Words Of Wisdom

 Great Quotes


Words of Wisdom

Sometimes someone just says it all with a minimum of words.  These quotes are ones that struck me and stuck with me. Some of them are on my refridgerator. Others sit on my desk. We hope they will mean a lot to you, too. — WJS

We’ll be adding to this list so check back often. 

“….there is nothing like a wilderness journey for rekindling the fires of life. Simplicity is part of it. Cutting the cackle. Transportation reduced to leg – or arm – power, eating irons to one spoon. Such simplicity, together with sweat and silence, amplify the rhythms of any long journey, especially through unknown, untattered territory. And in the end such a journey can restore an understanding of how insignificant you are — and thereby set you free.”  — Colin Fletcher from “River”
 “In the long term, the economy and the environment are the same thing. If it’s unenvironmental, it is uneconomical. That is the rule of nature.”     — Mollie Beattie
“People need wild places. Whether or not we think we do, we do. We need to be able to taste grace and know again that we desire it. We need to experience a landscape that is timeless, whose agenda moves at the pace of speciation and glaciers. To be surrounded by a singing, mating, howling commotion of other species, all of which love their lives as much as we do ours, and none of which could possibly care less about us in our place. It reminds us that our plans are small and somewhat absurd. It reminds us why, in those cases in which our plans might influence many future generations, we ought to choose carefully. Looking out on a clean plank of planet earth, we can get shaken right down to the bone by the bronze-eyed possibility of lives that are not our own.”       — Barbara Kingsolver
“If future generations are to remember us with gratitude rather than contempt, we must leave them something more than the miracles of our technology. We must leave them a glimpse of the world as it was in the beginning, not just after we got through with it.”
— President Lyndon B. Johnson, upon signing The Wilderness Act of 1964 

“Hope is the thing with feathers that perches in the soul and sings the tune without words and never stops at all”    — Emily Dickinson
“Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth find resources of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.”     — Rachel Carson
“Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.”    — Martin Luther King, Jr. 
“We seek a renewed stirring of love for the earth. We plead that what we are capable of doing to it is often what we ought not to do. We urge that all people now determine that an untrammeled wildness shall remain here to testify that this generation had love for the next.
We would celebrate a new renaissance. The old one found a way to exploit. The new one has discovered the Earth’s limits. Knowing them, we may learn anew what compassion and beauty are, and pause to listen to the Earth’s music.
We may see that progress is not the accelerating speed with which we multiply and subdue the Earth nor the growing number of things we possess and cling to. It is a way along which to search for truth, to find serenity and love and reverence for life, to be part of an enduring harmony, trying hard not to sing out of tune.”
— David Brower 
 “Occasionally in life there are those moments of unutterable fulfillment which cannot be completely explained by those symbols called words. Their meanings can only be articulated by the inaudible language of the heart.”   — Martin Luther King, Jr.
” Wilderness is a place where the wild potential is fully expressed, a diversity of living and nonliving beings flourishing according to their own sorts of order. In ecology we speak of “wild systems.” When an ecosystem is fully functioning, all the members are present at the assembly. To speak of wilderness is to speak of wholeness. Human beings came out of that wholeness, and to consider the possibility of reactivating membership in the Assembly of All Beings is in no way regressive.”   — Gary Snyder
” We have the power to change our world. It is not an issue of whether or not can we make a difference. The truth is that we do make a difference. Everything we do, say, and think shapes our reality. It is time that we join our bodies, minds, hearts, spirits, and voices and call for peace on the Earth and peace with the Earth. Please get involved in whatever ways you can, but please, do it now. The legacy of all life depends on it.”
— Julia Butterfly
“Nature, and the original system that created us, must always remain somehow with us, the bedrock of our movements and actions. What is our duty? To live a life.”
— Rick Bass “The Lost Grizzlies”
“… only the enthusiasm of people can make it work: an enlightened and involved public stands as the hope between the remaining parcels of wilderness and oblivion”
— Michael Frome, Battle for the Wilderness, 1974
“If you don’t know where you are, you don’t know who you are.”
— Wendell Berry 
 “Liberty….. the only thing you cannot have unless you are willing to give it to others.”
— William Allen White
 “The wild things of this earth are not ours to do with as we please. They have been given to us in trust, and we must account for them to the generations which will come after us and audit our accounts.”        — William T. Hornaday
 “It is our task, in our time and in our generation, to hand down undiminished to those who come after us, the natural wealth and beauty which is ours.”
— John F. Kennedy
“I only went out for a walk, and finally concluded to stay out till sundown, for going out, I found, was really going in.”    — John Muir
“The lessons we learn from the wild become the etiquette of freedom.”
— Gary Snyder
“When we kill the forest, we kill the past; kill enough of the past, and we will have no future. In these forests abide ancient lives: ours.”    — T.H. Watkins
 “In God’s wildness lies the hope of the world — the great fresh, unblighted, unredeemed wilderness.”    — John Muir
 “Nature is not a place to visit, it is home…”     –Gary Snyder
 “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us. When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”
— Aldo Leopold
 “This we know. The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to earth. This we know. All things are connected like the blood which unites one family… Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it. Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.”
— Chief Sealth (Seattle)
 ” When we’re on the land, in communion, in community, we remember that nothing exists in isolation.”     –Tempest Williams
 “There is just one hope for repulsing the tyrannical ambition of civilization to conquer every niche of the whole earth. That hope is the organization of spirited people who will fight for the freedom of the wilderness.”
–Bob Marshall
 “A civilization which destroys what little remains of the wild, the spare, the original, is cutting itself off from its origins and betraying the principle of civilization itself.”
–Edward Abbey
 “The key to intelligent tinkering is to keep all the parts.”   — Aldo Leopold
 “A man is rich in proportion to the number of things which he can afford to let alone.”
— Henry David Thoreau
 “Harmony with the land is like harmony with a friend. You cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left. That is to say you cannot have game and hate predators. The land is one organism.”     — Aldo Leopold
“Like most other things not apparently useful to man, it has few friends, and the blind question “Why was it made?’ goes on and on, with never a guess that first of all it might have been made for itself.”     – John Muir

