Category Archives: Words from the wise

Sage sayings, maxims and quotable quotes

A Dozen Memes on Existential Matters

Here are a dozen featured #QOTDs relating to existentialism from the By George Journal’s social media feeds over the last two months.

Click into By George each day for inspiration and motivation – on Twitter and Facebook!

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

In Flanders Fields – John McRae

In Flanders fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

 

We are the Dead. Short days ago
We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,
Loved and were loved, and now we lie
In Flanders fields.

 

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNIATIONS.

 

Dulce et decorum est – Wilfred Owen

Bent double, like old beggars under sacks,
Knock-kneed, coughing like hags, we cursed through sludge,
Till on the haunting flares we turned our backs
And towards our distant rest began to trudge.
Men marched asleep. Many had lost their boots
But limped on, blood-shod. All went lame; all blind;
Drunk with fatigue; deaf even to the hoots
Of tired, outstripped Five-Nines that dropped behind.
Gas! Gas! Quick, boys! – An ecstasy of fumbling,
Fitting the clumsy helmets just in time;
But someone still was yelling out and stumbling,
And flound’ring like a man in fire or lime . . .
Dim, through the misty panes and thick green light,
As under a green sea, I saw him drowning.
In all my dreams, before my helpless sight,
He plunges at me, guttering, choking, drowning.
If in some smothering dreams you too could pace
Behind the wagon that we flung him in,
And watch the white eyes writhing in his face,
His hanging face, like a devil’s sick of sin;
If you could hear, at every jolt, the blood
Come gargling from the froth-corrupted lungs,
Obscene as cancer, bitter as the cud
Of vile, incurable sores on innocent tongues,
My friend, you would not tell with such high zest
To children ardent(14) for some desperate glory,
The old Lie; Dulce et Decorum est
Pro patria mori.

 

(ed. – DULCE ET DECORUM EST are the first words of a Latin saying taken from an ode by Horace. These words were often quoted at the start of the First World War. They mean “It is sweet and right.” The full saying ends the poem: “Dulce et decorum est pro patria mori” which is “It is sweet and right to die for your country.”)

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

It is the Solider! – Charles M Province

It is the Solider! Not the Minister
Who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the Soldier, not the reporter
Who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the Soldier, not the poet
Who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the Soldier, not the campus organizer
Who has given us freedom to protest.
It is the Soldier, not the lawyer
Who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the Soldier, not the politician
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the Soldier who salutes the flag,
Who serves beneath the flag,
And whose coffin is draped by the flag,
Who allows the protester to burn the flag.

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

For the Fallen – Laurence Binyon

With proud thanksgiving, a mother for her children,
England mourns for her dead across the sea.
Flesh of her flesh they were, spirit of her spirit,
Fallen in the cause of the free.

Solemn the drums thrill: Death august and royal
Sings sorrow up into immortal spheres.
There is music in the midst of desolation
And a glory that shines upon our tears.

They went with songs to the battle, they were young,
Straight of limb, true of eye, steady and aglow.
They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
They fell with their faces to the foe.

They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
At the going down of the sun and in the morning
We will remember them.

They mingle not with their laughing comrades again;
They sit no more at familiar tables of home;
They have no lot in our labour of the day-time;
They sleep beyond England’s foam.

But where our desires are and our hopes profound,
Felt as a well-spring that is hidden from sight,
To the innermost heart of their own land they are known
As the stars are known to the Night;

As the stars that shall be bright when we are dust,
Moving in marches upon the heavenly plain,
As the stars that are starry in the time of our darkness,
To the end, to the end, they remain.

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Lest we forget

Poignant quotes and verse, lest we forget…

poppies-field

  • The living owe it to those who no longer can speak to tell their story for them. – Czeslaw Milosz, The Issa Valley
  • The greatest glory of a free-born people is to transmit that freedom to their children. – William Havard
  • We must be prepared to make heroic sacrifices for the cause of peace that we make ungrudgingly for the cause of war. There is no task that is more important or closer to my heart. – Albert Einstein
  • When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep? – George Canning, The Pilot that weathered the Storm
  • And they who for their country die shall fill an honored grave, for glory lights the soldier’s tomb, and beauty weeps the brave. – Joseph Drake
  • When you go home, tell them of us and say, for their tomorrow we gave our today. – John Maxwell Edmonds
  • The dead soldier’s silence sings our national anthem. – Aaron Kilbourn
  • They hover as a cloud of witnesses above this Nation. – Henry Ward Beecher
  • To live in hearts we leave behind is not to die. – Thomas Campbell, Hallowed Ground
  • I dream of giving birth to a child who will ask, ‘Mother, what was war?’ -Eve Merriam
  • In war, there are no unwounded soldiers. – Jose Narosky
  • For death is no more than a turning of us over from time to eternity. – William Penn
  • They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old: Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn. / At the going down of the sun and in the morning, We will remember them. – Laurence Binyon, For The Fallen
  • In my dreams I hear again the crash of guns, the rattle of musketry, the strange, mournful mutter of the battlefield. – American General Douglas MacArthur
  • And each man stands with his face in the light of his own drawn sword. Ready to do what a hero can. – Elizabeth Barrett Browning
  • Nurture your minds with great thoughts, to believe in the heroic makes heroes. – Benjamin Disraeli
  • Valor is stability, not of legs and arms, but of courage and the soul. – Michel de Montaigne
  • Courage is contagious. When a brave man takes a stand, the spines of others are often stiffened. – Billy Graham
  • The more we sweat in peace the less we bleed in war. – Vijaya Lakshmi Pandit
  • Heroism … is endurance for one moment more. – George F. Kennan
  • The legacy of heroes is the memory of a great name and the inheritance of a great example. – Benjamin Disraeli
  • Give me American supply lines, British planes, German officers and Canadian troops, and I can take over the world. – German Nazi General Erwin “The Fox” Rommel
  • Praising what is lost makes the remembrance dear. – William Shakespeare, All’s Well That Ends Well

