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Ruth Benedict Quotes





A man's indebtedness is not virtue; his repayment is. Virtue begins when he dedicates himself actively to the job of gratitude.
 

Culture is not a biologically transmitted complex.
 

Faith is the sturdiest, the most manly of the virtues. It lies behind our pluckiest... strivings. It is the virtue of the storm, just as happiness is the virtue of the sunshine.
 

I gambled on having the strength to live two lives, one for myself and one for the world.
 

I have always used the world of make-believe with a certain desperation.
 

I haven't strength of mind not to need a career.
 

I long to speak out the intense inspiration that comes to me from the lives of strong women.
 

If we justify war, it is because all peoples always justify the traits of which they find themselves possessed, not because war will bear an objective examination of its merits.
 

In a world that holds books and babies and canyon trails, why should one condemn oneself to live day in, day out with people one does not like, and sell oneself to chaperone and correct them?
[Friendship]
 

No man ever looks at the world with pristine eyes. He sees it edited by a definite set of customs and institutions and ways of thinking.
 

Our faith in the present dies out long before our faith in the future.
[The Future]
 

Racism is an ism to which everyone in the world today is exposed; for or against, we must take sides. And the history of the future will differ according to the decision which we make.
 

The adequate study of culture, our own and those on the opposite side of the globe, can press on to fulfillment only as we learn today from the humanities as well as from the scientists.
 

The happiest excitement in life is to be convinced that one is fighting for all one is worth on behalf of some clearly seen and deeply felt good.
[Goals]
 

The life history of the individual is first and foremost an accommodation to the patterns and standards traditionally handed down in his community.
 

The purpose of anthropology is to make the world safe for human differences.
 

The trouble is not that we are never happy-it is that happiness is so episodical.
 

The trouble with life isn't that there is no answer, it's that there are so many answers.
 

We grow in time to trust the future for our answers.
[The Future]