Initiative Quotes (13 quotes)
Combination does not produce though mergers and combinations are still the accepted panacea. In Big business there appears to be increasing aridity, bureaucracy, and stultifying sacrifice of initiative and above all fear.
Americans have always believed that—within the law—all kinds of people should be allowed to take the initiative in all kinds of activities. And out of that pluralism has come virtually all of our creativity. Freedom is real only to the extent that there are diverse alternatives.
As agonizing a disease as cancer is, I do not think it can be said that our civilization is threatened by it. But a very plausible case can be made that our civilization is fundamentally threatened by the lack of adequate fertility control. Exponential increases of population will dominate any arithmetic increases, even those brought about by heroic technological initiatives, in the availability of food and resources, as Malthus long ago realized.
From the freedom to explore comes the joy of learning. From knowledge acquired by personal initiative arises the desire for more knowledge. And from mastery of the novel and beautiful world awaiting every child comes self-confidence.
I am more and more convinced that the ant colony is not so much composed of separate individuals as that the colony is a sort of individual, and each ant like a loose cell in it. Our own blood stream, for instance, contains hosts of white corpuscles which differ little from free-swimming amoebae. When bacteria invade the blood stream, the white corpuscles, like the ants defending the nest, are drawn mechanically to the infected spot, and will die defending the human cell colony. I admit that the comparison is imperfect, but the attempt to liken the individual human warrior to the individual ant in battle is even more inaccurate and misleading. The colony of ants with its component numbers stands half way, as a mechanical, intuitive, and psychical phenomenon, between our bodies as a collection of cells with separate functions and our armies made up of obedient privates. Until one learns both to deny real individual initiative to the single ant, and at the same time to divorce one's mind from the persuasion that the colony has a headquarters which directs activity one can make nothing but pretty fallacies out of the polity of the ant heap.
I am not merely satisfied in making money for myself, for I am endeavoring to provide employment for hundreds of women of my race. ... I want to say to every Negro woman present, don't sit down and wait for the opportunities to come. Get up and make them!
I got myself a start by giving myself a start.
The most effective way to do it is to do it.
The result is that a generation of physicists is growing up who have never exercised any particular degree of individual initiative, who have had no opportunity to experience its satisfactions or its possibilities, and who regard cooperative work in large teams as the normal thing. It is a natural corollary for them to feel that the objectives of these large teams must be something of large social significance.
There are three ways to encourage initiative. One is to cut off peoples heads as they do in Russia. Another is to subject people to public criticism, which is impossible in such secret work as this. A third way is to set up competition. This is Livermores most valuable function: simply to be a competitor.
There is no royal flower-strewn path to success. And if there is, I have not found it, for if I have accomplished anything in life it is because I have been willing to work hard.
We urgently need [the landmark National Ocean Policy] initiative, as we use our oceans heavily: Cargo ships crisscross the sea, carrying goods between continents. Commercial and recreational fishing boats chase fish just offshore. Cruise ships cruise. Oil and gas drilling continues, but hopefully we will add renewable energy projects as well. Without planning, however, these various industrial activities amount to what we call ocean sprawl, steamrolling the resources we rely upon for our livelihoods, food, fun, and even the air we breathe. While humankind relies on many of these industries, we also need to keep the natural riches that support them healthy and thriving. As an explorer, I know firsthand there are many places in the ocean so full of life that they should be protected.
You've to go out on a limb sometimes, because that's where the fruit is.