Quotes by Margaret Mead
Welcome to our collection of quotes (with shareable picture quotes) by Margaret Mead. We hope you enjoy pondering them and that you will share them widely.
Wikipedia Summary for Margaret Mead
Margaret Mead (December 16, 1901 – November 15, 1978) was an American cultural anthropologist who featured frequently as an author and speaker in the mass media during the 1960s and 1970s. She earned her bachelor's degree at Barnard College in New York City and her MA and PhD degrees from Columbia University. Mead served as President of the American Association for the Advancement of Science in 1975.
Mead was a communicator of anthropology in modern American and Western culture and was often controversial as an academic. Her reports detailing the attitudes towards sex in South Pacific and Southeast Asian traditional cultures influenced the 1960s sexual revolution. She was a proponent of broadening sexual conventions within the context of Western cultural traditions.
The assumption that men were created equal, with an equal ability to make an effort and win an earthly reward, although denied every day by experience, is maintained every day by our folklore and our daydreams.
Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
We are at a point in history where a proper attention to space, and especially near space, may be absolutely crucial in bringing the world together.
Jealousy is not a barometer by which the depth of love can be read, it merely records the degree of the lover's insecurity.
Each suburban housewife spends her time presiding over a power plant sufficient to have staffed the palace of a Roman emperor with a hundred slaves.
We must turn all of our educational efforts to training our children for the choices which will confront them... The child who is to choose wisely must be healthy in mind and body. The children must be taught how to think, not what to think.
The anonymity of the city is one of its strengths as well as -- carried too far -- one of its weaknesses.
The negative cautions of science are never popular.
The negative cautions of science are never popular. If the experimentalist would not commit himself, the social philosopher, the preacher, and the pedagogue tried the harder to give a short-cut answer.
Today our approaches to children are fragmented and partial. Those who care for well children know little of children who are sick. The deep knowledge that comes from the intensive attempt to cure is separated from the knowledge of those whose main task is to teach.
I don't consider my marriages as failures! It's idiotic to assume that because a marriage ends, it's failed.
What we lack is not so much leisure to do as time to reflect and time to feel. What we seldom take is time to experience the things that have happened, the things that are happening, the things that are still ahead of us.
I had my father's mind, but he had his mother's mind. Fortunately, his mother lived with us and so I early realized that intellectual abilities of the kind I shared with my father and grandmother were not sex-linked.
Today's children are the first generation to grow up in a world that has the power to destroy itself.
The young, free to act on their initiative, can lead their elders in the direction of the unknown... The children, the young, must ask the questions that we would never think to ask, but enough trust must be re-established so that the elders will be permitted to work with them on the answers.
In each age there is a series of pressing questions which must be asked and answered. On the correctness of the questions depends the survival of those who ask; on the quality of the answers depends the quality of the life those survivors will lead.
One characteristic of Americans is that they have no toleration at all of anybody putting up with anything. We believe that whatever is going wrong ought to be fixed.
It is typical, in America, that a person's hometown is not the place where he is living now but is the place he left behind.
The liberals have not softened their view of actuality to make themselves live closer to the dream, but instead sharpen their perceptions and fight to make the dream actuality.
There is no hierarchy of values by which one culture has the right to insist on all its own values and deny those of another.
The prophet who fails to present a bearable alternative and yet preaches doom is part of the trap that he postulates.
The prophet who fails to present a bearable alternative and yet preaches doom is part of the trap that he postulates. Not only does he picture us caught in a tremendous man-made or God-made trap from which there is no escape, but we must also listen to him day in, day out, describe how the trap is inexorably closing. To such prophecies the human race, as presently bred and educated and situated, is incapable of listening. So some dance and some immolate themselves as human torches; some take drugs and some artists spill their creativity in sets of randomly placed dots on a white ground.
An occupation that has no basis in sex-determined gifts can now recruit its ranks from twice as many potential artists.
