Fear of Something Is at the Root of Hate for Others, and Hate Within Will Ultimately Destroy the Hater

George Washington Carver? Alvin D. Smith? Martin Luther King Jr.? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: Prominent scientist and educator George Washington Carver believed that fear lay at the root of hatred, and hatred would eventually lead to the destruction of the hater. Would you please help me to find a citation?

Quote Investigator: Alvin D. Smith attended the Bible Classes conducted by George Washington Carver during the years 1915 to 1919. Smith often took notes, and many years later in 1954 he published “George Washington Carver: Man of God” which included material based on Carver’s lectures Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1

Right off, he began talking about David and Goliath. He said, “As we tune in with our Creator and study our Bible, we get the answer to any problem.

“Fear of something is at the root of hate for others and hate within will ultimately destroy the hater. Keep your thoughts free from hate, and you need have no fear from those who hate you,” said he.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Fear of Something Is at the Root of Hate for Others, and Hate Within Will Ultimately Destroy the Hater

Notes:

  1. 1954, George Washington Carver: Man of God by Alvin D. Smith, Chapter: Race Hate—David and Goliath, Quote Page 43, Exposition Press, New York. (HathiTrust Full View) link

Hate Ultimately Destroys the Hater

Henry Norman? A. P. Buchman? George Washington Carver? Alvin D. Smith? Louis N. Whealton? Frederick C. Walcott? Peter Witt? Martin Luther King Jr.? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: Loathing and hostility are intense emotions which are difficult to control. Here is an applicable adage:

Hatred destroys the hater.

Would you please explore the provenance of this saying?

Quote Investigator: The 2018 issue of “Proverbium: Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship” includes a supplementary article for the important reference work titled “The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs”. Three variants of this important saying were listed: 1

Hate (Hating, Hatred) destroys the hater.

Tracing this adage is difficult because it can be expressed in many different ways, and its concision evolved over time. A lengthy version appeared in the 1897 book “Real” by Henry Norman, Bold face added to excerpts by QI: 2

Revenge can gratify for a short time only, but it never can satisfy for revenge is an agent of hatred, and the nature of hatred is to first destroy the hated one and then destroy the hater.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Hate Ultimately Destroys the Hater

Notes:

  1. 2018, Proverbium: Yearbook of International Proverb Scholarship, Volume 35, The Dictionary of Modern Proverbs: Second Supplement by Charles Clay Doyle and Wolfgang Mieder, Start Page 15, Quote Page 25, Published by The University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont. (Verified on paper)
  2. 1897, Real by Henry Norman, Quote Page 21 and 22, Jno. F. McCarty & Company, Printers, Lynn, Massachusetts. (Google Books Full View) link

Appalling Silence of the Good People

Martin Luther King Jr.? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: Civil rights champion Martin Luther King Jr. expressed unhappiness with people who were unwilling to support his efforts due to apathy or fear. He used the phrase “appalling silence”. Would you please help me to find a citation?

Quote Investigator: In 1958 Martin Luther King Jr. published “Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story” which included the following pertinent passage. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1

If the moderates of the white South fail to act now, history will have to record that the greatest tragedy of this period of social transition was not the strident clamor of the bad people, but the appalling silence of the good people. Our generation will have to repent not only for the acts and words of the children of darkness but also for the fears and apathy of the children of light.

King used the phrase several times as shown in the selected citations in chronological order listed below.

Continue reading Appalling Silence of the Good People

Notes:

  1. 1958, Stride Toward Freedom: The Montgomery Story by Martin Luther King Jr., Chapter 11: Where Do We Go From Here?, Quote Page 202, Harper & Row, New York. (Verified on paper)

I Destroy My Enemies When I Make Them My Friends

Abraham Lincoln? Emperor Sigismund? Martin Luther King? Loretta Young? Mark Twain? Cardinal Richelieu? Robert Jones Burdette? John Wooden? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: The leader of a victorious group decided to treat the vanquished people with compassion. Critics of the leader were unhappy because they believed that the enemies deserved destruction. Here are three versions of the response:

  • The best way to destroy an enemy is to make him a friend.
  • I will slay my enemies by making them my friends.
  • The only safe and sure way to destroy an enemy is to make him your friend.

This saying has been attributed to U.S. President Abraham Lincoln and Holy Roman Emperor Sigismund. Would you please explore this topic?

