Fairness, Justice, Peace

“Expecting the world to treat you fairly because you are a good person is a little like expecting the bull not to attack you because you are a vegetarian.” — Dennis Wholey, 20th/21st-century self-help author and journalist

“It is reasonable that every one who asks justice should do justice.” — Thomas Jefferson, 18th-century American Founding Father, early 19th-century U.S. president (letter to George Hammond, 1792)

“It is less important to redistribute wealth than it is to redistribute opportunity.” — Arthur Vandenberg, 20th-century American senator

“Grub first, then ethics.” — Bertolt Brecht, 20th-century German dramatist

“The belly comes before the soul.” — George Orwell, 20th-century British journalist and novelist

“Principles have no real force except when one is well fed.” — Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), 19th-century American journalist, author and humorist

“Rise above principle and do what is right.” — Walter Heller, 20th-century American economist

“You’ve got to have something to eat and a little love in your life before you can hold still for any damn body’s sermon on how to behave.” — Billie Holiday, 20th-century American singer

“The precepts of the law are these: to live honestly, to injure no one, and to give every man his due.” — Justinian I

“A generous and noble spirit cannot be expected to dwell in the breasts of men who are struggling for their daily bread.” — Dioysius of Halicarnassus

“All bad precedents begin as justifiable measures.” — Julius Caesar

“Man’s capacity for justice makes democracy possible, but man’s inclination to injustice makes democracy necessary.” — Reinhold Niebuhr, 20th-century American theologian

“I take it that what all men are really after is some form of, perhaps only some formula of, peace.” — Joseph Conrad, 19th-century Polish/English novelist

“Charity isn’t a good substitute for justice.” — Jonathan Kozol, 20th-century American journalist and author

“False hope is worse than despair.” — Jonathan Kozol, 20th-century American journalist and author

“I do get scared about the physical danger from drug dealers. But it’s not in the same league as the danger I feel eating an $80 lunch with my privileged friends to discuss hunger and poverty. That’s when my soul feels imperiled.” — Journalist Jonathan Kozol, on his work chronicling the lives of the poor in the Bronx

“Never befriend the oppressed unless you are prepared to take on the oppressor.” — Ogden Nash, 20th-century American dramatist

“This country will not be a good place for any of us to live in unless we make it a good place for all of us to live in.” — Theodore Roosevelt, 19th/20th-century American adventurer and politician, Nobel Prize-winning U.S. president

“When a man hangs from a tree it doesn’t spell justice unless he helped write the law that hanged him.” — E. B. White, 20th-century American essayist

“There is no way to peace. Peace is the way.” — A.J. Muste

“If you want to work for world peace, go home and love your families.” — Mother Teresa of Calcutta, 20th-century nun and founder of the Order of the Missionaries of Charity (Nobel Peace Prize acceptance speech)

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