In almost any society I think, the quality of the nonconformists is likely to be just as good as and no better than that of the conformists.
We must recognize that beneath the superficial classifications of sex and race the same potentialities exist, recurring generation after generation, only to perish because society has no place for them.
The most extraordinary thing about a really good teacher is that he or she transcends accepted educational methods. Such methods are designed to help average teachers approximate the performance of good teachers.
My grandmother wanted me to get a good education, so she kept me as far away from schools as possible.
Photographs are of course heavily dependent upon the culture, the disciplinary point of view and the idiosyncratic vision of the particular photographer-analyst.
If the future is to remain open and free, we need people who can tolerate the unknown, who will not need the support of completely worked out systems or traditional blueprints from the past.
There is no evidence that suggests women are naturally better at caring for children... with the fact of child-bearing out of the centre of attention, there is even more reason for treating girls first as human beings, then as women.
Human beings seem to hold on more tenaciously to a cultural identity that is learned through suffering than to one that has been acquired through pleasure and delight.
Life is in one of its smoother phases ... I've no responsibilities in the world except friends and students and cherishing the life of the world -- and the belief that there is enough love to go round.
The semimetaphysical problems of the individual and society, of egoism and altruism, of freedom and determinism, either disappear or remain in the form of different phases in the organization of a consciousness that is fundamentally social.
If we are to give our utmost effort and skill and enthusiasm, we must believe in ourselves, which means believing in our past and in our future, in our parents and in our children, in that particular blend of moral purpose and practical inventiveness which is the American character.
We came to realize that a civilization which rode roughshod over the way of life of other peoples was incorporating evil in its own way of life.
Among the Arapeh... both father and mother are held responsible for child care by the entire community... If one comments upon a middle-aged man as good-looking, the people answer: 'Good-looking? Ye-e-e-s? But you should have seen him before he bore all those children'.
A woman, even a brilliant woman, must have two qualities in order to fulfill her promise: more energy than mere mortals, and the ability to outwit her culture.
You have a date, you go out with a date, you groan because there isn't a decent date in town. A situation defined as containing a girl -- or boy -- of the right social background, the right degree of popularity, a little higher than your own.
Love is the invention of a few high cultures ... it is cultural artifact. To make love the requirement of a lifelong marriage is exceedingly difficult, and only a few people can achieve it. I don't believe in setting universal standards that a large proportion of people can't reach.
Maleness in America is not absolutely defined; it has to be kept and re-earned every day, and one essential element in the definition is beating women in every game that both sexes play.
A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again.
Keeping even the most humble talent wrapped in a napkin becomes the more reprehensible the greater the emergency.
We may say that many, if not all, of the personality traits which we have called masculine or feminine are as lightly linked to sex as are the clothing, the manners, and the form of headdress that a society at a given period assigns to either sex.
We make our own criminals, and their crimes are congruent with the national culture we all share. It has been said that a people get the kind of political leadership they deserve. I think they also get the kinds of crime and criminals they themselves bring into being.
When I stand on a street in a Canadian city and look across the street, it couldn't be anywhere but Canada, but how can I prove it?
The experience of having brothers and sisters, born of the same parents, sleeping under the same roof, eating at the same table, is an inescapable, delightful and repelling, desired and abhorred part of each child's life.
Recognize and respect Earth's beautiful systems of balance, between the presence of animals on land, the fish in the sea, birds in the air, mankind, water, air, and land. Most importantly there must always be awareness of the actions by people that can disturb this precious balance.
Never underestimate that a small group of people can hold up a liquor license. Sometimes, it's the only thing that can.
Don't depend on governments or corporations to fix problems. Social revolutions are led by passionate individuals and that's what makes the difference.
In our contemporary world, no one can think or work with a single picture of what a family is. No one can fit all human behavior, all thought and feeling, into a single pattern.