Quote Investigator: The earliest match for this anecdote located by QI appeared in a Bellows Falls, Vermont newspaper in April 1818. The word “reproaching” should have been “reproached” in the following passage. Boldface added to excerpts by QI: 1

The Emperor Sigismund was reproaching for rewarding instead destroying his enemies, as by that means he gave them an opportunity to injure him. “What!” said the noble minded monarch, “do I not destroy my enemies by making them my friends.”

Sigismund died in 1437, and the long delay before this tale appeared reduces its credibility. A similar anecdote was told by the 1940s about Abraham Lincoln who died in 1865. The delay suggests that this story was also apocryphal.

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading I Destroy My Enemies When I Make Them My Friends

Notes:

  1. 1818 April 6, Vermont Intelligencer, Anecdotes, Quote Page 4, Column 3, Bellows Falls, Vermont. (Newspapers_com)

Take the First Step in Faith. You Don’t Have To See the Whole Staircase, Just Take the First Step

Martin Luther King Jr.? Marian Wright Edelman? George Sweeting? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: Famous civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr. has received credit for a stimulating remark about faith. Here are two versions:

(1) Faith is taking the first step even when you don’t see the whole staircase.

(2) Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step.

I haven’t been able to find a citation. Would you please help?

Quote Investigator: Martin Luther King Jr. died in 1968. The earliest published evidence located by QI appeared in the “Cleveland Plain Dealer” of Ohio in 1986. The newspaper interviewed Marian Wright Edelman who was the founder of the Children’s Defense Fund. Edelman knew King and heard him deliver multiple speeches. Emphasis added to excerpts by QI: 1

“I was impressed by his leadership, but I think I was impressed even more by the fact that he was an adult and he was not afraid to speak about his uncertainties, his fears,” she said.

“He introduced me to the idea of taking one step, even if you can’t see the whole stairway when you start. I think because of that, I have a much greater capacity to accept failure and move on.”

The excerpt above did not include a direct quotation from King. In addition, it used the word “stairway” instead of “staircase”. The 1991 and 1999 citations presented further below which are also based on Edelman’s memory both contain direct quotations.

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Take the First Step in Faith. You Don’t Have To See the Whole Staircase, Just Take the First Step

Notes:

  1. 1986 March 30, Cleveland Plain Dealer, Section: Living – Panorama – Part 3, Fighting for kids is a full-time job by Deena Mirow (Staff Writer), Quote Page 21, Column 2 thru 4, Cleveland, Ohio. (GenealogyBank)

We Are Taught To Fly in the Air Like Birds, and To Swim in the Water Like the Fishes; But How To Live on the Earth We Don’t Know

George Bernard Shaw? Martin Luther King? Maxim Gorky? Sarvepalli Radhakrishnan? C. E. M. Joad? Walter Winchell? Jack Paar? Anonymous?

Quote Investigator: Technological progress today is shockingly vertiginous, but advancements toward human reconciliation and harmony are glacially slow. A saying from the previous century treats this topic with poignancy:

Now that we have learned to fly the air like birds, swim under water like fish, we lack one thing—to learn to live on earth as human beings.

This saying has been attributed to the famous playwright George Bernard Shaw and the civil rights champion Martin Luther King. Would you please explore its provenance?

Quote Investigator: QI has found no substantive evidence that George Bernard Shaw wrote or spoke this statement. Martin Luther King did employ this saying in his Nobel Prize speech, but it was already in circulation. The earliest citation known to QI attributed the saying to the prominent Russian author Maxim Gorky who credited an anonymous peasant. Here is the key passage from the 1925 book “Social Classes in Post-War Europe” by Lothrop Stoddard. Emphasis added by QI: 1

Not long ago Maxim Gorky stated that the Russian peasant profoundly hates the town and all its inhabitants. According to the Russian muzhik, the city is the source of all evil. Modern “progress” does not appeal to him, the intellectuals and their inventions being regarded with deep suspicion. Gorky relates how, after addressing a peasant audience on the subject of science and the marvels of technical inventions, he was criticized by a peasant spokesman in the following manner: “Yes, yes, we are taught to fly in the air like birds, and to swim in the water like the fishes; but how to live on the earth we don’t know.” In Gorky’s opinion Russia’s future lies in peasant hands.

This evidence was indirect because it was not written by Gorky, and QI has not yet located this statement in his oeuvre. Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading We Are Taught To Fly in the Air Like Birds, and To Swim in the Water Like the Fishes; But How To Live on the Earth We Don’t Know

Notes:

  1. 1925, Social Classes in Post-War Europe by Lothrop Stoddard, Quote Page 26, Charles Scribner’s Sons, New York. (Verified with scans; thanks to Charles Doyle and the University of Georgia library system)

Life’s Most Persistent and Urgent Question Is, “What Are You Doing for Others?”