“Not to have known — as most men have not — either the mountain or the desert is not to have known one’s self. Not to have known one’s self is to have known no one.” 
— Joseph Wood Krutch

 “… to be whole and harmonious, man must also know the music of the beaches and the woods. He must find the thing of which he is only an infinitesimal part and nurture it and love it, if he is to live.”      — William O. Douglas

“In wildness is the preservation of the world.”    — Henry David Thoreau

“I don’t climb mountain. Mountain climbs me. Mountain is myself. I climb on myself.”
— Nanao Sakaki

“Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.” 
— Martin Luther King

“The forests of America, however slighted by man, must have been a great delight to God; for they were the best He ever planted.”       — John Muir

“Wilderness has been characterized as barren and unproductive; little can be grown in its sand and rock. But the crops of wilderness have always been its spiritual values — silence and solitude, a sense of awe and gratitude — able to be harvested by any traveler who visits.”        — David Douglas from “Wilderness Sojourn”

“Then love of wilderness is more than a hunger for what is always beyond reach; it is also an expression of loyalty to the earth … the only home we shall ever know, the only paradise we ever need — if only we had the eyes to see.”       — Edward Abbey

“It is not enough to understand the natural world; the point is to defend and preserve it.” 
— Edward Abbey

 “Keep close to Nature’s heart, yourself; and break clear away, once in a while, and climb a mountain or spend a week in the woods. Wash your spirit clean …”     — John Muir

“Paradise is the here and now, the actual, tangible, dogmatically real Earth on which we stand. Yes, God bless America, the Earth upon which we stand.”–Edward Abbey

“Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.”  – Ed Abbey

“When you look at a plate of ham and eggs, you know the chicken was involved. But the pig was committed.”    — The Reverend Robert Ard,President of the Black Leadership Council
(He explains the difference between nvolvement and commitment)

“Do not feed children on a maudlin sentimentalism or dogmatic religion; give them nature. Let their souls drink in all that is pure and sweet. Rear them, if possible, amid pleasant surroundings … Let nature teach them the lessons of good and proper living, combined with an abundance of well-balanced nourishment. Those children will grow to be the best men and women. Put the best in them by contact with the best outside. They will absorb it as a plant absorbs the sunshine and the dew.”   –Luther Burbank

“For there are some people who can live without wild things about them and the earth beneath their feet, and some who cannot. To those of us who, in a city, are always aware of the abused and abased earth below the pavement, walking on the grass, watching the flight of birds, or finding the first spring dandelion are the rights as old and unalienable as the rights of life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. We belong to no cult. We are not Nature Lovers. We don’t love nature any more than we love breathing. Nature is simply something indispensable, like air and light and water, that we accept as necessary to living, and the nearer we can get to it the happier we are.”          — Louise Dickenson Rich

“Study Nature, not books” — Louis Agassiz

“After you have exhausted what there is in business, politics, conviviality, and so on — have found that none of these satisfy, or permanently wear — what remains? Nature remains.”     — Walt Whitman

“Only to the white man was nature a “wilderness” and only to him was the land “infested” with “wild” animals and “savage” people. To us it was tame. Earth was bountiful and we were surrounded with the blessings of the Great Mystery.”
                                      –Luther Standing Bear
                                                                              Chief of the Oglala Tribe of the Sioux Nation
                                                                   from “Land of the Spotted Eagle”

“The wilderness is a place of rest — not in the sense of being motionless, for the lure, after all, is to move, to round the next bend. The rest comes in the isolation from distractions, in the slowing of the daily centrifugal forces that keep us off balance.”
— David Douglas, from “Wilderness Sojourn”

“….. to be whole and harmonious, man must also know the music of the beaches and the woods. He must find the thing of which he is only an infinitesimal part and nurture it and love it, if he is to live.”   — William O. Douglas

“The world has enough for everyones need, but not enough for everyone’s greed.”
— Mahatma Gandhi (1869-1948)

“Never a day passes but that I do myself the honor to commune with some of natures varied forms.”            — George Washington Carver

“The soil is the great connector of our lives, the source and destination of all.”
— Wendell Berry

“Our philosophies must be rewritten to remove them from the domain of words and “ideas,” and to plant their roots firmly in the earth.”
                                                                    — William Vogt  (Road To Survival – 1948)

“A truly wise person kneels at the feet of all creatures and is not afraid to endure the mockery of others.” — Mechtild of Magdeburg
                                                                          The Flowering Light of the Godhead (1265)

“The wilderness holds answers to more questions than we yet know how to ask.” 
                                                                                  — Nancy Newhall in “American Earth”

“I’m not against civilization, technology, or science. I just want us to use them well. We haven’t learned to do that yet.”       — David Brower

“The most beautiful thing we can experience is the mysterious.”
— Albert Einstein

“In every living thing there is a desire for love, for the relationship of unison with the rest of things.”      — D. H. Lawrence

“There is more to life than increasing its speed.” — Ghandi