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In the field of economic development, economists like to think Western economics is value-neutral, but in truth, it is not. Success is defined according to production units or monetary worth. The contrast with successful indigenous development is stark. For example, since they understand the environment to be a living being, the Northern Cheyenne have opposed coal strip mining on their reservation because it kills the water beings. There are no cost measurements of pollution, production, or other elements that can capture this kind of impact. There is an emerging recognition of the need for a spiritual base, not only in our individual lives, but also in our work and in our communities.
-- Rebecca Adamson


* Most families need both parents to work. Moms need to be able to work and earn fair pay and have the flexibility in their jobs to also be primary caretakers.
-- Joan Blades

* "If you're looking for inner peace from the outside world, you're not going to get that. The inner peace starts with looking at you from the inside. Understanding that everything that comes to you is what you are. Everything from friends to boyfriends to the job you get - it's all a direct reflection of what you are on the inside."
-- Mary J. Blige

* How are we going to make our livings in a society becoming increasingly jobless because of hi-tech and outsourcing? Where will we get the imagination to recognize that for most of human history the concept of Jobs didn’t even exist? Work, as distinguished from Labor, was done to produce needed goods and services, develop skills and artistry, and nurture cooperation.
-- Grace Lee Boggs

To find joy in work is to discover the fountain of youth.
-- Pearl S. Buck

I have discovered the secret of happy- it is work, either with the hands or the head. The moment I have something to do, the draughts are open and my chimney draws, and I am happy.~ John Burroughs

* "For anything worth having one must pay the price; and the price is always work, patience, love, self-sacrifice"
~ John Burroughs

* "If the corporations have their way, the Earth will be killed, and that's in your lifetime. It's revolting to me that students are being trained to work in corporations. It's obscene to me that the corporations are running the world. We've got to get cross. Anger is an appropriate emotion."
-- Helen Caldicott

"It is the first of all problems for a man to find out what kind of work he is to do in this universe."
-- Thomas Carlyle

* "I have never believed we had to choose between either a clean and safe environment or a growing economy. Protecting the health and safety of all Americans doesn’t have to come at the expense of our economy’s bottom line. And creating thriving companies and new jobs doesn’t have to come at the expense of the air we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, or the natural landscape in which we live. We can, and indeed must, have both."
~ Bill Clinton

* "This is the first great problem of modern to get a fair living by reasonable hours of work leaving enough leisure for both childhood and manhood."
-- John R. Commons

* I PLEDGE to live, work and act in a loving, respectful way towards this Earth that I call home, and towards all who live upon it, every insect, animal, fish, bird, plant, human and tree....
~ Guy Dauncey

* I PLEDGE to live, work and act in a loving, respectful way towards this Earth that I call home, and towards all who live upon it, every insect, animal, fish, bird, plant, human and tree....
~ Guy Dauncey


Success is achievable without public recognition, and the world has many unsung heroes. The teacher who inspires you to pursue your education to your ultimate ability is a success. The parents who taught you the noblest human principles are a success. The coach who shows you the importance of teamwork is a success. The spiritual leader who instills in you spiritual values and faith is a success. The relatives, friends, and neighbors with whom you develop a reciprocal relationship of respect and support--they, too, are successes. The most menial workers can properly consider themselves successful if they perform their best and if the product of their work is of service to humanity.--Michael DeBakey, M.D.


To find out what one is fitted to do, and to secure an opportunity to do it, is the key to happiness.
-- John Dewey
* “Maybe you don't like your job, maybe you didn't get enough sleep, well nobody likes their job, nobody got enough sleep. Maybe you just had the worst day of your life, but you know, there's no escape, there's no excuse, so just suck up and be nice.”
-- Ani DiFranco

Don't waste life in doubts and fears; spend yourself on the work before you, well assured that the right performance of this hour's duties will be the best preparation for the hours and ages that will follow it.
~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

How will we ever end America’s addiction to war and violence as long as our communities are dependent on military spending for jobs? We must work to convert the military industrial complex to sustainable technologies like windpower, solar, and mass transit.”
~ Bruce Gagnon

"It will take a massive effort to move society from corporate domination, in which industry's rights to pollute and damage health and the environment supersede the public's right to live, work, and play in safety. This is a political fight. The science is already there, showing that people's health is at risk. To win, we will need to keep building the movement, networking with one another, planning, strategizing, and moving forward. Our children's futures, and those of their unborn children, are at stake."
~ Lois Gibbs


The first duty of a human being is to assume the right functional relationship to society -- more briefly, to find your real job, and do it.
-- Charlotte Perkins Gilman


* "I better quit my talking 'cause I told you all I know But please remember, pardner, wherever you may go The people are building a peaceful world, and when the job is done, That'll be the biggest thing that man has ever done."
-- Woody Guthrie

* Working for peace in the future is to work for peace in the present moment.
-- Thich Nhat Hanh

* If we are to change our world view, images have to change. The artist now has a very important job to do. He's not a little peripheral figure entertaining rich people, he's really needed.
-- Vaclav Havel


And it is to these rights -- the right of law and order, the right of life, the right of liberty, the right of a job, the right of a home in a decent neighborhood, and the right to an education -- it is to these rights that I pledge my life and whatever capacity and ability I have.
-- Hubert Humphrey

* "All labor that uplifts humanity has dignity and importance and should be undertaken with painstaking excellence."
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.

