The Quote Garden

 I dig old books.

 Est. 1998

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Quotations about Conformity

Every society honors its live conformists, and its dead troublemakers. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

Don't think you're on the right road just because it's a well-beaten path. ~Author unknown

Most people are more comfortable with old problems than with new solutions. ~Author unknown

All the mischiefs in the world may be put down to the general, indiscriminate veneration of old laws, old customs, and old religion. ~Georg Christoph Lichtenberg (1742–1799), translated by Norman Alliston, 1908

Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity. ~Christopher Morley

Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind! ~Author unknown  [First part is unknown author, circa 2000; second part is unknown author circa 1930s. Credit & details: —tg]

I will not follow where the path may lead, but I will go where there is no path, and I will leave a trail. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Wind-Wafted Wild Flowers," in The Open Court, August 1903

The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself. ~Rita Mae Brown, Venus Envy

Nine men out of ten obsequiously follow the tenth man. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882

I would not be the ship that plies a wonted main, but I would be the tramp-boat and sail the port of the world. I would not be the beaten path, but I would be the by-ways, the undiscovered country.... I would not be of the ninety and nine, but I would be the one, and through the wilderness I would mark a new trail. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904

Great spirits have always encountered opposition from mediocre minds. The mediocre mind is incapable of understanding the man who refuses to bow blindly to conventional prejudices and chooses instead to express his opinions courageously and honestly. ~Albert Einstein, on the controversy surrounding Bertrand Russell's appointment to the faculty of the City University of New York, quoted in The New York Times, 1940 March 19th

Whenever you find that you are on the side of the majority, it is time to reform (or pause & reflect). ~Mark Twain, 1905

Men think in herds, not because herds are right, but because they offer security, mutual respect, and a needed sense of certainty. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,

You go against the grain, you're bound to get splinters, but that's the price of not conforming. The risk of originality is humiliation which is another way of saying failure. ~Ernest Hemingway, as quoted in A. E. Hotchner, The Good Life According To Hemingway, 2008

He was rather a contradictor than a favourer of ordinary opinions... ~Edward George Earle Bulwer-Lytton (1803–1873), Pelham; or, The Adventures of a Gentleman, 1828

It may be that most men do not care how they look, so long as they do not look ridiculous, and their conception of looking ridiculous is that they should look different from anybody else... In regard to shaving, the view of the conventionalist is that it does not much matter whether we shave or grow beards provided we all shave or grow beards at the same time, and ninety-nine men out of a hundred are conventionalists. ~Robert Lynd, "Beaver," 1922

Before you can break out of prison, you must first realize you're locked up. ~Author unknown

Sooner or later, you will need the courage to be disliked. ~Dr. SunWolf, 2016 April 14th tweet,

One who walks in another's tracks leaves no footprints. ~Proverb

People are not dragged kicking and screaming into hell. Nor do they go quietly. They go in ranks, singing to the tune of a marching band. ~Robert Brault,

I may not be different, but I'm definitely not the same. ~William J. Dybus

If the populace marched in file, 'twere my signal to break from the ranks.
If a thousand generations did thus and so, 'twere my cue to do otherwise.
~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), "Wind-Wafted Wild Flowers," in The Open Court, August 1903

Life presents you with but two avenues — you can either run with the mob or from it. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)

Of all Excuses this is most forbid:
"I did the Thing because the Others did."
~Arthur Guiterman, "Of Explanations," A Poet's Proverbs, 1924

But it is better to fail in originality, than to succeed in imitation. He who has never failed somewhere, that man cannot be great. Failure is the true test of greatness. ~Herman Melville, "Hawthorne and His Mosses," The Literary World, 1850  []

Nobody is normal. ~Dave Barry, "25 Things I Have Learned in 50 Years," Dave Barry Turns 50, 1998,

Blind conformity wears shackles of fear; originality grows wings of confidence. ~William Arthur Ward, Thoughts of a Christian Optimist, 1968

