ciardi

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What experience and history teach is this-that people and governments never have learned anything from history, or acted on principles deduced from it. George Wilhelm Friedrich Hegel

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"Readers, after all, are making the world with you. You give them the materials, but it's the readers who build that world in their own minds." Ursula K. Le Guin

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It is seldom that liberty of any kind is lost all at once. David Hume

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"It's no use telling us that something was 'mysterious' or 'loathsome' or 'awe-inspiring' or 'voluptuous.' By direct description, by metaphor and simile, by secretly evoking powerful associations, by offering the right stimuli to our nerves (in the right degree and the right order), and by the very beat and vowel-melody and length and brevity of your sentences, you must bring it about that we, we readers, not you, exclaim, 'how mysterious!' or 'loathsome' or whatever it is. Let me taste for myself, and you'll have no need to tell me how I should react." C.S. Lewis

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Habit is the denial of creativity and the negation of freedom; a self-imposed straitjacket of which the wearer is unaware. Arthur Koestler

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"All of us are persons who have never been anybody but ourselves, and if a writer can tell his story in terms of only one vicarious self the reader can become submerged deeper in the story than if he has to surface to change age, condition, and even sex." William Sloane

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For the great majority of mankind are satisfied with appearances, as though they were realities, and are often more influenced by the things that seem than by those that are.

Niccolo Machiavelli

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"The glory of fiction is that it gives us the effect of being someone else. This is the human reason why the means of perception is central to the experience of reading fiction." William Sloane

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Since the general civilization of mankind, I believe there are more instances of the abridgment of freedoms of the people by gradual and silent encroachment of those in power than by violent and sudden usurpations. James Madison

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"The question one must always ask is, who is the reader being as he reads." William Sloane

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I think the world is run by 'C' students. Al McGuire

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"Another reason I think the novel will survive is that the reader has to work in a novel. In a film, you are presented with someone else's imagination exactly bodied out. The marvelous thing about a novel is that every reader will imagine even the very simplest sentence slightly differently." John Fowles

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The biggest conspiracy has always been the fact that there is no conspiracy. Nobody's out to get you. Nobody gives a shit whether you live or die. There, you feel better now?

Dennis Miller

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"We do sympathetically engage ourselves in the struggle that produces the fictional events." John Gardner

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I believe more follies are committed out of complaisance to the world, than in following our own inclinations. Mary Wortley Montagu

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"Part of the particular interest and beauty of science fiction and fantasy: writer and reader collaborate in world-making." Ursula K. Le Guin

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When a person goes to a country and finds their newspapers filled with nothing but good news, he can bet there are good men in jail. Daniel Patrick Moynihan

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"In good poetry and fiction the writer speaks, first, to clarify in his own mind what he thinks and feels and, second, to make that clear to somebody else, on the assumption that the reader has sometimes felt, or can now be encouraged to feel, the same." John Gardner

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If none of us ever read a book that was "dangerous," had a friend who was "different," or joined an organization that advocated "change," we would all be the kind of people Joe McCarthy wants. Edward R. Murrow

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"Far be it for me to have worked it out in any abstract way. I don't know why the bull and Mrs. May have to die, or why Mr. Fortune and Mary Fortune: I just feel in my bones that that is the way it has to be. If I had the abstraction first I don't suppose I would write the story." Flannery O'Connor

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In Germany , the Nazis 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, but I didn't speak up because I was a protestant. Then they came for me, and by that time there was no one left to speak for me.

Reverend Martin Niemoeller

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"It [art] can only succeed through the cooperating imagination and intelligence of its consumers, who fill out, for themselves, the artist's world and make it round, and whose own special genius partly determine the ultimate glory of it." William Gass

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It is interesting to observe that in the year 1935 the average individual's incurious attitude towards the phenomenon of the State is precisely what his attitude was toward the phenomenon of the Church in the year, say, 1500. ... it does not appear to have occurred to the Church-citizen of that day, any more than it occurs to the State-citizen of the present, to ask what sort of institution it was that claimed his allegiance. Albert Jay Nock

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"The lyrical beauty of the prose entices us into participation." Donald Guttenplan

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As I watch government at all levels daily eat away at our freedom, I keep thinking how prosperity and government largesse have combined to make most of us fat and lazy and indifferent to, or actually in favor of, the limits being placed on that freedom. Lyn Nofziger

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"Consciousness must consent for literature to happen." Donald Guttenplan

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The ordinary man is passive. Within a narrow circle, home life, and perhaps the trade unions or local politics, he feels himself master of his fate. But otherwise he simply lies down and lets things happen to him. George Orwell

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"Our easiest approach to a definition of any aspect of fiction is always by considering the sort of demand it makes on the reader. Curiosity for the story, human feelings and a sense of value for the characters, intelligence and memory for the plot. What does fantasy ask of us? It asks us to pay something extra." E.M. Forster

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The penalty good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.

