What We Leave Behind

I was looking for some books on the Cold War in the library the other day, and one of the books on display caught my eye with its title: ‘What We Leave Behind’. I picked it up and turned to the back of the book to read the blurb. It says that it is a guide to living a truly responsible life on earth, and as I read more, I thought that it was just going to be another book on environmentalism, but as I flipped through the pages, I was attracted by the piercing and often impassioned language used by the authors to show us that we are in worse trouble than we understand, and a that a little change around the edges won’t help. A lot of the book is also about rubbish: the waste, decay and destruction that we leave in our paths. Here are some beautiful quotations that I gleaned from the book:

“The hottest places in Hell are reserved for those who in a period of moral crisis maintain their neutrality.” – JFK

“We must always take sides. Neutrality helps the oppressor, never the victim. Silence encourages the tormentor, never the tormented.” – Elie Wiesel

“Anyone who believes exponential growth can go on forever in a finite world is either a madman or an economist.” – Kenneth Boulding

“We have not passed that subtle line between childhood and adulthood until we move from the passive voice to the active voice.” – Sydney J. Harris

“It is easy to dodge our responsibilities, but we cannot dodge the consequences of dodging our responsibilities.” – Josiah Charles Stamp

“The thinker makes a great mistake when he asks after cause and effect. They both together make up the invisible phenomenon. “ – Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

“There is an objective out there, but we view it though the spectacles of our beliefs, attitudes and values.” – David G. Myers

“Whatever I have said about my deeds and words in this trial, I let it stand and wish to affirm it. Even if I should see the fire lit…and the hangman ready to bring the burning, and even if I were in the pyre, I could not say anything different.” – Joan of Arc

And as usual, I got distracted and did not find my Cold War books.  =P


~ by irwin on May 9, 2010.

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