clouds in blue sky above green ground, spell the word change and an arrow

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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If you don’t like the way the world is, you change it. You have an obligation to change it You just do it one step at a time.

— Marian Wright Edelman

It’s not so much that we’re afraid of change or so in love with the old ways, but it’s that place in between that we fear . . . . It’s like being between trapezes. It’s Linus when his blanket is in the dryer. There’s nothing to hold on to.

— Marilyn Ferguson

To listen is to continually give up all expectation and to give our attention, completely and freshly, to what is before us, not really knowing what we will hear or what that will mean. In the practice of our days, to listen is to lean in, softly, with a willingness to be changed by what we hear.

— Mark Nepo

To listen is to lean in softly
With a willingness to be changed
By what we hear.

— Mark Nepo

Loyalty to a petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul.

— Mark Twain

The soft-minded man always fears change. He feels security in the status quo, and he has an almost morbid fear of the new. For him, the greatest pain is the pain of a new idea.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

Capitalism does not permit an even flow of economic resources. With this system, a small privileged few are rich beyond conscience, and almost all others are doomed to be poor at some level. That’s the way the system works. And since we know that the system will not change the rules, we are going to have to change the system.

— Martin Luther King Jr.

Change does not roll in on the wheels of inevitability, but comes through continuous struggle. And so we must straighten our backs and work for our freedom. A man can’t ride you unless your back is bent.

— Martin Luther King, Jr.

We are not born all at once, but by bits. The body first, and the spirit later; and the birth and growth of the spirit, in those who are attentive to their own inner life, are slow and exceedingly painful. Our mothers are racked with the pains of our physical birth; we ourselves suffer the longer pains of our spiritual growth.

— Mary Antin

If you don’t like something change it; if you can’t change it, change the way you think about it.

— Mary Engelbreit

Just as there is no free lunch, there is no free transformation. I favor incremental change.

— Mary Pipher

To me success means effectiveness in the world, that I am able to carry my ideas and values into the world — that I am able to change it in positive ways.

— Maxine Hong Kingston

I can be changed by what happens to me, but I refuse to be reduced by it.

— Maya Angelou

If you accept the expectations of others, especially negative ones, then you never will change the outcome.

— Michael Jordan

Hope and change are hard-fought things.

— Michelle Obama

A man is but the product of his thoughts. What he thinks, he becomes.

— Mohandas K. Gandhi

If we could change ourselves, the tendencies in the world would also change.

— Mohandas K. Gandhi

As human beings, our greatness lies not so much in being able to remake the world — that is the myth of the atomic age — as in being able to remake ourselves.

— Mohandas K. Gandhi

Constant development is the law of life, and a man who always tries to maintain his dogmas in order to appear consistent drives himself into a false position.

— Mohandas K. Gandhi

You must be the change you wish to see in the world.

— Mohandas K. Gandhi

Capitalism has been interpreted as an exclusively profit-centric human engagement. Some have been saying to bring people and planet into the picture. This can be a good change, but it is still not fully operationalized. Are you putting people, planet and profit at the same level?

— Muhammad Yunus

The main dangers in this life are the people who want to change everything or nothing.

— Nancy Astor

She wins who calls herself beautiful and challenges the world to change to truly see her.

— Naomi Wolf

It is to the credit of human nature, that, except where its selfishness is brought into play, it loves more readily than it hates. Hatred, by a gradual and quiet process, will even be transformed to love, unless the change be impeded by a continually new irritation of the original feeling of hostility.

— Nathaniel Hawthorne

It used to be thought that the events that changed the world were things like big bombs, maniac politicians, huge earthquakes, or vast population movements, but it has now been realized that this is a very old-fashioned view… The things that really change the world, according to Chaos theory, are the tiny things. A butterfly flaps its wings in the Amazonian jungle, and subsequently a storm ravages half of Europe.

— Neil Gaiman and Terry Pratchett, Good Omens

Education is the most powerful weapon which you can use to change the world.

— Nelson Mandela

I’m not interested in preserving the status quo; I want to overthrow it.

— Niccolo Machiavelli

Everything will change. The only question is growing up or decaying.

— Nikki Giovanni

If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to be different yourself.

— Norman Vincent Peale

If you want things to be different, perhaps the answer is to become different yourself.

— Norman Vincent Peale

Change your thoughts and you change your world.

— Norman Vincent Peale

Man’s mind stretched to a new idea never goes back to its original dimension.

— Oliver Wendell Holmes

The great thing in this world is not so much where we stand, as in what direction we are moving

— Oliver Wendell Holmes

All things change; nothing perishes.

— Ovid

Community is that place where the person you least want to live with always lives. And when that person moves away, someone else arises to take his or her place.

— Parker J. Palmer

The people who help us grow toward true self offer unconditional love, neither judging us to be deficient nor trying to force us to change but accepting us exactly as we are. And yet this unconditional love does not lead us to rest on our laurels. Instead, it surrounds us with a charged force field that makes us want to grow from the inside out — a force field that is safe enough to take the risks and endure the failures that growth requires.

— Parker J. Palmer

There is no guarantee that starting a small conversation will lead to something larger. But the failure to take any step at all, no matter how small, comes with an ironclad guarantee that we will not be part of helping change happen.

— Parker J. Palmer

Wholeness does not mean perfection: it means embracing brokenness as an integral part of life. Knowing this gives me hope that human wholeness — mine, yours, ours — need not be a utopian dream, if we can use devastation as a seedbed for new life.

— Parker J. Palmer, A Hidden Wholeness

Our complicity in world making is a source of awesome and sometimes painful responsibility — and a source of profound hope for change. It is the ground of our common call to leadership, the truth that makes leaders of us all.

— Parker J. Palmer

Transformation is only valid if it is carried out with the people, not for them. Liberation is like a childbirth, and a painful one. The person who emerges is a new person: no longer either oppressor or oppressed, but a person in the process of achieving freedom. It is only the oppressed who, by freeing themselves, can free their oppressors.

— Paulo Freire

Stress is the physical and psychological effects we experience as a result of the way we react to changes in the surrounding environment.

— Pavel Stoyanov

You can judge your age by the amount of pain you feel when you come in contact with a new idea.

— Pearl S. Buck

I am comforted by life’s stability, by earth’s unchangeableness. What has seemed new and frightening assumes its place in the unfolding of knowledge. It is good to know our universe. What is new is only new to us.

— Pearl S. Buck

A good marriage is one which allows for change and growth in the individuals and in the way they express their love.

— Pearl S. Buck

Society, community, family are all conserving institutions. They try to maintain stability, and to prevent, or at least to slow down, change. But the organization of the post-capitalist society of organizations is a destabilizer. Because its function is to put knowledge to work — on tools, processes, and products; on work; on knowledge itself — it must be organized for constant change.

— Peter F. Drucker

People don’t resist change. They resist being changed.

— Peter Senge

The range of what we think and do
Is limited by what we fail to notice
And because we fail to notice
There is little we can do
To change
Until we notice
How failing to notice
Shapes our thoughts and deeds.

— R.D. Laing

One of the most powerful, and deeply spiritual, ways to work for social change is for us to take action in the present that embodies — right now! — the future vision that we seek

— Rabbi Arthur Ocean Waskow

Only within the moment of time represented by the present century has one species — man — acquired significant power to alter the nature of his world.

— Rachel Carson

The only journey is the one within.

— Rainer Maria Rilke
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