Quotations: Role-models

Example is not the main thing in influencing others. It is the only thing.
— Albert Schweitzer, German physician, musician, theologian, philosopher (1875-11965)

The true test of civilization is not the census, nor the size of cities, nor the crops – no, but the kind of man the country turns out.
— Ralph Waldo Emerson, American essayist, philosopher and poet (1803-1882)

The proper time to influence the character of a child is about a hundred years before he’s born.
— William R. Inge, American playwright (1913-1973)

If we want our children to possess the traits of character we most admire, we need to teach them what those traits are and why they deserve both admiration and allegiance. Children must learn to identify the forms and content of those traits.
— William J. Bennett, author and former U.S. Secretary of Education (b. 1943)

The formation of character in young people is educationally a different task from and a prior task to, the discussion of the great, difficult ethical controversies of the day.
— William J. Bennett, author and former U.S. Secretary of Education (b. 1943)

Don’t worry that children never listen to you. Worry that they are always watching you.
— Robert Fulghum, American author (b. 1937)

Train up a child in the way he should go and when he is old, he will not depart from it.
— Proverbs, 22:6

You are the bows from which your children as living arrows are sent forth.
— Kahlil Gibran, Lebanese-American novelist and poet (1883-1931)

Parents wonder why the streams are bitter, when they themselves have poisoned the fountain.
— John Locke, English philosopher (1632-1704)

The value of marriage is not that adults produce children but that children produce adults.
— Peter de Vries, American novelist (1910-1993)

Children need models rather than critics.
— Joseph Joubert, French essayist (1752-1824)

It takes a whole village to raise a child.
— Ashanti proverb

The best way to teach morality is to make it a habit with children.
— Aristotle, Greek philosopher (384-322 B.C.)

The question for the child is not Do I want to be good? but Whom do I want to be like?
— Bruno Bettelheim, Austrian-American child psychologist, author (1903-1990)

Example has more followers than reason.
— Christian Nevell Bovee, American author and lawyer (1820-1904)

If we are to reach real peace in this world . . . we shall have to begin with the children.
— Mohandas Gandhi, Indian nonviolent civil rights leader (1869-1948)

Imitation is a necessity of human nature.
— Oliver Wendell Holmes, Jr., American jurist, Supreme Court justice (1841-1935)

No one has yet fully realized the wealth of sympathy, kindness and generosity hidden in the soul of a child. The effort of every true education should be to unlock that treasure.
— Emma Goldman, Lithuanian-American anarchist writer, lecturer and activist (1869-1940)

This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.
— Theodore Roosevelt, American adventurer and 26th president (1858-1919)

If there is anything we wish to change in the child, we should first examine it and see whether it is not something that could better be changed in ourselves.
— Carl Jung, Swiss founder of analytical psychology (1875-1961)

We are the people our parents warned us about.
— Jimmy Buffett, American songwriter, performer (b. 1946)

Most people are good only so long as they believe others to be so.
— Friedrich Hebbel, German dramatist (1813-1863)

You can preach a better sermon with your life than with your lips.
— Oliver Goldsmith, English author (1728-1774)

Ones real life is often the life that one does not lead.
— Oscar Wilde, Anglo-Irish wit and author (1854-1900)

Be as you wish to seem.
— Socrates, Greek philosopher (c. 470-399 B.C.)

Be honorable yourself if you wish to associate with honorable people.
— Welsh proverb

It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.
— Andre Gide, French author (1869-1951)

People pay for what they do, and still more, for what they have allowed themselves to become. And they pay for it simply: by the lives they lead.
— Edith Wharton, American novelist (1862-1937), from The Age of Innocence

Act so as to elicit the best in others and thereby in thyself.
— Felix Adler, American educator and reformer (1851-1933)

Any man will usually get from other men just what he is expecting of them. If he is looking for friendship he will likely receive it. If his attitude is that of indifference, it will beget indifference. And if a man is looking for a fight, he will in all likelihood be accommodated in that.
— John Richelsen

If we lived in a state where virtue was profitable, common sense would make us saintly. But since we see that avarice, anger, pride and stupidity commonly profit far beyond charity, modesty, justice and thought, perhaps we must stand fast a little, even at the risk of being heroes.
— Sir Thomas More in the movie A Man For All Seasons (1966, screenplay by Robert Bolt)

With all the power that a president has, the most important thing to bear in mind is this: You must not give power to a man unless, above everything else, he has character. Character is the most important qualification the president of the United States can have.
— Richard Nixon, 37th U.S. president (1913-1994), from TV ad for Barry Goldwaters presidential campaign in 1964

In a president, character is everything. A president doesn’t have to be brilliant… He doesn’t have to be clever; you can hire clever… You can hire pragmatic, and you can buy and bring in policy wonks. But you cant buy courage and decency, you cant rent a strong moral sense. A president must bring those things with him. He needs to have, in that much maligned word, but a good one nonetheless, a vision of the future he wishes to create.. But a vision is worth little if a president doesn’t have the character – the courage and heart – to see it through.
— Peggy Noonan, 20th century American author, speech writer for U.S. President Ronald Reagan

Since a politician never believes what he says, he is surprised when others believe him.
— Charles de Gaulle, French general and president, founder of the Fifth Republic (1890-1970)

When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.
— Vietnamese saying

As long as I can conceive something better than myself I cannot be easy unless I am striving to bring it into existence.
— George Bernard Shaw, Anglo-Irish dramatist and wit (1856-1950)

Provision for others is the fundamental responsibility of human life.
— Woodrow Wilson, 28th U.S. president (1856-1924)

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.
— Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), American humorist, author and journalist (1835-1910)

Always imitate the behavior of the winner when you lose.
— Anonymous

When the game is over, it is really just beginning.
— Jerry Kramer, football player

No man is a hero to his valet.
— Mme. A.M. Bigot de Cornuel, Parisian hostess and woman of letters (1614-1694)

Few things are harder to put up with than the annoyance of a good example.
— Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), American humorist, author and journalist (1835-1910), in Puddnhead Wilson

A wise man knows everything; a shrewd one, everybody.
— Unknown