„The truth is: the natural world is changing. And we are totally dependent on that world. It provides our food, water and air. It is the most precious thing we have and we need to defend it.“

Last update Oct. 16, 2020. History
David Attenborough photo
David Attenborough53
British broadcaster and naturalist 1926

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David Attenborough photo
Махатма Ганди photo

„We need to be the change we wish to see in the world.“

—  Махатма Ганди pre-eminent leader of Indian nationalism during British-ruled India 1869 - 1948

There is "no reliable documentary evidence for the quotation", according to an article in The New York Times. Brian Morton, "Falser Words Were Never Spoken" http://www.nytimes.com/2011/08/30/opinion/falser-words-were-never-spoken.html?_r=0, New York Times, 2011-08-29. It is not found as a direct Gandhi quotation in the 98-volume authorized Collected Works of Mahatma Gandhi. Misquotes that Bapu is forced to wear http://articles.timesofindia.indiatimes.com/2011-10-03/ahmedabad/30238203_1_bapu-tushar-gandhi-gandhiji
The earliest evidence for quotes of this type comes from the "Love Project", an initiative begun at 1970 at a high school in Brooklyn, New York by teacher Arleen Lorrance. According to the project's website http://www.consciousnesswork.com/love.htm, "Be the change you want to see happen, instead of trying to change anyone else" was one the principles of the Project "received" by Lorrance in 1970 -- but contemporaneous evidence for this has not been found.
A 1972 newspaper article states: "Instead of advocating change in people and things, ... Love Project encourages people to actually be change itself". [San Antonio Express, 1972-09-28, 76, 'Love Project' Marks End of Quest, Ron, Fulkerson, https://www.newspapers.com/clip/12194386/love_project_1972/]
In 1974, Lorrance wrote, in a report on the Project: "One way to start a preventative program is to be the change you want to see happen." ( "The Love Project" https://books.google.com/books?id=NcTimfiMzYUC&pg=PA85&lpg=PA85&dq=arleen+lorrance+love+project+1972&source=bl&ots=X5fggiqrCZ&sig=JoOzC2X1QU1eePkOBoy-60rJ1RE&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwiAwIv-_a_MAhUBW2MKHYBQDFIQ6AEIQDAH#v=onepage&q=%22be%20the%20change%22&f=false, in Kellough (ed.), Developing Priorities and a Style, MSS, 1974).
In 1976, a newspaper report listed "'Be the change you want to see happen, instead of trying to change anyone else" as one of the principles of the Love Project. 'A Ministry Called "The Love Project", St Louis Post Dispatch, 1976-11-15, p. 36
In 1987, a similar quote was attributed to Gandhi in a New Mexico newspaper: "You must be the change you wish to see in the world". Hollis Engley, "A Long List of Varied Accomplishments" https://www.newspapers.com/clip/5211946/a_long_list_of_varied_accomplishments/, The New Mexican, Santa Fe, NM, 1987-01-11, p. D-1
In 1991,"We must be the change we wish to see in the world" is attributed to Gandhi in Stella Cornelius, "Partners in Conflict Resolution", from Barnaby (ed.), Building a More Democratic United Nations (1991) Google Book link https://books.google.com/books?id=rcYYoLsFNmAC&pg=PA70&dq=%22be+the+change%22+%22wish+to+see%22&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0CB0Q6AEwAGoVChMI4ufD3tSLyQIVFFJjCh1muQX6#v=onepage&q=%22be%20the%20change%22%20%22wish%20to%20see%22&f=false
Arun Gandhi, grandson of Mahatma Gandhi, has attributed the quote to his famous grandfather since at least 2000 https://web.archive.org/web/20000823060048/http://www.jca.apc.org/g21/panelists.htm. See also "Arun Gandhi Shares the Mahatma's Message" by Michel W. Potts, in India - West [San Leandro, California] Vol. XXVII, No. 13 (1 February 2002) p. A34, and "Be the change you wish to see: An interview with Arun Gandhi" by Carmella B'Hahn, Reclaiming Children and Youth [Bloomington] Vol. 10, No. 1 (Spring 2001) p. 6.< It is not clear whether Arun claims to have directly witnessed his grandfather saying it, or whether he heard of it second-hand.
Misattributed

Ash Carter photo

„We need to change because the world is changing, and we need to anticipate what is next and be there first, as the US military has always been. So, the changes in our future, I think is something that we are all completely committed to.“

—  Ash Carter United States Secretary of Defense 1954

archive.defensenews.com interview http://archive.defensenews.com/article/20131119/DEFREG02/311190032/Interview-Ashton-Carter-US-Deputy-Defense-Secretary

Philip Pullman photo
William Ellery Channing photo

„I have insisted on our own activity as essential to our progress; but we were not made to live or advance alone. Society is as needful to us as air or food.“

—  William Ellery Channing United States Unitarian clergyman 1780 - 1842

"Self-Culture", an address in Boston (September 1838) http://www.americanunitarian.org/selfculture.htm
Context: I have insisted on our own activity as essential to our progress; but we were not made to live or advance alone. Society is as needful to us as air or food. A child doomed to utter loneliness, growing up without sight or sound of human beings, would not put forth equal power with many brutes; and a man, never brought into contact with minds superior to his own, will probably run one and the same dull round of thought and action to the end of llfe.
It is chiefly through books that we enjoy intercourse with superior minds, and these invaluable means of communication are in the reach of all. In the best books great men talk to us, give us their most precious thoughts, and pour their souls into ours. God be thanked for books. They are the voices of the distant and the dead, and make us heirs of the spiritual life of past ages. Books are true levelers. They give to all, who will faithfully use them, the society, the spiritual presence, of the best and greatest of our race.