Martin Luther King Jr.? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: A speech by the civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. included a section about the importance of altruism versus selfishness; he posed the following question:

What are you doing for others?

Would you please help me to locate this quotation?

Quote Investigator: The 1963 collection “Strength to Love” by Martin Luther King Jr. included a sermon titled “Three Dimensions of a Complete Life” which contained the following passage. Boldface has been added to excerpts: 1

In a sense every day is judgment day, and we, through our deeds and words, our silence and speech, are constantly writing in the Book of Life.

Light has come into the world, and every man must decide whether he will walk in the light of creative altruism or the darkness of destructive selfishness. This is the judgment. Life’s most persistent and urgent question is, “What are you doing for others?”

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Life’s Most Persistent and Urgent Question Is, “What Are You Doing for Others?”

Notes:

  1. 1963, Strength to Love by Martin Luther King Jr., Sermon: Three Dimensions of a Complete Life, Start Page 67, Quote Page 72, Published by Harper & Row, New York. (Verified on paper)

Of All the Forms of Inequality, Injustice in Health Is the Most Shocking and Inhuman

Martin Luther King Jr.? Apocryphal?

Dear Quote Investigator: While reading about the economics of health care I came across the following statement attributed to the famous civil rights leader Martin Luther King Jr.:

Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.

A writer at “The Huffington Post” website attempted to trace this quotation and obtained first-hand testimony from an attendee at a human rights convention in 1966 who stated that King did make this remark, but King used the word “inhuman” instead of ‘inhumane”. 1 Would you please explore this topic? Perhaps contemporaneous documentary evidence can be located.

Quote Investigator: There is substantive evidence that Martin Luther King Jr. did make a statement that was nearly identical to the modern version given above. On Saturday, March 26, 1966 multiple newspapers published an article from the Associated Press (AP) newsgathering organization about a press conference held in Chicago on the night of Friday, March 25. The annual meeting of the Medical Committee for Human Rights was being held, and King spoke to journalists before he was scheduled to deliver an address to conference attendees. King’s theme was the disparate medical care received by blacks. Boldface has been added to excerpts: 2 3

“We are concerned about the constant use of federal funds to support this most notorious expression of segregation. Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and the most inhuman because it often results in physical death.

“I see no alternative to direct action and creative nonviolence to raise the conscience of the nation.”

Modern renditions of the quotation contain the terms “health care” or “healthcare”, but the concurrent AP report indicated that King simply said “health”. Also, King used the word “inhuman” instead of “inhumane” according to the AP.

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading Of All the Forms of Inequality, Injustice in Health Is the Most Shocking and Inhuman

Notes:

  1. Website: The Huffington Post, Article title: Tracking Down Martin Luther King, Jr.’s Words on Health Care, Article Author: Amanda Moore (Staff attorney-legal editor, Sargent Shriver National Center on Poverty Law), Timestamp on website: January 18, 2013 4:00 pm EST, Timestamp of update on website: March 20, 2013 5:12 am EDT, Website description: News, blogs and original content offering coverage of politics, entertainment, style, world news, technology and comedy. (Accessed huffingtonpost.com on October 22, 2015) link
  2. 1966 March 26, Mt. Vernon Register News, King Charges Negro Medical Care Inferior (Associated Press), Quote Page 5, Column 3, Mt. Vernon, Illinois. (NewspaperArchive)
  3. 1966 March 26, Racine Journal Times, Dr. King Bitterly Flays Health Care Given Negroes (Associated Press), Quote Page 2B, Column 5 and 6, Racine, Wisconsin. (NewspaperArchive)

The Eternal Stars Shine Out Again, So Soon As It Is Dark Enough

Ralph Waldo Emerson? Martin Luther King Jr.? Emily Faithfull? Amelia Edith Barr? Charles A. Beard? Thomas Carlyle? Norman Vincent Peale? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: There is a popular metaphorical expression that encourages people to maintain hope and optimism during times of unhappiness and trouble. Here are three versions:

1) Only when it is dark enough, can you see the stars.
2) When the night is dark enough the stars shine out.
3) Not until it gets really dark do the beautiful stars appear.

Admittedly, there is considerable ambiguity when interpreting these sayings, and the most common meanings may have shifted over time.

The first version above is often attributed to the famous transcendentalist philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, but I searched a database of his complete works and was unable to find it. Would you please explore this adage?

