37 Total Quotes

John Gardner Quotes

Much education today is monumentally ineffective. All too often we are giving young people cut flowers when we should be teaching them to grow their own plants.
John Gardner
#Education

Men of integrity, by their very existence, rekindle the belief that as a people we can live above the level of moral squalor. We need that belief; a cynical community is a corrupt community.
John Gardner
#Belief

Self-pity is easily the most destructive of the nonpharmaceutical narcotics; it is addictive, gives momentary pleasure and separates the victim from reality.
John Gardner
#Pity

One of the reasons mature people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure.
John Gardner
#Failure #Risk

The society which scorns excellence in plumbing as a humble activity and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy: neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.
John Gardner
#Excellence

The university became the major generator of U.S. research. That caused an opportunity and an obligation to turn that research into results, putting research and education together.
John Gardner
#Obligation

Political extremism involves two prime ingredients: an excessively simple diagnosis of the world's ills, and a conviction that there are identifiable villains back of it all.
John Gardner
#Conviction

If they want students to do anything, like reading a newspaper, drinking less alcohol or visiting the library, they need to introduce them to it early.
John Gardner
#Alcohol And Alcoholism

Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.
John Gardner
#Life #Editor's Pick #Quote of the Day

It's a staggering transition for high school students that found they could study five hours a week and make As and Bs.
John Gardner
#American Novelist

Storybook happiness involves every form of pleasant thumb-twiddling; true happiness involves the full use of one's powers and talents.
John Gardner
#Happiness

Whoever I am, or whatever I am doing, some kind of excellence is within my reach.
John Gardner
#Excellence

The creative individual has the capacity to free himself from the web of social pressures in which the rest of us are caught. He is capable of questioning the assumptions that the rest of us accept.
John Gardner
#Rest

The idea for which this nation stands will not survive if the highest goal free man can set themselves is an amiable mediocrity. Excellence implies striving for the highest standards in every phase of life.
John Gardner
#Excellence

America's greatness has been the greatness of a free people who shared certain moral commitments. Freedom without moral commitment is aimless and promptly self-destructive.
John Gardner
#Education

The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursuing his own education
John Gardner
#Education

I am entirely certain that twenty years from now we will look back at education as it is practiced in most schools today and wonder that we could have tolerated anything so primitive.
John Gardner
#Education

True happiness involves the full use of one's power and talents.
John Gardner
#Power #Happiness

Some people strengthen the society just by being the kind of people they are.
John Gardner
#People

The ultimate goal of the educational system is to shift to the individual the burden of pursing his own education. This will not be a widely shared pursuit until we get over our odd conviction that education is what goes on in school buildings and nowhere else.
John Gardner
#Education

The cynic says, ""One man can't do anything."" I say, ""Only one man can do anything.""
John Gardner
#Man

History never looks like history when you are living through it.
John Gardner
#History

It is hard to feel individually responsible with respect to the invisible processes of a huge and distant government.
John Gardner
#Government

If you have some respect for people as they are, you can be more effective in helping them to become better than they are.
John Gardner
#Respectability

For every talent that poverty has stimulated it has blighted a hundred.
John Gardner
#Poverty And The Poor #Poverty