Robert Pirsig

Robert M. Pirsig Quote – We do need a return to individual integrity …

My personal feeling is that this is how any further improvement of the world will be done: by individuals making Quality decisions and that’s all. God, I don’t want to have any more enthusiasm for big programs full of social planning for big masses of people that leave individual Quality out. These can be left alone for a while. There’s a place for them but they’ve got to be built on a foundation of Quality within the individuals involved. We’ve had that individual Quality in the past, exploited it as a natural resource without knowing it, and now it’s just about depleted. Everyone’s just about out of gumption. And I think it’s about time to return to the rebuilding of this American resource…individual worth. There are political reactionaries who’ve been saying something close to this for years. I’m not one of them, but to the extent they’re talking about real individual worth and not just an excuse for giving more money to the rich, they’re right. We do need a return to individual integrity, self-reliance and old-fashioned gumption. We really do.

- Robert M. Pirsig1

  1. From Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance: An Inquiry into Values (P.S.) []

Robert Louis Stevenson

Robert Louis Stevenson Quote – System


Every night my prayers I say,
And get my dinner every day;
And every day that I’ve been good,
I get an orange after food.

The child that is not clean and neat,
With lots of toys and things to eat,
He is a naughty child, I’m sure -
Or else his dear papa is poor.

- Robert Louis Stevenson1

  1. A Child’s Garden of Verses, pg. 29 []

The Bible

Bible Quote – Matthew 6:24

No one can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and money.

- Matthew 6:24 (ESV)

No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and wealth.

- Matthew 6:24 (NASB)

No one can serve two masters. Either he will hate the one and love the other, or he will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and Money.

- Matthew 6:24 (NIV)

Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes Quote – I merit by virtue of my own power …

He that performeth first in the case of a contract, is said to “merit” that which he is to receive by the performance of the other; and he hath it as “due.”  Also when a prize is propounded to many, which is to be given to him only that winneth; or money is thrown amongst many, to be enjoyed by them that catch it; though this be a free gift; yet so to win, or so to catch, is to “merit,” and to have it as”due.”  For the right is transferred in the propounding of the prize, and in throwing down the money; though it be not determined to whom, but by the event of the contention.  But there is between these two sorts of merit, this difference, that in contract, I merit by virtue of my own power, and the contractor’s need; but in this case of free gift, I am enabled to merit only by the benignity of the giver: in contract I merit at the contractor’s hand that he should depart with his right; in this case of gift, I merit not that the giver should part with his right; but that when he has parted with it, it should be mine, rather than another’s.

- Thomas Hobbes1

  1. Leviathan, Or, The Matter, Form, and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil, pg. 57 []

Malcolm Gladwell

Malcolm Gladwell Quote – Autonomy, complexity, and a connection …

Autonomy, complexity, and a connection between effort and reward are, most people agree, the three qualities that work has to have if it is to be satisfying.

- Malcolm Gladwell1

  1. Outliers (2008), p. 149 via Fire and Knowledge []

Thomas Hobbes

Thomas Hobbes Quote – life of man, solitary, poor …

Hereby it is manifest, that during the time men live without a common power to keep them all in awe, they are in that condition which is called war; and such a war, as is of every man, against every man. For “war” consisteth not in battle only, or the act of fighting; but in a tract of time, wherein the will to contend by battle is sufficiently know: and therefore the notion of “time” is to be considered in the nature of war, as it is in the nature of weather. For as the nature of foul weather lieth not in a shower or two of rain, but in an inclination thereto of many days together; so the nature of war consisteth not in actual fighting, but in the known disposition thereto during all the time there is no assurance to the contrary. All other time is “peace.”

Whatsoever therefore is consequent to the time wherein men live without other security than what their own strength and their own invention shall furnish them withal. In such condition there is no place for industry, because the fruit thereof is uncertain, and consequently no culture of the earth; no navigation, nor use of the commodities that may be imported by sea; no commodious building; no instruments of moving and removing such things as require much force; no knowledge of the face of the earth; no account of time; no arts; no letters; no society; and, which is worse of all, continual fear and danger of violent death; and the life of man, solitary, poor, nasty, brutish, and short.

