John William Gardner quotes

 quotes - Life is the art of drawing without an eraser. Share

“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”

— John William Gardner

 quotes - True happiness involves the full use of one's power and talents. Share

“True happiness involves the full use of one's power and talents.”

— John William Gardner

 quotes - We are all faced with a series of great opportunities - brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems. Share

“We are all faced with a series of great opportunities - brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.”

— John William Gardner

 quotes - Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well. Share

“Excellence is doing ordinary things extraordinarily well.”

— John William Gardner

“The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.”

— John William Gardner

“Some people strengthen the society just by being the kind of people they are.”

— John William Gardner

“Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.”

— John William Gardner

“The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursing his own education. This will not be a widely shared pursuit until we get over our odd conviction that education is what goes on in school buildings and nowhere else. When one may pay out over two million dollars to presidential and Congressional campaigns, the U.S. government is virtually up for sale.”

— John William Gardner

“The creative individual has the capacity to free himself from the web of social pressures in which the rest of us are caught. He is capable of questioning the assumptions that the rest of us accept.”

— John William Gardner

“Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all.”

— John William Gardner

“For every talent that poverty has stimulated it has blighted a hundred.”

— John William Gardner

“History never looks like history when you are living through it.”

— John William Gardner

“Whoever I am, or whatever I am doing, some kind of excellence is within my reach.”

— John William Gardner

“The idea for which this nation stands will not survive if the highest goal free man can set themselves is an amiable mediocrity. Excellence implies striving for the highest standards in every phase of life.”

— John William Gardner

“If you have some respect for people as they are, you can be more effective in helping them to become better than they are.”

— John William Gardner

“One of the reasons people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure.”

— John William Gardner

“Our problem is not to find better values but to be faithful to those we profess.”

— John William Gardner

“It is hard to feel individually responsible with respect to the invisible processes of a huge and distant government.”

— John William Gardner

“All laws are an attempt to domesticate the natural ferocity of the species.”

— John William Gardner

“The cynic says, 'One man can't do anything.' I say, 'Only one man can do anything.'”

— John William Gardner

“Some people have greatness thrust upon them. Very few have excellence thrust upon them.”

— John William Gardner

“The hallmark of our age is the tension between aspirations and sluggish institutions.”

— John William Gardner

“America's greatness has been the greatness of a free people who shared certain moral commitments. Freedom without moral commitment is aimless and promptly self-destructive.”

— John William Gardner

“Men of integrity, by their very existence, rekindle the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor. We need that belief; a cynical community is a corrupt community.”

— John William Gardner

“I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we will look back at education as it is practiced in most schools today and wonder that we could have tolerated anything so primitive.”

— John William Gardner

“Leaders come in many forms, with many styles and diverse qualities. There are quiet leaders and leaders one can hear in the next county. Some find strength in eloquence, some in judgment, some in courage.”

— John William Gardner