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Arnold J. Toynbee Quotes

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"As human beings, we are endowed with freedom of choice, and we cannot shuffle off our responsibility upon the shoulders of God or nature. We must shoulder it ourselves. It is our responsibility."

"America is a large friendly dog in a small room. Every time it wags its tail it knocks over a chair."

"A city that outdistances man's walking powers is a trap for man."

"The supreme accomplishment is to blur the line between work and play."
Work

"The human race's prospects of survival were considerably better when we were defenceless against tigers than they are today when we have become defenceless against ourselves."
Society

"The immense cities lie basking on the beaches of the continent like whales that have taken to the land."

"Civilization is a movement and not a condition, a voyage and not a harbor."
History

"The right moment for starting on your next job is not tomorrow or next week; it is instanter, or in the American idiom, "right now.""

"I do not believe that civilizations have to die because civilization is not an organism. It is a product of wills."

"History is a vision of God's creation on the move."
History

"Angkor is not orchestral; it is monumental. It is an epic poem which makes its effect, like the Odyssey and like Paradise Lost, by the grandeur of its structure as well as by the beauty of the details. an epic in rectangular forms imposed upon the Cambodian jungle."

"There is a kind of intellectual provincialism in the dogma that "life is just one damned thing after another." human affairs do not become intelligible until they are seen as a whole."

"I don't believe a committee can write a book. It can, oh, govern a country, perhaps, but I don't believe it can write a book."

"Apathy can be overcome by enthusiasm, and enthusiasm can only be aroused by two things: first, an ideal, with takes the imagination by storm, and second, a definite intelligible plan for carrying that ideal into practice."

"Compassion is the desire that moves the individual self to widen the scope of its self-concern to embrace the whole of the universal self."

"The equation of religion with belief is rather recent."

"To be able to fill leisure intelligently is the last product of civilization."

"We have been God-like in our planned breeding of our domesticated plants and animals, but we have been rabbit-like in our unplanned breeding of ourselves."

"It is a paradoxical but profoundly true and important principle of life that the most likely way to reach a goal is to be aiming not at that goal itself but at some more ambitious goal beyond it."

"I can not think of any circumstances in which advertising would not be an evil."

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