- Thomas Hobbes1

  1. Leviathan, Or, The Matter, Form, and Power of a Commonwealth, Ecclesiastical and Civil, pg. 64 []

Henry Timrod

Henry Timrod Quote – Ethnogenesis


But let our fears – if fears we have – be still,
And turn us to the future! Could we climb
Some Alp in though, and view the coming time,
We should indeed behold a sight to fill
Our eyes with happy tears!
Not for the glories which a hundred years
Shall bring us; not for lands from sea to sea,
And wealth, and power, and peace, though these shall be;
But for the distant peoples we shall bless,
And the hushed murmurs of a world’s distress:
For, to give food and clothing to the poor,
The whole sad planet o’er,
And save from crime its humblest human door,
Our mission is!
The hour is not yet ripe
When all shall see it, but behold the type
Of what we are and shall be to the world,
In our own grand and genial Gulf stream furled,
Which through the vast and colder ocean pours
Its waters, so that far-off Arctic shores
May sometimes catch upon the softened breeze
Strange tropic warmth and hints of summer seas.

- Henry Timrod1

  1. From Ethnogenesis in Songs and Ballads of the Southern People. 1861-1865, pg. 13-14; Originally written on the occasion of the meeting of the Confederate Congress, at Montgomery, February 4, 1861, and published in the “Charleston Courier.” []

Adrian Rogers

Adrian Rogers Quote – You cannot legislate the poor …

You cannot legislate the poor into freedom by legislating the wealthy out of freedom. What one person receives without working for, another person must work for without receiving. The government cannot give to anybody anything that the government does not first take from somebody else. When half of the people get the idea that they do not have to work because the other half is going to take care of them, and when the other half gets the idea that it does no good to work because somebody else is going to get what they work for, that my dear friend, is about the end of any nation. You cannot multiply wealth by dividing it.

- Attributed to Adrian Rogers1

  1. In a blog post titled The Problem With Socialism []

Victor Hugo

Victor Hugo Qoute – There is always more misery …

On the contrary, as there is always more misery among the lower classes than there is humanity in the higher, everything was given away, so to speak, before it was received, like water on thirsty soil; it was well that money came to him, for he never kept any; and besides he robbed himself.  It being the custom that all bishops should put their baptismal names at the head of their orders and pastoral letters, the poor people of the district had chosen by a sort of affectionate instinct, from among the names of the Bishop, that which was expressive to them, and they always called him Monseigneur Bienvenu.  We shall follow their example and shall call him thus; besides, this pleased him.  ‘I like this name,’ said he; ‘Bienvenu counterbalances Monseigneur.’

- Victor Hugo1

  1. Les Miserables, pg. 11 []

The Bible

Bible Quote – Ecclesiastes 5:8-20

If you see in a province the oppression of the poor and the violation of justice and righteousness, do not be amazed at the matter, for the high official is watched by a higher, and there are yet higher ones over them. But this is gain for a land in every way: a king committed to cultivated fields.

He who loves money will not be satisfied with money, nor he who loves wealth with his income; this also is vanity. When goods increase, they increase who eat them, and what advantage has their owner but to see them with his eyes? Sweet is the sleep of a laborer, whether he eats little or much, but the full stomach of the rich will not let him sleep.

There is a grievous evil that I have seen under the sun: riches were kept by their owner to his hurt, and those riches were lost in a bad venture. And he is father of a son, but he has nothing in his hand. As he came from his mother’s womb he shall go again, naked as he came, and shall take nothing for his toil that he may carry away in his hand. This also is a grievous evil: just as he came, so shall he go, and what gain is there to him who toils for the wind? Moreover, all his days he eats in darkness in much vexation and sickness and anger.

Behold, what I have seen to be good and fitting is to eat and drink and find enjoyment in all the toil with which one toils under the sun the few days of his life that God has given him, for this is his lot. Everyone also to whom God has given wealth and possessions and power to enjoy them, and to accept his lot and rejoice in his toil—this is the gift of God. For he will not much remember the days of his life because God keeps him occupied with joy in his heart.

- Ecclesiastes 5:8-20 (ESV)