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Remembrance Verses

Our cheer goes back to them, the valiant dead!
Laurels and roses on their graves to-day,
Lilies and laurels over them we lay,
And violets o’er each unforgotten head.

– Richard Hovey

 

How sleep the brave, who sink to rest,
By all their country’s wishes blest!
When Spring, with dewy fingers cold,
Returns to deck their hallow’d mould,
She there shall dress a sweeter sod
Than Fancy’s feet have ever trod.
By fairy hands their knell is rung,
There Honour comes, a pilgrim gray,
To bless the turf that wraps their clay;
And Freedom shall awhile repair,
To dwell, a weeping hermit, there.

– William Collins

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Cover them over with beautiful flowers,
Deck them with garlands, those brothers of ours,
Lying so silent by night and by day
Sleeping the years of their manhood away.
Give them the meed they have won in the past;
Give them the honors their future forcast;
Give them the chaplets they won in the strife;
Give them the laurels they lost with their life.

– Will Carleton

 

In Flanders Fields the poppies blow
Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky
The larks, still bravely singing, fly
Scarce heard amid the guns below.

Take up our quarrel with the foe:
To you from failing hands we throw
The torch; be yours to hold it high.
If ye break faith with us who die
We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
In Flanders fields.

– John McCrae, In Flanders Fields

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Chris George, providing reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

12 John Wayne quotes to help you saddle up and hit the trail

”Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway . ”

”Tomorrow hopes we have learned something from yesterday. ”

” Tomorrow is the most important thing in life. Comes into us at midnight very clean. It’s perfect when it arrives and it puts itself in our hands. It hopes we’ve learned something from yesterday.”

“I suppose my best attribute if you want to call it that, is sincerity. I can sell sincerity because that’s the way I am. ”

“Talk low, talk slow, and don’t say too much.”

”I’m not the sort to back away from a fight. I don’t believe in shrinking from anything. It’s not my speed; I’m a guy who meets adversities head on. ”

” I won’t be wronged. I won’t be insulted. I won’t be laid a-hand on. I don’t do these things to other people, and I require the same from them. ”

”Life is getting up one more time than you’ve been knocked down.”

“Life is hard; it’s harder if you are stupid.”

”A man deserves a second chance, but keep an eye on him.”

” I’d like to know why well-educated idiots keep apologizing for lazy and complaining people who think the world owes them a living.”

” I have tried to live my life so that my family would love me and my friends respect me. The others can do whatever the hell they please.”

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

 

 

Jeremy Bentham quotes

Jeremy Bentham (1748 – 1747) was an English philosopher and social reformer regarded as the founder of modern utilitarianism.

Bentham defined as the “fundamental axiom” of his philosophy the principle that “it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.”

Bentham’s students included his secretary and collaborator James Mill and his son, John Stuart Mill, the legal philosopher John Austin, and the American writer and activist John Neal.

 

Stretching his hand up to reach the stars, too often man forgets the flowers at his feet.

Every law is an infraction of liberty.

The question is not “Can they reason?” Nor “Can they talk?” But “Can they suffer?”

Tyranny and anarchy are never far apart.

Reputation is the road to power.

Without publicity, no good is permanent; under the auspices of publicity, no evil can continue.

Happiness is a very pretty thing to feel, but very dry to talk about.

The said truth is that it is the greatest happiness of the greatest number that is the measure of right and wrong.

Nature has placed mankind under the governance of two sovereign masters, pain and pleasure. It is for them alone to point out what we ought to do, as well as to determine what we shall do.

Kind words cost no more than unkind ones . . . and we may scatter the seeds of courtesy and kindliness around us at so little expense. If you would fall into any extreme let it be on the side of gentleness.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

 

Favourite Quotes of Albert Camus

Albert Camus (1913 – 1960) was a French philosopher, author, and journalist. At the young age of 44 Camus was awarded the 1957 Nobel Prize for Literature. His remarkable works include: The Stranger, The Plague, The Myth of Sisyphus, The Fall and The Rebel. (More on Camus below.)

Here are By George Journal’s 15 favourite quotes of Albert Camus.