Rub R. Stamp has one virtue: he can repeat whatever is told him. ~John E. Rosser, 1923

In the moment of our creation we receive the stamp of our individuality; and much of life is spent in rubbing off or defacing the impression. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

Keep your minds open, but not so open that your brains fall out. ~Walter Kotschnig, c.1940  []

Communal error is usually preferred to independent truth. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer,

If you keep doing things like you've always done them, what you'll get is what you've already got. ~Author unknown

Listen carefully to first criticisms made of your work. Note just what it is about your work that critics don't like — then cultivate it. That's the only part of your work that's individual and worth keeping. ~Jean Cocteau

One dog barks at something, and a hundred bark at the bark. ~Chinese proverb

Crossing over the boundaries we've been taught to live within is a tough business. But I'm getting the idea they're not so formidable. ~Jeb Dickerson, @JebDickerson

The longer I live, the more I am satisfied of two things: first, that the truest lives are those that are cut rose-diamond-fashion, with many facets answering to the many-planed aspects of the world about them; secondly, that society is always trying in some way or other to grind us down to a single flat surface. It is hard work to resist this grinding-down action. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes, The Professor at the Breakfast-Table, 1859 

Some of us are given the awesome task of breaking our family's pattern of poverty, pain, suffering, ignorance, or fear... You have the visions. You have the opportunity... Until today, you may have been so loyal to your family patterns that you would not step beyond what you have been taught to believe. Just for today, dare to be different! Dare to introduce a new way of living and being. Dare to climb out of the family tree. ~Iyanla Vanzant, Until Today! Daily Devotions for Spiritual Growth and Peace of Mind, 2000

When everyone agrees with you, it's time to recheck your facts. ~Arnold H. Glasow (1905–1999)

A lawyer's brief will be brief, before a freethinker thinks freely. ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827

      The Dean: "Do you mean to tell me that you're thinking seriously of building that way, when and if you are an architect?"
      Howard Roark: "Yes."
      The Dean: "My dear fellow, who will let you?"
      Howard Roark: "That's not the point. The point is, who will stop me?"
      The Dean: "...Do you realize what a passing fancy that whole so-called modern movement is? You must learn to understand... that everything beautiful in architecture has been done already. There is a treasure mine in every style of the past. We can only choose from the great masters. Who are we to improve upon them? We can only attempt, respectfully, to repeat."
      ~Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

If you believe everything you read, you better not read. ~Japanese proverb

Conservatism should guide; it usually paralyzes. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)

Minorities are the stars of the firmament; majorities, the darkness in which they float. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)

I don't want to give up anymore. I want to be strong and stand for what I think even in the face of those most spiteful. ~Daniel, @blindedpoet, tweet, 2011

The plague of mankind is the fear and rejection of diversity: monotheism, monarchy, monogamy — and, in our age, monomedicine. The belief that there is only one right way to live — only one right way to regulate religious, political, sexual, medical affairs — is the root cause of the greatest threat to man: members of his own species bent on a quest for salvation, security, or sanity ~Thomas Szasz

Of what use to get what you want if you must become someone else to get it. ~Robert Brault,

Custom is, to think a handsome thing in private but tame it down in the utterance. ~Mark Twain, letter to Harriet E. Whitmore, 1907 February 7th

We all live in the protection of certain cowardices which we call our principles. ~Mark Twain, Following the Equator

Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world—and never will. ~Mark Twain, "Consistency"

They will say that you are on the wrong road, if it is your own. ~Antonio Porchia, Voces, 1943, translated from Spanish by W.S. Merwin

Traditions are group efforts to keep the unexpected from happening. ~Mignon McLaughlin, The Neurotic's Notebook, 1963

If you do not agree with the prevalent point of view, be ready to explain why. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)

I remember being... scared of dining-room political debates where my "college-indoctrinated radical ideas" alienated me from my loved ones... ~Cherríe L. Moraga, "From Inside the First World: On 9/11 and Women-of-Color Feminism," 2001

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