If a man is called to be a streetsweeper, he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven played music, or Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will pause to say, here lived a great streetsweeper who did his job well.
-- Martin Luther King, Jr.


* Joblessness is a weapon of mass destruction. Poverty is a weapon of mass destruction. Hunger is a weapon of mass destruction. Poor health care is a weapon of mass destruction. Poor education is a weapon of mass destruction. Discrimination is a weapon of mass destruction. Let us abolish such weapons of mass destruction here at home.
-- Dennis Kucinich

“Whatever you are, be a good one.”
-- Abraham Lincoln

No matter how hostile the environment in which we are working is, we must never cease to insist that development is about people and not about objects. That the aim of development must be neither producerism not consumerism, but the satisfaction of fundamental human needs, which are not only needs of humanity, but needs of being as well. We will never deny that subsistence is a fundamental human need which must be satisfied through adequate income, nutrition, housing and work for all. But we will also insist that protection, affection, understanding, participation, leisure, creation, identity and freedom are extremely fundamental human needs as well.
-- Manfred Max-Neef


Real success is finding your lifework in the work that you love.
-- David McCullough

* "The basic goal of labor will not change. It is -- as it has always been, and I am sure always will be -- to better the standards of life for all who work for wages and to seek decency and justice and dignity for all Americans."
-- George Meany

* It took a lot of blood, sweat and tears to get to where we are today, but we have just begun. Today we begin in earnest the work of making sure that the world we leave our children is just a little bit better than the one we inhabit today.
-- Barack Obama

* Small loans can transform lives, especially the lives of women and children. The poor can become empowered instead of disenfranchised. Homes can be built, jobs can be created, businesses can be launched, and individuals can feel a sense of worth again.
-- Natalie Portman

It's incredible to see labor unions and environmentalists getting together to stop the corporate mentality that destroys both jobs and the environment.
-- Bonnie Raitt

* "I want to work for a company that contributes to and is part of the community. I want something not just to invest in. I want something to believe in."
-- Anita Roddick

Far and away the best prize that life has to offer is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.
-- Theodore Roosevelt

* "I want my child to walk in a world guided by love. This means that everybody will have a job, or the resources to take care of basic needs. A world where families are not oppressed and are connected to their neighbors and their communities, where the best in humanity is honored. That's when we will truly be at peace."
-- Malika Sanders

Some people are fortunate enough to earn their livelihoods in jobs that directly help to create a more peaceful, just and sustainable world. But much of the efforts to make life better for our communities and our world are done by volunteers -- people who work for a better world without pay. Volunteers ARE creating a better world, one person and one act of kindness at a time.
-- Robert Alan Silverstein

Today, although there are still sweatshops and other inhumane working conditions for many workers around the world, the labor movement has won numerous victories that many of us take for granted, such as the 5-day work week, 8-hour work day, paid holidays and the end of child labor.
-- Robert Alan Silverstein

* Decent work is at the heart of the search for dignity for the individual, stability for the family and peace in the community
-- Juan Somavia

We need new proactive policies that focus directly on how authorities in the public and private sphere can blend economic and social policies with an enabling environment for private initiative to create market opportunities for Decent Work.
-- Juan Somavia


"Only he is successful in his business who makes that pursuit which affords him the highest pleasure sustain him."
-- Henry David Thoreau

We want for our children, as we want for ourselves, lives at home, at work and at play to be lives of joy and peace.
-- Betty Williams

“When I see brokenness, poverty and crime in inner cities, I also see the enormous potential and readiness for transformation and rebirth. We are creating an art form that comes from the heart and reflects the pain and sorrow of people's lives. It also expresses joy, beauty, and love. This process lays the foundation of building a genuine community in which people are reconnected with their families, sustained by meaningful work, nurtured by the care of each other and will together raise and educate their children. Then we witness social change in action.”
-- Lily Yeh



Kids | Youth | Adults | Calendar | Quotes | Heroes | Stories | The EMILY Fund | Scholarships
DO ONE THING and BetterWorld Kids Clubs are projects of The EMILY Fund (The Emily Silverstein Fund, Inc.)
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