The Wikipedia overview of the life of Camus reads:

Camus was born in French Algeria to Pieds Noirs parents. He spent his childhood in a poor neighborhood and later studied philosophy at the University of Algiers. He was in Paris when the Germans invaded France during World War II in 1940. Camus tried to flee but finally joined the French Resistance where he served as editor-in-chief at Combat, an outlawed newspaper. After the war, he was a celebrity figure and gave many lectures around the world. He married twice but had many extramarital affairs. Camus was politically active; he was part of the left that opposed the Soviet Union because of its totalitarianism. Camus was a moralist and leaned towards anarcho-syndicalism. He was part of many organizations seeking European integration. During the Algerian War (1954–1962), he kept a neutral stance, advocating for a multicultural and pluralistic Algeria, a position that caused controversy and was rejected by most parties.

Philosophically, Camus’s views contributed to the rise of the philosophy known as absurdism. He is also considered to be an existentialist, even though he firmly rejected the term throughout his lifetime.

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

By George 10 most favourite quotes on Canada

  1. Canada was built on dead beavers. — Margaret Atwood
  2. The beaver, which has come to represent Canada as the eagle does the United States and the lion Britain, is a flat-tailed, slow-witted, toothy rodent known to bite off it’s own testicles or to stand under its own falling trees. — June Callwood
  3. The huge advantage of Canada is its backwardness. – Marshall McLuhan
  4. Canada has never been a melting-pot; more like a tossed salad. — Arnold Edinborough
  5. Canada is like an old cow. The West feeds it. Ontario and Quebec milk it. And you can well imagine what it’s doing in the Maritimes. — Tommy Douglas
  6. Canadians are generally indistinguishable from Americans, and the surest way of telling the two apart is to make the observation to a Canadian. — Richard Staines
  7. A Canadian is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe. — Pierre Burton
  8. Canada is the linchpin of the English-speaking world. — Sir Winston Churchill
  9. In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect. — U.S. President Bill Clinton
  10. When I’m in Canada, I feel this is what the world should be like. — Jane Fonda

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(ed. – Here are more quotes on our country and its peoples)

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Quotes on our country Canada

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By George Journal presents some of our favourite quotes on Canada and Canucks – so you might spice up your toasts on Canada Day! Cheers!

 

  • A Canadian is someone who knows how to make love in a canoe. — Pierre Burton
  • We Canadians live in a blind spot about our identity. We have very strong feelings about who we aren’t but only weak ones about who we are. We’re passionate about what we don’t want to become but oddly passive about what we should be. — John Cruickshank (in McLean’s Magazine)
  • There are no limits to the majestic future which lies before the mighty expanse of Canada with its verile, aspiring, cultured, and generous-hearted people. — Sir Winston Churchill
  • In a world darkened by ethnic conflicts that tear nations apart, Canada stands as a model of how people of different cultures can live and work together in peace, prosperity, and mutual respect. — U.S. President Bill Clinton
  • Americans are benevolently ignorant about Canada, while Canadians are malevolently well informed about the United States. — J. Bartlett Brebner
  • Canada is the essence of not being. Not English, not American, it is the mathematic of not being. And a subtle flavour – we’re more like celery as a flavour. — Mike Myers
  • Canada is a country whose main exports are hockey players and cold fronts. Our main imports are baseball players and acid rain. — Pierre Trudeau
  • The huge advantage of Canada is its backwardness. – Marshall McLuhan
  • Very little is known of the Canadian country since it is rarely visited by anyone but the Queen and illiterate sport fishermen. — P. J. O’Rourke
  • Canada is like an old cow. The West feeds it. Ontario and Quebec milk it. And you can well imagine what it’s doing in the Maritimes. — Tommy Douglas
  • The beaver, which has come to represent Canada as the eagle does the United States and the lion Britain, is a flat-tailed, slow-witted, toothy rodent known to bite off it’s own testicles or to stand under its own falling trees. — June Callwood
  • If you don’t believe your country should come before yourself, you can better serve your country by livin’ someplace else. — Stompin’ Tom Connors
  • We shall be Canadians first, foremost, and always, and our policies will be decided in Canada and not dictated by any other country. — John G. Diefenbaker
  • In any world menu, Canada must be considered the vichyssoise of nations, it’s cold, half-French, and difficult to stir. — Stuart Keate
  • Canada has never been a melting-pot; more like a tossed salad. — Arnold Edinborough
  • Canada: A few acres of snow. — Voltaire
  • Canadians, like their historians, have spent too much time remembering conflicts, crises, and failures. They forgot the great, quiet continuity of life in a vast and generous land. A cautious people learns from its past; a sensible people can face its future. Canadians, on the whole, are both. — Desmond Morton
  • Canadians were the first anti-Americans, and the best. Canadian anti-Americanism, just as the country’s French-English duality, has for two centuries been the central buttress of our national identity. — Jack Granetstein
  • Canadians are generally indistinguishable from Americans, and the surest way of telling the two apart is to make the observation to a Canadian. — Richard Staines
  • Here in Canada, in the Western world, we are inside the walls. Outside the walls are the barbarians. — Barbara Amiel
    I am a Canadian, free to speak without fear, free to worship in my own way, free to stand for what I think right, free to oppose what I believe wrong, or free to choose those who shall govern my country. This heritage of freedom I pledge to uphold for myself and all mankind. — John Diefenbaker (From the Canadian Bill of Rights, July 1, 1960)
  • When I’m in Canada, I feel this is what the world should be like. — Jane Fonda
  • Canada is the linchpin of the English-speaking world. — Sir Winston Churchill
  • There is a Canadian culture that is in some ways unique to Canada, but I don’t think Canadian culture coincides neatly with borders. — Stephen Harper
  • Canada was built on dead beavers. — Margaret Atwood

