Quotes I Love by Alexis Lantgen
Like Katrina, I love great quotes! Many of them have given me great inspiration and wisdom, and as a teacher I’ve also used them in classroom as well. Here are a few of my favorites…
1. “Science, my lad, is made up of mistakes, but they are mistakes which it is useful to make, because they lead little by little to the truth.” –Jules Verne
I first discovered this quote when I was looking for quotes to inspire my students when I taught middle school science. I printed it out and put it on my wall. What I loved about it? So many of my students, and so many people in life, are afraid to take risks and make mistakes. But mistakes are necessary! They are a natural part of discovery, risk-taking, and trying anything new. As a writer, it’s sometimes hard for me to keep going on a first draft, but this quote helps to remind me that writing, like science, takes risks and mistakes.
2. “The World is my country, all mankind are my brethren, and to do good is my religion.” –Thomas Paine
I love this quote. There are so many things that divide people from each other, but if we really want to solve global problems like climate change, we have to work together. What’s more, I think that the essence of all true religion, spirituality, morality, or ethics is ultimately figuring out how to do good. Part of doing good has to be seeing other people, especially people who are different than us, as our brothers and sisters.
3. “If they give you ruled paper, write the other way.”
This is a quote by the Spanish Poet Juan Ramón Jiménez. Ray Bradbury used it as the epitaph for his book Fahrenheit 451, which is where I first heard it. I love this quote because it succinctly points out the mindless conformity that is inflicted on us in a thousand different ways, large and small. Though writing the other way may seem like a small act of rebellion, small rebellions can help us recognize the larger and more dangerous ways that we accept the status quo without thinking critically about it’s effects.
4. “Fear is the Mind-killer.”
Dune. It’s a classic of science fiction, and Frank Herbert created many memorable characters. But the litany against fear is still one of my favorite parts of the book. As a musician and a writer, I struggled with stage fright and other fears for a long time. But I chose to face my fears and work through them. This quote helped me recognize how destructive fear can be, and it gave me the courage to “turn my inner eye to see its path,” instead of giving in and giving up.
5. “It’s better to light a single candle than to curse the darkness.”
This quote is associated with Amnesty International, an international human rights organization I worked with in college. It’s so easy to complain, or say that nothing ever changes or gets better. But even small acts of kindness, love, generosity, and goodness can make an enormous difference. And when enough people do those things, it can change the world.
What kind of life will we find in the depths of Europa’s oceans? What kind of life will we allow an AI with human level intelligence? The ten stories in Sapience: A Collection of Science Fiction Short Stories explore these questions and many more.
In the near future, humanity builds a colony on Europa, one of the moons of Jupiter. They tunnel into the ice to explore the dark oceans beneath the moon’s surface, searching for signs of extraterrestrial life. What they find will change them forever, setting humanity on a path to the stars. But the old conflicts and hatreds of Earth are not so easily escaped. Will human colonists on distant planets and moons create a paradise or a terrifying dystopia?
Alexis Lantgen, writer