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John W. Gardner quotes (showing 1-15 of 15)

“Life is like a drawing without an eraser”
John W. Gardner
“We are continually faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as insoluble problems.”
John W. Gardner
“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 W. Gardner
“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 W. Gardner
“An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher. The society which scorns excellence in plumbing because plumbing is 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 W. Gardner, Excellence
“The world loves talent but pays off on character.”
John W. Gardner
“It is not easy to be crafty and winsome at the same time, and few accomplish it after the age of six.”
John W. Gardner
“Life is the art of drawing without an eraser.”
John W. Gardner
tags: life
“One of the reasons mature people stop learning is that they become less and less willing to risk failure.”
John W. Gardner
“Nothing can be more readily disproved than the old saw, “You can’t keep a good man down.” Most human societies have been beautifully organized to keep good men down.”
John W. Gardner
“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 W. Gardner
“For every talent that poverty has stimulated it has blighted a hundred.”
John W. Gardner
“When one may pay out over two million dollars to presidential and Congressional campaigns, the U.S. government is virtually up for sale.”
John W. Gardner
“But a society in which pluralism is not undergirded by some shared values and held together by some measure of mutual trust simply cannot survive. Pluralism that reflects no commitments whatever to the common good is pluralism gone berserk... ..Leaders unwilling to seek mutually workable arrangements within systems to their own are not surviving the long-term interest of their constituents”
John W. Gardner, On Leadership
“We can keep ourselves so busy, fill our lives with so many diversions, stuff our heads with so much knowledge, involve ourselves with so many people and cover so much ground that we never have time to probe the fearful and wonderful world within… By middle life most of us are accomplished fugitives from ourselves.”
John W. Gardner


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