 

Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer or experienced communicator? 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

Quotes on Hockey’s Greats

  • To play so well and for so long is simply incredible. No player will ever do the things in hockey that Gordie [Howe] did. – Wayne Gretzky
  • The finest athlete of them all, that’s what Gordie [Howe] is. And when I say athlete I’m talking about any sport. Take everything into consideration: his age, his record, his condition. There are some pretty good athletes around, great boxers, great football players, everything, but Gordie is in a league by himself. I’d be proud to be half the man on or off the ice that Gordie is. – Bobby Orr
  • On sheer ability, Mario [Lemieux] is good enough to win scoring titles with a broken stick. On pure talent, he’s the best there is. But Wayne [Gretzky] almost never disappoints you. He comes to work every night. – Bobby Orr
  • Gretzky would dominate in any era. It doesn’t make any difference. He may well be the smartest hockey player who ever played the game. – Phil Esposito
  • Gretzky is something else again… he strikes me as the first nondescript hockey star. Sometimes you don’t even realize he’s out there, watching as he whirls, until he emerges out of nowhere, finding open ice, and accelerating to a score… Gretzky is arguably the best player hockey has ever know. – Mordecai Richler
  • By far Gretzky is the most talented player ever. Every time he gets the puck something exciting happens. – Mike Milbury
  • He is hockey now. Although virtually every age of the game has had its pre-eminent players – Morenz, Richard, Howe, Hull, Orr – no one has ever transcended it as he has. – Peter Gzowski
  • I’m not sure Mario [Lemieux] is going to get the accolades he deserves, especially from outside the game. But from within, the players, the people who follow closely, realize exactly what he’s brought to the table, exactly what he has done… – Wayne Gretzky
  • He had talent for everything. How big he is, how he protects the puck, his hands, how smart he is on the ice, all the plays he made. He was always the smartest player on the ice…. With him, it’s easy. It’s just natural ability. – Vincent Lecavalier
  • No disrespect to Wayne Gretzky, Gordie Howe, Mark Messier, Bobby Orr, Gilbert Perreault…. But Mario [Lemieux] did things nobody else could ever do. – Bryan Trottier
  • The greatest hockey player who ever lived: Bobby Orr, and I love him. – Don Cherry
  • If I can be half the hockey player that Bobby Orr was, I’ll be happy. – Ray Bourque
  • There ought to be two leagues, one for the pros and one for Beliveau. – Dollard St. Laurent
  • I may not be the hockey player Jean Beliveau was, but some day I hope to be the man he is – Guy Lafleur
  • From the blue line in, I never saw a player as exciting as [Maurice] Richard. When he had the goalie beat, he finished it off, and you had no chance to recover. – Emile Francis
  • Rocket [Maurice Richard] had that mean look in every game we played. He was 100 percent hockey. He could hate with the best of them. – Gordie Howe
  • He could shoot harder than anybody I see nowadays. When he’d wind up behind the net he wasn’t number 7, he was number 777, just a blur. – Roy Worters

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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

“We know that hockey is where we live…”

By George Journal shares a dozen unforgettable quotes on the greatest game on ice.

  1. He shoots! He scores! – Foster Hewitt
  2. Skate to where the puck is going to be, not to where it has been. – Wayne Gretzky
  3. But I smile at the small-town myth for the harmless, happy days it gave me, and God knows how many tens of thousands of others. Hockey, for most of us, was the first time – and so often the only time – we ever felt we truly mattered. – Ken Dryden
  4. Throughout the years ahead, just as in the past, NHL hockey will remain one of the most exciting team games, an awesome exhibition of strength, speed, endurance and fitness wherever it is played. – Brian McFarlane
  5. There is only one way a boy can be sure to learn to play hockey – on the pond, on the creek, on a flooded lot. The foundation of hockey isn’t really hockey at all. It’s shinny, a wild melee of kids batting a puck around, with no rules, no organization – nothing but individual effort to grab and hold the puck. – Lester Patrick
  6. I’ve always felt hockey was like a disease. You can’t really shake it. – Ken Wregget
  7. Hockey is like a religion in Montreal. You’re either a saint or a sinner; there’s no in-between. – Patrick Roy
  8. Baseball can have its perfect dimensions, its undeniable drama, but hockey, for all its wrongs, still has the potential to deliver a momentary, flashing magic that is found in no other game we play. – Roy MacGregor
  9. Hockey is a man’s game. The team with the most real men wins. – Brian Burke
  10. You can’t play hockey if you’re nice. – Steve Ludzik
  11. You have to know what pro hockey is all about. You have to live and breathe and sleep it. You have to lose a few teeth and take some shots to the face. It’s not a pretty thing. – Ted Nolan
  12. We know that hockey is where we live, where we can best meet and overcome pain and wrong and death. Life is just a place where we spend time between games. – Fred Shero

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Chris George, providing reliable PR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a trusted executive assistant, a communications can-do guy, or a go-to-scribe? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

 

 

 

Paulo Coelho’s Insights on Life

Be brave. Take risks. Nothing can substitute experience.

