I’m not entitled to have an opinion unless I can state the arguments against my position better than the people who are in opposition. I think that I am qualified to speak only when I’ve reached that state.
—Charlie Munger (b.1924) American Investor, Philanthropist
Cautious, careful people always casting about to preserve their reputation or social standards never can bring about reform. Those who are really in earnest are willing to be anything or nothing in the world’s estimation, and publicly and privately, in season and out, avow their sympathies with despised ideas and their advocates, and bear the consequences.
—Susan B. Anthony (1820–1906) American Civil Rights Leader
There is a transcendent power in example. We reform others unconsciously, when we walk uprightly.
—Sophie Swetchine (1782–1857) Russian Christian Mystic
People who love soft methods and hate iniquity forget this, — that reform consists in taking a bone from a dog. Philosophy will not do it.
—John Jay Chapman (1862–1933) American Biographer, Poet, Essayist, Writer
Until politics are a branch of science we shall do well to regard political and social reforms as experiments rather than short-cuts to the millennium.
—J. B. S. Haldane (1892–1964) British Biologist, Geneticist
Of all follies there is none greater than wanting to make the world a better place.
—Moliere (1622–73) French Playwright
If you would civilize a man, begin with his grandmother.
—Victor Hugo (1802–85) French Novelist
Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
Necessity reforms the poor, and satiety the rich.
—Tacitus (56–117) Roman Political leader, Historian
How important, often, is the pain of guilt, as a stimulant to amendment and reformation.
—John Foster Dulles (1888–1959) American Lawyer, Diplomat, Politician
You cannot fight against the future. Time is on our side.
—William Ewart Gladstone (1809–98) British Head of State, Political leader, Scholar
When a child can be brought to tears, and not from fear of punishment, but from repentance he needs no chastisement. When the tears begin to flow from the grief of their conduct you can be sure there is an angel nestling in their heart.
—Horace Mann (1796–1859) American Educator, Politician, Educationalist