Plato

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"I have said that each aspect of the novel demands a different quality of the reader. Well, the prophetic aspect demands two qualities: humility and the suspension of the sense of humour." E.M. Forster

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The media, far from being a conspiracy to dull the political sense of the people, could be viewed as a conspiracy to disguise the extent of political indifference. David Riesman

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"The mind must be allowed to settle undisturbed over the object in order to secrete the pearl." Virginia Woolf

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Can we truly expect those who aim to exploit us to be trusted to educate us? Eric Schaub

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For most Americans the Constitution had become a hazy document, cited like the Bible on ceremonial occasions but forgotten in the daily transactions of life. Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.

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Most Americans aren't the sort of citizens the Founding Fathers expected; they are contented serfs. Far from being active critics of government, they assume that its might makes it right. Joseph Sobran

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You may not be interested in war, but war is very interested in you. Leo Nikolaevich Tolstoi

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If you are neutral in situations of injustice, you have chosen the side of the oppressor. If an elephant has its foot on the tail of a mouse and you say that you are neutral, the mouse will not appreciate your neutrality. Bishop Desmond Tutu

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Anyone who tells you that "It Can't Happen Here" is whistling past the graveyard of history. There is no 'house rule' that bars tyranny coming to America . History is replete with republics whose people grew complacent and descended into imperial butchery and chaos. Mike Vanderboegh

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.So long as the people do not care to exercise their freedom, those who wish to tyrannize will do so; for tyrants are active and ardent, and will devote themselves in the name of any number of gods, religious and otherwise, to put shackles upon sleeping men.

Voltaire

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I never liked the atmosphere of Washington . I early saw that it was impossible to build up a race of which the leaders were spending most of their time, thought and energy in trying to get into office, or in trying to stay there after they were in. Booker T. Washington

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No country upon earth ever had it more in its power to attain these blessings than United America. Wondrously strange, then, and much to be regretted indeed would it be, were we to neglect the means and to depart from the road which Providence has pointed us to so plainly; I cannot believe it will ever come to pass. George Washington

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Moments of complete apathy are the best for new creations. Philip Breedveld

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Is sloppiness in speech caused by ignorance or apathy? I don't know and I don't care.

William Safire

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Mourn not the dead that in the cool earth lie, but rather mourn the apathetic, throng the coward and the meek who see the world's great anguish and its wrong, and dare not speak. Ralph Chaplin

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Every difficulty slurred over will be a ghost to disturb your repose later on. Frederic Chopin

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The world is a dangerous place to live; not because of the people who are evil, but because of the people who don't do anything about it. Albert Einstein

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If moderation is a fault, then indifference is a crime. George C. Lichtenberg

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There is nothing harder than the softness of indifference. Juan Montalvo

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In lazy apathy let stoics boast,

Their virtue fixed, 'tis fixed as in a frost. Alexander Pope

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That only a few, under any circumstances, protest against the injustice of long-established laws and customs, does not disprove the fact of the oppressions, while the satisfaction of the many, if real only proves their apathy and deeper degradation. Elizabeth Cady Stanton

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It is common sense to take a method and try it. If it fails, admit it frankly and try another. But above all, try something. Franklin D. Roosevelt

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Science may have found a cure for most evils; but it has found no remedy for the worst of them all-the apathy of human beings. Helen Keller

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Truth is not only violated by falsehood; it may be equally outraged by silence. Henri Frederic Amiel

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Is it ignorance or apathy? Hey, I don't know and I don't care. Jimmy Buffett

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The difference between what we do and what we are capable of doing would suffice to solve most of the world's problems. Mohandas Gandhi

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The death of democracy is not likely to be an assassination from ambush. It will be a slow extinction from apathy, indifference, and undernourishment. Robert M. Hutchins

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Instead of saying that man is the creature of circumstance, it would be nearer the mark to say that man is the architect of circumstance. Thomas Carlyle

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The apathy of the people is enough to make every statue leap from its pedestal and hasten the resurrection of the dead. William Lloyd Garrison

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“...when we finally know we are dying, and all other sentient beings are dying with us, we start to have a burning, almost heartbreaking sense of the fragility and preciousness of each moment and each being, and from this can grow a deep, clear, limitless compassion for all being.” Sogyal Rinpoche

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"Empathy is not simply a matter of trying to imagine what others are going through, but having the will to muster enough courage to do something about it." --Cornel West

 

 

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