One day you’ll wake up and there won’t be any more time to do the things you’ve always wanted. Do them now.

People are capable, at any time in their lives, of doing what they dream of.

When you want something, all the universe conspires in helping you to achieve it.

Tell your heart that the fear of suffering is worse than the suffering itself. And no heart has ever suffered when it goes in search of its dream.

People want to change everything and, at the same time want it all to remain the same.

If you want to see a rainbow you have to learn to see the rain.

If you’re brave enough to say goodbye, life will reward you with a new hello.

Intuition is really a sudden immersion of the soul into the universal current of life.

Most people see the world as a threatening place, and, because they do, the world turns out, indeed, to be a threatening place.

If you want to be successful, you must respect one rule – Never lie to yourself.

When you repeat a mistake, it is not a mistake anymore: it is a decision.

Life has a way of testing a person’s will, either by having nothing happen at all or by having everything happen at once.

The act of discovering who we are will force us to accept that we can go further than we think.

At a certain point in our lives, we lose control of what’s happening to us, and our lives become controlled by fate. That’s the world’s greatest lie.

There is only one thing that makes a dream impossible to achieve: the fear of failure.

Don’t give in to your fears. If you do, you won’t be able to talk to your heart.

It’s the possibility of having a dream come true that makes life interesting.

When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better too.

If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It is lethal.

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

George Washington bons mots

  • Adhere to your purpose and you will soon feel as well as you ever did. On the contrary, if you falter, and give up, you will lose the power of keeping any resolution, and will regret it all your life.
  • Labor to keep alive in your breast that little spark of celestial fire, called conscience.
  • It is better to offer no excuse than a bad one.
  • I walk slowly, but I never walk backward.
  • Be courteous to all, but intimate with few, and let those few be well tried before you give them your confidence.
  • It is far better to be alone, than to be in bad company.
  • Leave nothing for tomorrow which can be done today.
  • Knowledge is in every country the surest basis of public happiness.
  • Truth will ultimately prevail where there is pains to bring it to light.
  • Happiness and moral duty are inseparably connected.
  • Associate with men of good quality if you esteem your own reputation.
  • Liberty, when it begins to take root, is a plant of rapid growth.
  • Let your Discourse with Men of Business be Short and Comprehensive.
  • To contract new debts is not the way to pay old ones.
  • We should not look back unless it is to derive useful lessons from past errors, and for the purpose of profiting by dearly bought experience.
  • Nothing can be more hurtful to the service, than the neglect of discipline; for that discipline, more than numbers, gives one army the superiority over another.
  • The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.
  • Worry is the interest paid by those who borrow trouble.
  • There is nothing which can better deserve your patronage, than the promotion of science and literature.
  • I was summoned by my country, whose voice I can never hear but with veneration and love.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

Margaret Thatcher on socialism

“The Iron Lady” Margaret Thatcher took office as Prime Minister of Britain in 1979 with the objective to transform what had become a socialist nation to value free enterprise and capitalism once again. In her own words, Thatcher stated: “I came to office with one deliberate intent: to change Britain from a dependent to a self-reliant society—from a give-it-to-me, to a do-it-yourself nation. A get-up-and-go, instead of a sit-back-and-wait-for-it Britain.”

Here is a collection of her bons mots on socialism and its evils:

“It is good to recall how our freedom has been gained in this country—not by great abstract campaigns but through the objections of ordinary men and women to having their money taken from them by the State. In the early days, people banded together and said to the then Government, ‘You shall not take our money before you have redressed our grievances.’ It was their money, their wealth, which was the source of their independence against the Government.”

“The philosophical reason for which we are against nationalization and for private enterprise is because we believe that economic progress comes from the inventiveness, ability, determination and the pioneering spirit of extraordinary men and women. If they cannot exercise that spirit here, they will go away to another free enterprise country which will then make more economic progress than we do. We ought, in fact, to be encouraging small firms and small companies, because the extent to which innovation comes through these companies is tremendous.”

“I was attacked for fighting a rearguard action in defense of ‘middle-class interests.’…Well, if ‘middle class values’ include the encouragement of variety and individual choice, the provision of fair incentives and rewards for skill and hard work, the maintenance of effective barriers against the excessive power of the State and a belief in the wide distribution of individual private property, then they are certainly what I am trying to defend. This is not a fight for ‘privilege’; it is a fight for freedom—freedom for every citizen.”

“Our challenge is to create the kind of economic background which enables private initiative and private enterprise to flourish for the benefit of the consumer, employee, the pensioner, and society as a whole…I believe we should judge people on merit and not on background. I believe the person who is prepared to work hardest should get the greatest rewards and keep them after tax. That we should back the workers and not the shirkers: that it is not only permissible but praiseworthy to want to benefit your own family by your own efforts.”

