Personal change, social change, change in our environment — change, as the quote goes, is the only constant in life. Yet managing change, choosing change, sticking with positive change — that can be difficult.

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I’m nowhere as tough as my father. I really think that I am more open to change than he was.

— A. J. Foyt

Without revolution, civilization comes to halt, because with complacency arrives indifference, and with indifference comes the fall of civilization.

— Abhijit Naskar, Revolution Indomable

The dogmas of the quiet past are inadequate to the stormy present. The occasion is piled high with difficulty, and we must rise with the occasion. As our case is new, so we must think anew and act anew.

— Abraham Lincoln

What is conservativism? Is it not the adherence to the old and tried against the new and untried?

— Abraham Lincoln

Die when I may, I want it said of me by those who knew me best, that I always plucked a thistle and planted a flower where I thought a flower would grow.

— Abraham Lincoln

The moment of change is the only poem.

— Adrienne Rich

False history gets made all day, any day,
the truth of the new is never on the news.

— Adrienne Rich

The term ‘power’ comes from the Latin posse: to do, to be able, to change, to influence or effect. To have power is to possess the capacity to control or direct change. All forms of leadership must make use of power. The central issue of power in leadership is not Will it be used? But rather Will it be used wisely and well?

— Al Gini

We cannot reform institutional racism or systemic policies if we are not actively engaged. It’s not enough to simply complain about injustice; the only way to prevent future injustice is to create the society we would like to see, one where we are all equal under the law.

— Al Sharpton

The true and noble way to kill a foe, is not to kill him, — you, with kindness, may so change him, that he shall cease to be so, and then he’s slain.

— Alain (Émile-Auguste Chartier)

Scared and sacred are spelled with the same letters. Awful proceeds from the same root word as awesome. Terrify and terrific. Every negative experience holds the seed of transformation.

— Alan Cohen

The only way to make sense out of change is to plunge into it, move with it, and join the dance.

— Alan Watts

We shall require a substantially new manner of thinking if mankind is to survive.

— Albert Einstein

Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.

— Albert Einstein

The significant problems of our time cannot be solved by the same level of thinking that created them.

— Albert Einstein

Technological change is like an axe in the hands of a pathological criminal.

— Albert Einstein

The measure of intelligence is the ability to change.

— Albert Einstein

There’s only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that’s your own self.

— Aldous Huxley

The art of progress is to preserve order amid change and to preserve change amid order.

— Alfred North Whitehead

This is how change happens, though. It is a relay race, and we’re very conscious of that, that our job really is to do our part of the race, and then we pass it on, and then someone picks it up, and it keeps going. And that is how it is. And we can do this, as a planet, with the consciousness that we may not get it, you know, today, but there’s always a tomorrow.

— Alice Walker

Organizing is the process of coming together with other people who share your concerns and values to work toward a change in some kind of policy, usually of the government, but also of universities, private companies, and other institutions whose policies affect and shape our lives.

— Alicia Garza, The Purpose of Power

Anything that reaches toward the sky must have a strong foundation to hold it up. That’s how I think of movements — movements reach toward the sky to achieve what has been deemed impossible.

— Alicia Garza, The Purpose of Power

If we perpetuate the same dynamics that we aim to disrupt in our movements for change, we are not interrupting power and we are not creating change –we are merely rebranding the same set of practices and the same dysfunctions.

— Alicia Garza, The Purpose of Power

We are fighting for a different world, and we are building new muscles to do so.

— Alicia Garza, The Purpose of Power

When people come together to solve problems, they do not automatically become immune to the ways society and the economy are organized. We bring the things that shape us, consciously and unconsciously, everywhere we go. Unless we are intentional about interrupting what we’ve learned, we will perpetuate it, even as we are working hard for a better world.

— Alicia Garza, The Purpose of Power

There are very practical reasons why multiracial movements are vital to building the world we deserve. Segregation by race and class has been used throughout history to maintain power relationships. Segregation, whether through redlining or denying citizenship, helps to create an other, which helps in turn to justify why some people have and other people don’t. It reinforces the narratives that make unequal power relationships normal.

