“The foundation of democracy is the sense of spiritual independence which nerves the individual to stand alone against the powers of this world.” — R.H Tawney (English economic historian 1880 – 1962)

“Hope is not the same as joy when thing are going well, or willingness to invest in enterprises that are obviously headed for early success, but rather an ability to s work for something to succeed. Hope is definitely not the same thing as optimism. It is not the conviction that something will turn out well, but the certainty that something makes sense, regardless of how it turns out. It is this hope        above all that gives us strength to live and to continually try new things even in conditions that seem hopeless. Life is too precious to permit its devaluation by living pointlessly, emptily, without meaning, without love, and finally without hope.” — Vaclav Havel, from his book, Disturbing the Peace

“American democracy is a transcendent notion, positing that power flows not from without but from within. It was not to be wealth or power of one’s outer circumstances, but the spirit of intelligent goodness which resides within us all that was entrusted with the authority to rule this nation.” — Marianne Williamson

“True democracy depends on one’s individual independent conscious choice. It creates the conditions for individual sovereignty. We are supremely qualified to be a leader and a co-creator. We have the power only by being unique. When your heart says this is what I want to do and I act upon it, it is the very best we can do.” — Roy Littlesun

“The human heart is the first home of democracy. It is where we embrace our questions. Can we be equitable? Can we be generous? Can we listen with our whole beings, not just our minds, and offer our attention rather than our opinions? And do we have enough resolve in our hearts to act courageously, relentlessly, without giving up — ever-trusting our fellow citizens to join with us in our determined pursuit of a living democracy?” — Terry Tempest Williams

 “Different cultures or spheres of civilization can share only what they perceive as genuine common ground, not something that some simply offer to or even force upon others. The rules of human coexistence on this Earth can work only if they grow out of the deepest experience of everyone, not just some. They have to be formulated so as to be in harmony with what all of us — as human beings, not as members of a particular group — have learned, experienced, and endured.” — Vaclav Havel, “Sense of the Transcendent” 1997

“It is scarcely possible to find a culture that does not derive from the conviction that a higher, mysterious order of the world exists beyond our reach, a higher intention that is the source of all things, a higher memory recording everything, a higher authority to which we are all accountable in one way or another. That order has had a thousand faces. Human history has known a vast array of gods and deities, religious and spiritual beliefs, rituals, and liturgies. Nevertheless, since time immemorial, the key to the existence of the human race, of nature, and of the universe, as well as the key to what is required of human responsibility, has always been found in what transcends humanity, in what stands above it. Humanity must respect that if the world is to survive.” — Vaclav Havel, “Sense of the Transcendent” 1997

“It is not easy to do something creative with diverse opinions and experiences…it is much easier to settle for the lowest common denominator agreements. So a major activity of a democratic community is developing the skills, procedures, and attitudes needed for people to jointly create with their diversity. As more people become artists with these democratic tools, the community’s thinking become more wise, their collective behavior more intelligent and successful.  In this process communities leave domination and fragmentation behind.  These dysfunctional approaches arise from a false dichotomy between the individual and group… Individuals and communities can only be whole and healthy when they nurture each other….it is through building creative partnerships…among empowered and deeply unique individuals and groups…that community wisdom can emerge.” — Tom Atlee, founder of Co-Intelligence Institute

“Authentic leaders in every setting — from families to nation states — aim at liberating the heart, their own and others, so that its power can liberate the world. Consciousness precedes Being. The salvation of the world lies nowhere else but in the human heart.” — Vaclav Havel, quoted in “Journey into Freedom

“Peace on earth, good will toward men – democracy must cling to that message. For it is my deep conviction that democracy cannot live without that true religion which gives a nation a sense of justice and moral purpose.” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

“Be not discouraged, keep on, there are divine things well envelop’d. I swear to you there are divine things more beautiful than words can tell.” — Walt Whitman