“I place a profound belief—indeed a fervent faith—in the virtues of self-reliance and personal independence. On these is founded the whole case for the free society, for the assertion that human progress is best achieved by offering the freest possible scope for the development of individual talents, qualified only by a respect for the qualities and the freedom of others…For many years there has been a subtle erosion of the essential virtues of the free society. Self-reliance has been sneered at as if it were an absurd suburban pretention. Thrift has been denigrated as if it were greed. The desire of parents to choose and to struggle for what they themselves regarded as the best possible education for their children has been scorned.”

“I do not believe, in spite of all this, that the people of this country have abandoned their faith in the qualities and characteristics which made them a great people. Not a bit of it. We are still the same people. All that has happened is that we have temporarily lost confidence in our own strength. We have lost sight of the banners. The trumpets have given an uncertain sound. It is our duty, our purpose, to raise those banners high, so that all can see them, to sound the trumpets clearly and boldly so that all can hear them. Then we shall not have to convert people to our principles. They will simply rally to those which truly are their own.”

“I shall never stop fighting. I mean this country to survive, to prosper and to be free…I haven’t fought the destructive forces of socialism for more than twenty years in order to stop now, when the critical phase of the struggle is upon us.”

“What are the lessons then that we’ve learned from the last thirty years? First, that the pursuit of equality itself is a mirage. What’s more desirable and more practicable than the pursuit of equality is the pursuit of equality of opportunity. And opportunity means nothing unless it includes the right to be unequal and the freedom to be different. One of the reasons that we value individuals is not because they’re all the same, but because they’re all different. I believe you have a saying in the Middle West: ‘Don’t cut down the tall poppies. Let them rather grow tall.’ I would say, let our children grow tall and some taller than others if they have the ability in them to do so. Because we must build a society in which each citizen can develop his full potential, both for his own benefit and for the community as a whole, a society in which originality, skill, energy and thrift are rewarded, in which we encourage rather than restrict the variety and richness of human nature.”

“Let me give you my vision. A man’s right to work as he will to spend what he earns, to own property, to have the State as servant and not as master; these are the British inheritance. They are the essence of a free economy. And on that freedom all our others depend.”

“Some socialists seem to believe that people should be numbers in a State computer. We believe they should be individuals. We are all unequal. No one, thank heavens, is like anyone else, however much the socialists may pretend otherwise. We believe that everyone has the right to be unequal but to us every human being is equally important.”

“The socialists tell us that there are massive profits in a particular industry and they should not go to the shareholders—but that the public should reap the benefits. Benefits? What benefits? When you take into public ownership a profitable industry, the profits soon disappear. The goose that laid the golden eggs goes broody. State geese are not great layers. The steel industry was nationalized some years ago in the public interest—yet the only interest now left to the public is in witnessing the depressing spectacle of their money going down the drain at a rate of a million pounds a day.”

“There are others who warn not only of the threat from without, but of something more insidious, not readily perceived, not always deliberate, something that is happening here at home. What are they pointing to? They are pointing to the steady and remorseless expansion of the socialist State. Now none of us would claim that the majority of socialists are inspired by other than humanitarian and well-meaning ideals. At the same time few would, I think, deny today that they have made a monster that they can’t control. Increasingly, inexorably, the State the socialists have created is becoming more random in the economic and social justice it seeks to dispense, more suffocating in its effect on human aspirations and initiative, more politically selective in its defense of the rights of its citizens, more gargantuan in its appetite—and more disastrously incompetent in its performance. Above all, it poses a growing threat, however unintentional, to the freedom of this country, for there is no freedom where the State totally controls the economy. Personal freedom and economic freedom are indivisible. You can’t have one without the other. You can’t lose one without losing the other.”

“One of our principal and continuing priorities when we are returned to office will be to restore the freedoms which the Socialists have usurped. Let them learn that it is not a function of the State to possess as much as possible. It is not a function of the State to grab as much as it can get away with. It is not a function of the State to act as ring-master, to crack the whip, dictate the load which all of us must carry or say how high we may climb. It is not a function of the State to ensure that no-one climbs higher than anyone else. All that is the philosophy of socialism. We reject it utterly for, however well-intended, it leads in one direction only: to the erosion and finally the destruction of the democratic way of life.”

“There is no such thing as ‘safe’ socialism. If it’s safe, it’s not socialism. And if it’s socialism, it’s not safe. The signposts of socialism point downhill to less freedom, less prosperity, downhill to more muddle, more failure. If we follow them to their destination, they will lead this nation into bankruptcy.”

“The economic success of the Western world is a product of its moral philosophy and practice. The economic results are better because the moral philosophy is superior. It is superior because it starts with the individual, with his uniqueness, his responsibility, and his capacity to choose. Surely this is infinitely preferable to the socialist-statist philosophy which sets up a centralized economic system to which the individual must conform, which subjugates him, directs him and denies him the right to free choice. Choice is the essence of ethics: if there were no choice, there would be no ethics, no good, no evil; good and evil have meaning only insofar as man is free to choose.”