— Alicia Garza, The Purpose of Power

The world that we imagine will not come into existence if we are not courageous enough to challenge power where it operates at the largest scale, impacting the lives of millions, even billions of people.

— Alicia Garza, The Purpose of Power

In describing today’s accelerating changes, the media fire blips of unrelated information at us. Experts bury us under mountains of narrowly specialized monographs. Popular forecasters present lists of unrelated trends, without any model to show us their interconnections or the forces likely to reverse them. As a result, change itself comes to be seen as anarchic, even lunatic.

— Alvin Toffler

It is evident that skepticism, while it makes no actual change in man, always makes him feel better.

— Ambrose Bierce

Life is a process of becoming, a combination of states we have to go through. Where people fail is that they wish to elect a state and remain in it. This is a kind of death.

— Anaïs Nin

They say that time changes things, but you actually have to change them yourself.

— Andy Warhol

I’m not afraid to shake up the system, and the government needs more shaking up than any other system I know

— Ann Richards

I feel very strongly that change is good because it stirs up the system.

— Ann Richards

I believe in recovery, and I believe that as a role model I have the responsibility to let young people know that you can make a mistake and come back from it.

— Ann Richards

….Every human being may be better … We know it, because we — the human beings we know best — could be better than we are. Every human being should take advantage of his opportunity, however poor. We know this because we feel that we have failed to make the best of our opportunities. Every human being can… become a larger, finer, and fairer specimen of the human race. This is the gospel of religion and this is the gospel of personal ethics. more

— Anna Garlin Spencer, Philadelphia, 1908

The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself.

— Anna Quindlen

Then, without realizing it, you try to improve yourself at the start of each new day; of course, you achieve quite a lot in the course of time. Anyone can do this, it costs nothing and is certainly very helpful. Whoever doesn’t know it must learn and find by experience that a quiet conscience makes one strong.

— Anne Frank

How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before starting to improve the world.

— Anne Frank

I feel the suffering of millions. And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that cruelty too will end, that peace and tranquility will return once more.

— Anne Frank

We imagine that we want to escape our selfish and commonplace existence, but we cling desperately to our chains.

— Anne Sullivan

Life is a process. We are a process. The universe is a process.

— Anne Wilson Schaef

Become a student of change. It is the only thing that will remain constant.

— Anthony J. D’Angelo

Change alone is eternal, perpetual, immortal.

— Arthur Schopenhauer

Change is one thing. Acceptance is another.

— Arundhati Roy, The God of Small Things

Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing.

— Arundhati Roy

The first step towards reimagining a world gone terribly wrong would be to stop the annihilation of those who have a different imagination- an imagination that is outside of capitalism as well as communism. An imagination which has an altogether different understanding of what constitutes happiness and fulfilment. To gain this philosophical space, it is necessary to concede some physical space for survival of those who may look like the keepers of our past but who may really be the guides to our future. To do this we have to ask our rulers: Can you leave the water in the rivers, the trees in the forest? Can you leave the bauxite in the mountain?

— Arundhati Roy, Broken Republic

If you can neither accept it or change it, try to laugh at it.

— Ashleigh Brilliant

Poetry is not only dream and vision; it is the skeleton architecture of our lives. It lays the foundations for a future of change, a bridge across our fears of what has never been before.

— Audre Lorde

Sometimes we drug ourselves with dreams of new ideas. The head will save us. The brain alone will set us free. But there are no new ideas waiting in the wings to save us as women, as human. There are only old and forgotten ones, new combinations, extrapolations and recognitions from within ourselves — along with the renewed courage to try them out.

— Audre Lorde, Sister Outsider: Essays and Speeches, 1984

The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house. They may allow us temporarily to beat him at his own game, but they will never allow us to bring about genuine change.

— Audre Lorde
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