Quote Investigator: The earliest strong match located by QI appeared in the 1843 book “Past and Present” by the influential Scottish philosopher and social commentator Thomas Carlyle. He employed an instance of the metaphor while discussing squalor, strikes, and revolts. Boldface has been added to excerpts: 1

As dark misery settles down on us, and our refuges of lies fall in pieces one after one, the hearts of men, now at last serious, will turn to refuges of truth. The eternal stars shine out again, so soon as it is dark enough.

Different versions of the expression have been circulating for more than a century and a half, but the meaning has been malleable. In the instance above QI believes that Carlyle was suggesting important truths emerged during times of tribulation.

QI has found no substantive evidence that Ralph Waldo Emerson used the expression. Some writers of moral instruction and romantic fiction did use instances in the 1800s.

The prominent historian Charles A. Beard employed the saying in lectures and articles by 1909, but he credited Thomas Carlyle. Indeed, when Beard was asked to summarize his extensive knowledge of the past he produced a condensation that consisted of four laws of history, and one law was based on Carlyle’s words. The other three are listed further below.

The civil rights champion Martin Luther King used an instance in a speech, but he credited Charles A. Beard. The popular religious writer Norman Vincent Peale also helped to popularize the saying.

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading The Eternal Stars Shine Out Again, So Soon As It Is Dark Enough

Notes:

  1. 1843, Past and Present by Thomas Carlyle, Book IV: Chapter VIII: The Didactic, Start Page 251, Quote Page 251, Published by Chapman & Hall, London. (Google Books Full View) link

The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, But It Bends Toward Justice

Martin Luther King? Barack Obama? Theodore Parker? Freemason Commander? Seth Brooks? Jacob Kohn?

Dear Quote Investigator: Civil rights champion Martin Luther King, Jr. once delivered a powerful speech with this resonant line:

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

I was told that this metaphorical framework has a long history that stretches back to the 19th century. Could you examine this topic?

Quote Investigator: Theodore Parker was a Unitarian minister and prominent American Transcendentalist born in 1810 who called for the abolition of slavery. In 1853 a collection of “Ten Sermons of Religion” by Parker was published and the third sermon titled “Of Justice and the Conscience” included figurative language about the arc of the moral universe: 1

Look at the facts of the world. You see a continual and progressive triumph of the right. I do not pretend to understand the moral universe, the arc is a long one, my eye reaches but little ways. I cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; I can divine it by conscience. But from what I see I am sure it bends towards justice.

Things refuse to be mismanaged long. Jefferson trembled when he thought of slavery and remembered that God is just. Ere long all America will tremble.

The words of Parker’s sermon above foreshadowed the Civil War fought in the 1860s. The passage was reprinted in later collections of Parker’s works. A similar statement using the same metaphor was printed in a book called “Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry” with a copyright date of 1871 and publication date of 1905. The author was not identified: 2

We cannot understand the moral Universe. The arc is a long one, and our eyes reach but a little way; we cannot calculate the curve and complete the figure by the experience of sight; but we can divine it by conscience, and we surely know that it bends toward justice. Justice will not fail, though wickedness appears strong, and has on its side the armies and thrones of power, the riches and the glory of the world, and though poor men crouch down in despair. Justice will not fail and perish out from the world of men, nor will what is really wrong and contrary to God’s real law of justice continually endure.

In 1918 a concise instance of the expression similar to the modern version was printed in a book titled “Readings from Great Authors” in a section listing statements attributed to Theodore Parker: 3

The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.

Here are additional selected citations in chronological.

Continue reading The Arc of the Moral Universe Is Long, But It Bends Toward Justice

Notes:

  1. 1853, Ten Sermons of Religion by Theodore Parker, Of Justice and the Conscience, Start Page 66, Quote Page 84-85, Crosby, Nichols and Company, Boston. (Google Books full view) link
  2. 1905 [Copyright 1871], Morals and Dogma of the Ancient and Accepted Scottish Rite of Freemasonry: Prepared for the Supreme Council of the Thirty-Third Degree, for the Southern Jurisdiction of the United States, Compiled by Albert Pike, XXXI GRAND INSPECTOR INQUISITOR COMMANDER, Section XXXI: Grand Inspector Inquisitor Commander, Start Page 825, Quote Page 838, Charleston. (Google Books full view) link
  3. 1918, Readings from Great Authors by John Haynes Holmes, Harvey Dee Brown, Helen Edmunds Redding, and Theodora Goldsmith, Section: Justice: Theodore Parker, Start Page 17, Quote Page 18, Dodd, Mead and Company, New York. (Internet Archive) link