“In our philosophy the purpose of the life of the individual is not to be the servant of the State and its objectives, but to make the best of his talents and qualities. The sense of being self-reliant, of playing a role within the family, of owning one’s own property, of paying one’s way, are all part of the spiritual ballast which maintains responsible citizenship, and provides the solid foundation from which people look around to see what more they might do, for others and for themselves. That is what we mean by a moral society; not a society where the State is responsible for everything, and no-one is responsible for the State.”

“Once you give people the idea that all this can be done by the State, and that it is somehow second-best or even degrading to leave it to private people…then you will begin to deprive human beings of one of the essential ingredients of humanity—personal moral responsibility. You will in effect dry up in them the milk of human kindness. If you allow people to hand over to the State all their personal responsibility, the time will come—indeed it is close at hand—when what the taxpayer is willing to provide for the good of humanity will be seen to be far less than what the individual used to be willing to give from love of his neighbour. So do not be tempted to identify virtue with collectivism. I wonder whether the State services would have done as much for the man who fell among thieves as the Good Samaritan did for him?”

“Popular capitalism, which is the economic expression of liberty, is proving a much more attractive means for diffusing power in our society. Socialists cry “Power to the people,” and raise the clenched fist as they say it. We all know what they really mean—power over people, power to the State. To us Conservatives, popular capitalism means what it says: power through ownership to the man and woman in the street, given confidently with an open hand.”

“I think we have gone through a period when too many children and people have been given to understand ‘I have a problem, it is the Government’s job to cope with it!’ or ‘I have a problem, I will go and get a grant to cope with it!’ ‘I am homeless, the Government must house me!’ and so they are casting their problems on society and who is society? There is no such thing! There are individual men and women and there are families and no government can do anything except through people and people look to themselves first. It is our duty to look after ourselves and then also to help look after our neighbor and life is a reciprocal business and people have got the entitlements too much in mind without the obligations. There is no such thing as society. There is living tapestry of men and women and people and the beauty of that tapestry and the quality of our lives will depend upon how much each of us is prepared to take responsibility for ourselves and each of us prepared to turn around and help by our own efforts those who are unfortunate.”

“I set out to destroy socialism because I felt it was at odds with the character of the people. We were the first country in the world to roll back the frontiers of socialism, then roll forward the frontiers of freedom. We reclaimed our heritage; we are renewing it and carrying it forward.”

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

(This collection of quotes was acquired from a post on the Foundation for Economic Education: Margaret Thatcher on socialism – 20 of her best quotes / Photo credit:  Marion S. Trikosko [Public domain])

 

More quotes from PM John G. Diefenbaker

In completing the task of quoting from all our country’s Prime Ministers – from Sir John A. to our current PM Justin Trudeau – we now return to our favourite quotable PM: John George Diefenbaker.  Here are 10 more musings from one of Canada’s most colourful leaders.

 

  • My abiding interest is your interest; my guiding principle is the welfare of the Average Canadian.
  • It is so strange that such a great honour should come to a small man like me.
  • He who would be chief among you must first be servant of them all.
  • The prime minister has all the responsibilities and does all the joe-jobs.
  • I cut down on social functions. No prime minister can carry out his responsibilities when he’s going to dinner every night. Dinners are not a substitute for statesmanship.
  • Too much and too many of the moneys extorted and squeezed from the Canadian people are being wasted by the parasites of extravagance.
  • The heresy of yesterday is the Liberal orthodoxy of today.
  • The Liberal Party has become a hodgepodge of discordance, a cacophony of political nonsense.
  • No Canadian can but be proud that through the warp and woof of our constitution are the golden threads of our British heritage.
  • Freedom grows in the practice of good citizenship. It withers or decays in the apathy or neglect of the citizens of the country.

 

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

10 Favourite Quotes of Sir John A. Macdonald

Here are 10 of By George’s favourite quotes of Sir John A. Macdonald, Canada’s first Prime Minister and a Father of Confederation.

  • Politics is a game requiring great coolness and an utter abnegation of prejudice and personal feeling.
  • There were, unfortunately, no great principles on which parties were divided – politics became a mere struggle for office.
  • Anybody may support me when I am right. What I want is someone that will support me when I am wrong.
  • There may be obstructions, local differences may intervene, but it matters not — the wheel is now revolving, and we are only the fly on the wheel, we cannot delay it. The union of the colonies of British America under one sovereign is a fixed fact.
  • I don’t care for office for the sake of money, but for the sake of power, and for the sake of carrying out my own views of what is best for the country.
  • When fortune empties her chamber pot on your head, smile and say, ‘We are going to have a summer shower.’
  • If you would know the depth of meanness of human nature, you have got to be a Prime Minister running a general election.
  •  [Macdonald was well known for his wit and also for his love of drink. He is known to have been drunk for many of his debates in Parliament. Here is a story from an election debate in which Macdonald was so drunk he began vomiting while on stage. His opponent quickly pointed this out.]  The opposing candidate said: “Is this the man you want running your country? A drunk!” Collecting himself, Macdonald replied “I get sick … not because of drink [but because] I am forced to listen to the ranting of my honourable opponent.”
  • My sins of omission and commission I do not deny; but I trust that it may be said of me in the ultimate issue, ‘Much is forgiven because he loved much,’ for I have loved my country with a passionate love.
  • If I had influence over the minds of the people of Canada, any power over their intellect, I would leave them this legacy: ‘Whatever you do, adhere to the Union. We are a great country, and shall become one of the greatest in the universe if we preserve it; we shall sink into insignificance and adversity if we suffer it to be broken.’