Edward Grey, 1st Viscount Grey of Fallodon photo
Stanisław Lem photo
Bawa Muhaiyaddeen photo
Oliver Lodge photo

„Death is not a word to fear, any more than birth is. We change our state at birth, and come into the world of air and sense and myriad existence; we change our state at death and enter a region of—what?“

—  Oliver Lodge British physicist 1851 - 1940

Raymond, p. 298 https://babel.hathitrust.org/cgi/pt?id=loc.ark:/13960/t80k3mq4s;view=1up;seq=340
Raymond, or Life and Death (1916)

Prem Rawat photo
James D. Watson photo

„I have always fiercely defended the position that we should base our view of the world on the state of our knowledge, on fact, and not on what we would like it to be.“

—  James D. Watson American molecular biologist, geneticist, and zoologist. 1928

To question genetic intelligence is not racism (2007)
Context: Science is no stranger to controversy. The pursuit of discovery, of knowledge, is often uncomfortable and disconcerting. I have never been one to shy away from stating what I believe to be the truth, however difficult it might prove to be. This has, at times, got me in hot water.
Rarely more so than right now, where I find myself at the centre of a storm of criticism. I can understand much of this reaction. For if I said what I was quoted as saying, then I can only admit that I am bewildered by it. To those who have drawn the inference from my words that Africa, as a continent, is somehow genetically inferior, I can only apologise unreservedly. That is not what I meant. More importantly from my point of view, there is no scientific basis for such a belief.
I have always fiercely defended the position that we should base our view of the world on the state of our knowledge, on fact, and not on what we would like it to be. This is why genetics is so important. For it will lead us to answers to many of the big and difficult questions that have troubled people for hundreds, if not thousands, of years.
But those answers may not be easy, for, as I know all too well, genetics can be cruel. My own son may be one of its victims. Warm and perceptive at the age of 37, Rufus cannot lead an independent life because of schizophrenia, lacking the ability to engage in day-to-day activities.

Joseph Stalin photo

„We must finally understand that of all the precious capital in the world, the most precious capital, the most decisive capital, is human beings […]. Cadres decide everything!“

—  Joseph Stalin General secretary of the Communist Party of the Soviet Union 1879 - 1953

http://www.jstor.org/discover/10.2307/2495035?uid=3738776&uid=2&uid=4&sid=21104844992271
A more accurate translation, with respect to the context, might read: "Cadres are the key to everything"
In Russian: [...] из всех ценных капиталов, имеющихся в мире, самым ценным и самым решающим капиталом являются люди [...]. Кадры решают все!
Address to the Graduates from the Red Army Academies http://marx2mao.com/Stalin/GRA35.html. (4 May 1935); Variant translation: Human resources solve all!

Jimmy Carter photo

„We can meet the resource problems of the world — water, food, minerals, farmlands, forests, overpopulation, pollution — if we tackle them with courage and foresight.“

—  Jimmy Carter American politician, 39th president of the United States (in office from 1977 to 1981) 1924

Presidency (1977–1981), Farewell Address (1981)
Context: Acknowledging the physical realities of our planet does not mean a dismal future of endless sacrifice. In fact, acknowledging these realities is the first step in dealing with them. We can meet the resource problems of the world — water, food, minerals, farmlands, forests, overpopulation, pollution — if we tackle them with courage and foresight.

David Levithan photo
Michael Franti photo
Stanisław Lem photo

„We are only seeking Man. We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. We don't know what to do with other worlds.“

—  Stanisław Lem, book Solaris

Source: Solaris (1961), Ch. 6: "The Little Apocrypha", p. 72
Context: We are only seeking Man. We have no need of other worlds. We need mirrors. We don't know what to do with other worlds. A single world, our own, suffices us; but we can't accept it for what it is. We are seaching for an ideal image of our own world: we go in quest of a planet, of a civilisation superior to our own but developed on the basis of a prototype of our primeval past. At the same time, there is something inside us which we don't like to face up to, from which we try to protect ourselves, but which nevertheless remains, since we don't leave Earth in a state of primal innocence. We arrive here as we are in reality, and when the page is turned and that reality is revealed to us — that part of our reality which we would prefer to pass over in silence — then we don't like it any more.

Linda McQuaig photo
Albert Einstein photo
Bill McKibben photo

„Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetuer adipiscing elit. Etiam egestas wisi a erat. Morbi imperdiet, mauris ac auctor dictum.“