Great quotes about civility and moral humility can be powerful in setting the tone for an Asteroids Club meeting. Inspirational quotes speak intuitively to us, so we hear them well compared to a 12-point fact sheet. By beginning with even one great quote, you can ensure the group aspires to high-mindedness in a way that will help your meeting succeed. Here are some of our favorites, but please email us to share some of yours.
On the whole, Sir, I cannot help expressing a wish that every member of the Convention who may still have objections to it, would with me,on this occasion doubt a little of his own infallibility, and… put his name to this instrument.
— Benjamin Franklin at the Constitutional Convention
First take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.
— Matthew 7:5
In almost every one of the leading controversies. . . both sides were in the right in what they affirmed, though in the wrong in what they denied; and that if either could have been made to take the others’ views in addition to its own, little more would have been needed to make its doctrine correct.
–John Stuart Mill, 1849
All democrats are insane, but not one of them knows it; none but the republicans and mugwumps know it. All the republicans are insane, but only the democrats and mugwumps can perceive it. The rule is perfect; in all matters of opinion our adversaries are insane. When I look around me I am often troubled to see how many people are mad… This should move us to be charitable toward one another’s lunacies.
— Mark Twain
If you want the truth to stand clear before you, never be for or against. The struggle “for” and “against” is the mind’s worst disease.
–Sent-tsâ€™an, c 700 C.E.
Civility is the natural state for people who know how limited their own individual powers are and know, too, that they need the conversation. They are useless without the conversation.
— David Brooks
The human understanding when it has once adopted an opinion draws all things else to support and agree with it. And though there be a greater number and weight of instances to be found on the other side, yet these it either neglects and despises, or else by some distinction sets aside and rejects; in order that by this great and pernicious predetermination the authority of its former conclusions may remain inviolate.
–Frances Bacon, Novum Organum, 1620
It’s hardly possible to overstate the value of placing human beings in contact with other persons dissimilar to themselves…Such communication has always been one of the primary sources of progress.
— John Stuart Mill, 1848
Let us not seek the Republican answer or the Democratic answer, but the right answer.
– John F. Kennedy
So how as a nation can we sit around and eat Mexican food, and drink beer and make friends? That’s the question. If we can do that on a broader scale, I think we’ll come out of it all right.
— Justice Sandra Day O’Connor
Let us consider that we are all partially insane. It will explain us to each other, it will unriddle many riddles, it will make clear and simple many things which are involved in haunting and harassing difficulties and obscurities now...
— Mark Twain
There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.
–Michel de Montaigne