Quote of the day: Annie Laurie Gaylor

Thanks to my friend Iris Vander Pluym for highlighting this great quote by Annie Laurie Gaylor that perfectly sums up the problem with religion (the quote is part of a longer post by Gaylor, which can be found here):

Religion’s greatest “sin” lies in displacing human endeavor, thought, time, resources and efforts from this world, our only world, in order to exalt a highly unlikely, unknowable, unseeable, unprovable and unbelievable pretend afterworld. The only afterlife that ought to concern us is leaving our descendants (along with the other animals and life we share our planet with) a secure and pleasant future.

Quote of the day: Annie Laurie Gaylor
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Quote of the Day: Dr. Katsuko Saruhashi

“There are many women who have the ability to become great scientists. I would like to see the day when women can contribute to science and technology on an equal footing with men.”

Dr. Katsuko Saruhashi (1920-2007)
Quote of the Day: Dr. Katsuko Saruhashi

Quote of the Day: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

One of the 20th Century’s most famous Civil Rights activists (and greatest orators), Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. was a humanitarian committed to battling racism and other forms of social injustice through non-violent means:

Drawing inspiration from both his Christian faith and the peaceful teachings of Mahatma Gandhi, Dr. King led a nonviolent movement in the late 1950’s and ‘60s to achieve legal equality for African-Americans in the United States. While others were advocating for freedom by “any means necessary,” including violence, Martin Luther King, Jr. used the power of words and acts of nonviolent resistance, such as protests, grassroots organizing, and civil disobedience to achieve seemingly-impossible goals. He went on to lead similar campaigns against poverty and international conflict, always maintaining fidelity to his principles that men and women everywhere, regardless of color or creed, are equal members of the human family.

Dr. King’s “I Have a Dream” speech, Nobel Peace Prize lecture and “Letter from a Birmingham Jail” are among the most revered orations and writings in the English language. His accomplishments are now taught to American children of all races, and his teachings are studied by scholars and students worldwide. He is the only non-president to have a national holiday dedicated in his honor, and is the only non-president memorialized on the Great Mall in the nation’s capitol. He is memorialized in hundreds of statues, parks, streets, squares, churches and other public facilities around the world as a leader whose teachings are increasingly-relevant to the progress of humankind.

We’re all complicit in the systems of oppression that lie at the core of our culture.  Whether we are the ones actively oppressing others, or merely those who remain silent while the oppression occurs, we’re all responsible. It behooves us all to speak up against social injustice, lest those injustices continue unchallenged, because people suffer when injustice goes unchallenged.

Quote of the Day: Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr

Quote of the Day: Marian Anderson

Prominent African-American singer, Civil Rights icon

In 1939 the DAR (Daughters of the American Revolution) refused to allow her to sing in their Constitution Hall in Washington, DC. In part because of the public attention brought by this incident, Marian Anderson became one of the best-known African American women of the 20th century.

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Quote of the Day: Marian Anderson

Quote of the Day: Sojourner Truth

African-American abolitionist and women’s rights advocate Sojourner Truth (born Isabella Baumfree) was born into slavery in New York in 1797. In 1826, she escaped to freedom with her infant daughter. In 1843 she changed her name to Sojourner Truth, becoming devoted to Methodism and the abolition of slavery. She is perhaps best known for the speech she gave on racial inequality and womens rights, “Ain’t I a Woman?“, delivered at the Ohio Women’s Rights Convention in 1851.

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Quote of the Day: Sojourner Truth

Quote of the Day: Gabriel Orozco

Gabriel Orozco (born April 27, 1962) is a Mexican artist, born in Jalapa, Veracruz, Mexico, and educated at the Escuela Nacional de Artes Plásticas between 1981 and 1984 and at the Circulo de Bellas Artes in Madrid between 1986 and 1987. Orozco gained his reputation in the early 1990s with his exploration of drawing, photography, sculpture and installation. In 1998 Francesco Bonami called him “one of the most influential artists of this decade, and probably the next one too. (text via Wiki; image via Frostys Web Gallery)

“The process of living and the process of thinking and perceiving the world happen in everyday life. I’ve found that sometimes the studio is an isolated place, an artificial place like a bubble – a bubble in which the artist is by himself, thinking about himself. It becomes too grand a space. What happens when you don’t have a studio is that you have to be confronted with reality all the time. “

(source)

This quote resonates with me even though I’m not an artist (in a traditional sense, I suppose).  To me, the bubble he speaks of can be a metaphorical  or literal place where we humans can escape to for release of some sort. Maybe to escape the problems in the world, or perhaps simply a place that we go to that brings us joy or serenity.  For me, such a place (at one time) was the dance floor. I used to go to gay bars multiple times a week, and I loved taking trips out of town and finding new clubs.  Anytime I heard a song that moved me, I could be on the dance floor in no time.  I take some measure of pride in the fact that I can dance. My dance style was influenced by the choreographers of various US pop artists over the last few decades. I’ve bought multiple music videos and sat for hours mimicking dance moves and incorporating them into my own style.  On a dance floor I tend to freestyle dance, so I prefer a little bit of space (the length of both arms outstretched). When I have the room, and the music is good, I can escape from the world, and just let the music flow through me and the rhythm move me (I’ll never forget my mother teaching me as a child how to find the rhythm in music-I’m grateful for that).  I remember times when I’d dance for 2 hours at a time (my favorite music to dance to is House), taking a break only to get water.  Many a time, I’ve been one of the only people on the dance floor and developed an audience.  Even though I don’t dance for others, it is a compliment to have people approach me to tell me they enjoyed watching me move. It has been some time since I’ve danced, as these last few years have been rough. I hope to re-enter my bubble again in the future and dance my cares away and push my worries off for another day.

Quote of the Day: Gabriel Orozco

Quote of the day- Chief Si’ahl (Seattle)

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”

Chief Si’ahl (Seattle) is a famous 19th century American Indian chief of the Duwamish Tribe whose tribal ancestral homelands include the area known today as the City of Seattle, state of Washington, in North America of the U.S.A.

In fact, the City of Seattle was named after Chief Seattle.

Historically, Chief Seattle was a greatly respected leader among the tribes — a devoted ecologist — who pursued a path of mutual respect and cooperation with the white settlers.

(source)

Quote of the day- Chief Si’ahl (Seattle)

Quote of the day- Chief Si'ahl (Seattle)

“Humankind has not woven the web of life. We are but one thread within it. Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves. All things are bound together. All things connect.”

Chief Si’ahl (Seattle) is a famous 19th century American Indian chief of the Duwamish Tribe whose tribal ancestral homelands include the area known today as the City of Seattle, state of Washington, in North America of the U.S.A.

In fact, the City of Seattle was named after Chief Seattle.

Historically, Chief Seattle was a greatly respected leader among the tribes — a devoted ecologist — who pursued a path of mutual respect and cooperation with the white settlers.

(source)

Quote of the day- Chief Si'ahl (Seattle)

Quote of the Day- Marian Wright Edelman

Marian Wright Edelman, the founder and President of the Children’s Defense Fund, was the first African American woman admitted to the Mississippi state bar. Marian Wright Edelman has published her ideas in several books.

We must not, in trying to think about how we can make a big difference, ignore the small daily differences we can make which, over time, add up to big differences that we often cannot foresee.

Quote of the Day- Marian Wright Edelman