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Quotations about Equality,
Our Similarities & Differences



Whether thou be king or peasant, I shall remember only that thou art a soul. Though thy raiment be of hodden gray, yet I shall speak to royalty, and though it be of ermine, I shall speak only to the peasant heart beneath. ~Muriel Strode (1875–1964), My Little Book of Prayer, 1904


People are pretty much alike. It's only that our differences are more susceptible to definition than our similarities. ~Linda Ellerbee, in New Choices, as quoted by The Reader's Digest, 1999


The disappearance of class distinctions is, however, far from complete. In America everybody is of opinion that he has no social superiors, since all men are equal, but he does not admit that he has no social inferiors, for, from the time of Jefferson onward, the doctrine that all men are equal applies only upwards, not downwards. There is on this subject a profound and widespread hypocrisy whenever people talk in general terms. ~Bertrand Russell


Everyone is kneaded out of the same dough but not baked in the same oven. ~Yiddish proverb


An earthquake achieves what the law promises but does not in practice maintain — the equality of all men. ~Ignazio Silone, The God That Failed, 1950


When equality is the aim, mediocrity is the result; when excellence is the aim, equality finds its true place. ~Dr. Idel Dreimer, lumpenbangenpiano.com


In the democracy of the dead all men at last are equal. There is neither rank nor station nor prerogative in the republic of the grave. ~John J. Ingalls, 1889


Every human being is a centre of the universe. ~James Lendall Basford (1845–1915), Sparks from the Philosopher's Stone, 1882


A crown is no cure for the headache. ~German proverb


I look into the faces of people struggling with their own lives, and I do not see strangers. ~Robert Brault, rbrault.blogspot.com


Before God we are relatively all equally wise — equally foolish. ~Albert Einstein


No laws of equal freedom piled heaven high could give rights to the common people. Only the rulers have rights. ~Horace Traubel (1858–1919), "Animals' rights," in The Conservator, March 1906


The latch-key which opens into the inner chambers of my consciousness fits, as I hate sufficient reason to believe, the private apartments of a good many other people's thoughts. The longer we live, the more we find we are like other persons. When I meet with any facts in my own mental experience, I feel almost sure that I shall find them repeated or anticipated in the writings or the conversation of others. This feeling gives one a freedom in telling his own personal history he could not have enjoyed without it. My story belongs to you as much as to me. De te fabula narratur. Change the personal pronoun, — that is all. It gives many readers a singular pleasure to find a writer telling them something they have long known or felt, but which they have never before found any one to put in words for them... Many a reader is delighted to find his solitary thought has a companion, and is grateful to the benefactor who has strengthened him... beati sunt illi qui pro nobis nostra dixerunt, — Blessed are those who have said our good things for us. ~Oliver Wendell Holmes


All the people like us are We.
And every one else is They.
And They live over the sea.
While We live over the way.
But — would you believe it? —
They look upon We
As only a sort of They!...
~Rudyard Kipling


The souls of emperors and cobblers are cast in the same mould: the weight and importance of the actions of princes considered, we persuade ourselves that they must be produced by some as weighty and important causes: but we are deceived; for they are pushed on, and pulled back in their motions, by the same springs that we are in our little undertakings. The same reason that makes us wrangle with a neighbour causes a ware betwixt princes... ~Michel de Montaigne, translated by Charles Cotton


While there is a lower class I am in it;
While there is a criminal element I am of it;
While there's a soul in prison I am not free.
~Eugene V. Debs (1855–1926), "My Prison Creed"


Console yourself, dear man and brother, whatever else you may be sure of, be sure at least of this, that you are dreadfully like other people. Human nature has a much greater genius for sameness than for originality, or the world would be at a sad pass shortly. ~James Russell Lowell (1819–1891)


The tears of the red, yellow, black, brown and white man are all the same. ~Martin H. Fischer (1879–1962)


Death and the dice level all distinctions. ~Samuel Foote (1720–1777)


There is so much good in the worst of us,
And so much bad in the best of us,
That it ill behooves any of us
To find fault with the rest of us.
~Author unknown, early 1900s


Of Equality — As if it harm'd me, giving others the same chances and rights as myself — As if it were not indispensable to my own rights that others possess the same.  ~Walt Whitman


He is also very insular, and thinks foreigners have no right to exist. I rather dislike insularity, and I remonstrated with Angus. I pointed out that we all came from the same fount, so to speak. He sought to make excuses for Him who had created mankind. "The A'Mighty made us Britishers av course," he said, "made us with His eyes open so to speak, but I've alluys felt as how when it came to foreigners, He wasn't looking what He was doing." "Angus!" I gasped. ~Edward Burke, "I Find Mrs. Perkins All—And More—Than Pansy Promised," Bachelors' Buttons: The Candid Confessions of a Shy Bachelor, 1912  [Absolutely mind-blowing that a hundred years later we are still battling this attitude from some people. —tεᖇᖇ¡·g]


There is something wrong in a government where they who do the most have the least. There is something wrong, when honesty wears a rag, and rascality a robe; when the loving, the tender, eat a crust, while the infamous sit at banquets. ~Robert Ingersoll, sermon, 1886





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