„We become what we behold. We shape our tools, and thereafter our tools shape us.“

Last update June 3, 2021. History
Marshall McLuhan photo
Marshall McLuhan416
Canadian educator, philosopher, and scholar-- a professor … 1911 - 1980

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Winston S. Churchill photo

„We shape our buildings, and afterwards our buildings shape us.“

—  Winston S. Churchill, book The Second World War

Speech to the House of Commons (October 28, 1943), on plans for the rebuilding of the Chamber (destroyed by an enemy bomb May 10, 1941), in Never Give In! : The best of Winston Churchill’s Speeches (2003), Hyperion, p. 358 ISBN 1401300561
The Second World War (1939–1945)

Louise L. Hay photo
Włodzimierz Ptak photo

„If we look at the highly specialized action of our immune system, we will appreciate into what a brilliant tool evolution has shaped us. Each of us has millions of cells that recognize and destroy foreign antigens. I mean, of course, a healthy, well-functioning immune system, because unfortunately – sometimes it fails.“

—  Włodzimierz Ptak immunologist 1928 - 2019

Mazurek, Maria (7 July 2017): Cudowna armia, która broni naszego ciała http://plus.gazetakrakowska.pl/magazyn/a/cudowna-armia-ktora-broni-naszego-ciala,12271571. Gazeta Krakowska (in Polish), pp. 18–19.

Dag Hammarskjöld photo

„They are our tools. We fashioned them. We use them. It is our responsibility to remedy any flaws there may be in them.“

—  Dag Hammarskjöld Swedish diplomat, economist, and author 1905 - 1961

"An International Administrative Service", From an Address to the International Law Association at McGill University, Montreal, 30 May, 1956. Wilder Foote (Ed.), The Servant of Peace, A Selection of the Speeches and Statements of Dag Hammarskjöld, The Bodley Head, London 1962, p. 116.
Context: Do we refer to the purposes of the Charter? They are expressions of universally shared ideals which cannot fail us, though we, alas, often fail them. Or do we think of the institutions of the United Nations? They are our tools. We fashioned them. We use them. It is our responsibility to remedy any flaws there may be in them.... This is a difficult lesson for both idealists and realists, though for different reasons. I suppose that, just as the first temptation of the realist is the illusion of cynicism, so the first temptation of the idealist is the illusion of Utopia.

Gautama Buddha photo
Chi­ma­man­da Ngo­zi Adi­chie photo
Jonas Salk photo
Anna Funder photo
Anthony Robbins photo

„We should not allow ourselves, individually or our ethnic communities to become easy tools for politics of race that will continue to segregate us mentally and emotionally.“

—  Epeli Ganilau Fijian politician 1951

Speech at the launch of the NAP campaign for the 2006 election, Rakiraki, 6 August 2005

Eleanor Roosevelt photo

„In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.“

—  Eleanor Roosevelt American politician, diplomat, and activist, and First Lady of the United States 1884 - 1962

Foreword (January 1960)
You Learn by Living (1960)
Context: One's philosophy is not best expressed in words; it is expressed in the choices one makes. In stopping to think through the meaning of what I have learned, there is much that I believe intensely, much I am unsure of. In the long run, we shape our lives and we shape ourselves. The process never ends until we die. And, the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility.

William James photo

„Our view of the world is truly shaped by what we decide to hear.“

—  William James American philosopher, psychologist, and pragmatist 1842 - 1910

Steven Pressfield photo

„Our job in this lifetime is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.“

—  Steven Pressfield United States Marine 1943

Variant: Our job in this life is not to shape ourselves into some ideal we imagine we ought to be, but to find out who we already are and become it.
Source: The War of Art: Break Through the Blocks & Win Your Inner Creative Battles

Anthony Robbins photo
Frank Bunker Gilbreth, Sr. photo
Carl Sagan photo
Giacomo Casanova photo

„There is no such thing as destiny. We ourselves shape our lives.“

—  Giacomo Casanova Italian adventurer and author from the Republic of Venice 1725 - 1798

Carl Sagan photo

„The visions we offer our children shape the future.“

—  Carl Sagan American astrophysicist, cosmologist, author and science educator 1934 - 1996

„Jade and men are both shaped by harsh tools; be not unaware of sudden changes of fortune.“

—  Andre Norton American writer of science fiction and fantasy 1912 - 2005

Source: Dragon Magic (1972), Chapter 5, “Shui Mien Lung—Slumbering Dragon” (p. 158)

Steve Jobs photo

„What a computer is to me is it's the most remarkable tool that we have ever come up with. It's the equivalent of a bicycle for our minds.“

—  Steve Jobs American entrepreneur and co-founder of Apple Inc. 1955 - 2011

Memory and Imagination: New Pathways to the Library of Congress (1991) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ob_GX50Za6c; this has sometimes been paraphrased "Computers are like a bicycle for our minds."
1990s

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