(Photo Credit:  National Archive)

Chris George provides reliable PR & GR counsel and effective advocacy. Need a go-to writer and experienced communicator? Call 613-983-0801 @ CG&A COMMUNICATIONS.

F.A. Hayek’s bons mots

Friedrich August von (F.A.) Hayek (1899 – 1992) was an Austrian-British economist and philosopher who is best known for his defence of classical liberalism. In 1974, Hayek shared a Nobel Prize for his work on economics.

Friedrich Hayek has been referred to as “the most prodigious classical liberal scholar of the 20th century.” His ideas and thoughts of liberty are a cornerstone of our understanding of what it means to be free.

Friedrich Hayek observed “unless we can make the philosophic foundation of a free society once more a living intellectual issue, and its implementation a task which challenges the ingenuity and imagination of our liveliest minds, the prospects of freedom are indeed dark.”

Here are F.A. Hayek’s bons mots on liberty and freedom.

“A society that does not recognize that each individual has values of his own which he is entitled to follow can have no respect for the dignity of the individual and cannot really know freedom.”

“If we wish to preserve a free society, it is essential that we recognize that the desirability of a particular object is not sufficient justification for the use of coercion.”

“Coercion is evil precisely because it…eliminates an individual as a thinking and valuing person and makes him a bare tool in the achievement of the ends of another.”

“The argument for liberty is…an argument…against the use of coercion to prevent others from doing better.”

“Individual liberty…demonstrate[s] that some manners of living are more successful than others.”

“It is always from a minority acting in ways different from what the majority would prescribe that the majority in the end learns to do better.”

“Liberty not only means that the individual has both the opportunity and the burden of choice; it also means that he must bear the consequences…Liberty and responsibility are inseparable.”

“Liberty is not merely one particular value…it is the source and condition of most moral values. What a free society offers to the individual is much more than what he would be able to do if only he were free.”

“All political theories assume…that most individuals are very ignorant. Those who plead for liberty differ…in that they include among the ignorant themselves as well as the wisest.”

“The individualist…recognizes the limitations of the powers of individual reason and consequently advocates freedom.”

“Once wide coercive powers are given to government agencies…such powers cannot be effectively controlled.”

“The chief evil is unlimited government…nobody is qualified to wield unlimited power.”

“Economic control…is the control of the means for all our ends. And whoever has control of the means must also determine which ends are to be served.”

“The case for individual freedom rests largely upon the recognition of the inevitable and universal ignorance of all of us concerning a great many of the factors on which the achievements of our ends and welfare depend.”

“The system of private property is the most important guarantee of freedom, not only for those who own property, but scarcely less for those who do not.”

“There is no justification for the belief that, so long as power is conferred by democratic procedure, it cannot be arbitrary…it is not the source but the limitation of power which prevents it from being arbitrary.”

“Equality of the general rules of law and conduct…is the only kind of equality conducive to liberty and the only equality which we can secure without destroying liberty.”

“Under the Rule of Law…the individual is free to pursue his personal ends and desires, certain that the powers of government will not be used deliberately to frustrate his efforts.”

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com

 

 

More political musings from “The Chief”

 

  • I don’t campaign. I just visit with the people.
  • Nothing I ever do is political.
  • I never say anything provocative.
  • I do not say that everything I did was right, but what I do say, Mr. Speaker, is that what I did was honest.
  • I was criticized for being too much concerned with the average Canadians. I can’t help that; I am one of them!
  • The Liberals are the flying saucers of politics. No one can make head nor tail of them and they never are seen twice in the same place.

  • Everyone is against me – except the people!
  • I’ve lived history. I’ve made history, and I know I’ll have my place in history. That’s not egoism.
  • For an average Canadian, being chosen as leader of a nation gives one a feeling impossible to describe. You feel a sense of loneliness.
  • I would never have been Prime Minister if the Gallup poll were right.
  • My friends, you say, ‘Give ’em hell, John!’ I never do that. I tell the truth and it sounds like hell. It simply sounds that way to the Grits.
  • Sir John A. Macdonald gave his life to this party. He opened the West. he saw Canada from east to west. I see a new Canada – a Canada of the North!
  • Never in Canadian history has there been a government so prone to be prone.
  • Criticism is sometimes necessary to create public opinion, but use discretion.
  • The Conservative party will be the national party; it is the party which founded Confederation and the party that will save Confederation…. It is my intention to unite all Canadians from the Atlantic to the Pacific, under the banner of patriotism.

Chris George is an Ottawa-based government affairs advisor and wordsmith, president of CG&A COMMUNICATIONS. Contact: ChrisG.George@gmail.com