If one cannot state a matter clearly enough so that even an intelligent twelve-year-old can understand it, one should remain within the cloistered walls of the university and laboratory until one gets a better grasp of one's subject matter.
One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal an get away with it.
What is new is not bisexuality, but rather the widening of our awareness and acceptance of human capacities for sexual love.
The way in which each human infant is transformed into the finished adult, into the complicated individual version of his city and his century is one of the most fascinating studies open to the curious minded.
As long as any adult thinks that he, like the parents and teachers of old, can become introspective, invoking his own youth to understand the youth before him, he is lost.
Monogamous heterosexual love is probably one of the most difficult, complex and demanding of human relationships.
Somehow, we have to get older people back close to growing children if we are to restore a sense of community, acquire knowledge of the past, and provide a sense of the future.
People in America, of course, live in all sorts of fashions, because they are foreigners, or unlucky, or depraved, or without ambition; people live like that, but Americans live in white detached houses with green shutters. Rigidly, blindly, the dream takes precedence.
We will be a better country when each religious group can trust its members to obey the dictates of their own religious faith without assistance from the legal structure of the country.
Human nature is almost unbelievably malleable, responding accurately and contrastingly to contrasting cultural conditions.
Women are scolded both for being mothers and for not being mothers, for wanting to eat their cake and have it too, and for not wanting to eat their cake and have it too.
The differences between the two sexes is one of the important conditions upon which we have built the many varieties of human culture that give human beings dignity and stature.
Some veil between childhood and the present is necessary. If the veil is withdrawn, the artistic imagination sickens and dies, the prophet looks in the mirror with a disillusioned and cynical sneer, the scientist goes fishing.
In the modern world we have invented ways of speeding up invention, and people's lives change so fast that a person is born into one kind of world, grows up in another, and by the time his children are growing up, lives in still a different world.
Never ever depend on governments or institutions to solve any major problems. All social change comes from the passion of individuals.
I discovered when I had a child of my own that I had become a biased observer of small children. Instead of looking at them with affectionate but nonpartisan eyes, I saw each of them as older or younger, bigger or smaller, more or less graceful, intelligent, or skilled than my own child.
In Bali life is a rhythmic, patterned unreality of pleasant, significant movement, centered in one's own body to which all emotions long ago withdrew.
Because our civilization is woven of so many diverse strands, the ideas which any one group accepts will be found to contain numerous contradictions.
No country that permits firearms to be widely and randomly distributed among its population -- especially firearms that are capable of wounding and killing human beings -- can expect to escape violence, and a great deal of violence.
It is of very doubtful value to enlist the gifts of a woman into fields that have been defined as male; it frightens the men, unsexes the women, and muffles and distorts the contribution women could make.
It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary... to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age.
Everyone needs to have access both to grandparents and grandchildren in order to be a full human being.
Living in the modern world, clothed and muffled, forced to convey our sense of our bodies in terms of remote symbols like walking sticks and umbrellas and handbags, it is easy to lose sight of the immediacy of the human body plan.
I have tried to answer the question which sent me to Samoa: Are the disturbances which vex our adolescents due to the nature of adolescence itself or to the civilization? Under different conditions does adolescence present a different picture?
Samoa culture demonstrates how much the tragic or the easy solution of the Oedipus situation depends upon the inter-relationship between parents and children, and is not created out of whole cloth by the young child's biological impulses.
As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own.
Dear Math, please grow up and solve your own problems. I'm tired of solving them for you.
Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.
A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world: indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.
It may be necessary temporarily to accept a lesser evil, but one must never label a necessary evil as good.
The pains of childbirth were altogether different from the enveloping effects of other kinds of pain. These were pains one could follow with one's mind.
Our humanity rests upon a series of learned behaviors, woven together into patterns that are infinitely fragile and never directly inherited.
The solution to adult problems tomorrow depends on large measure upon how our children grow up today.
Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation.
We are now at a point where we must educate our children in what no one knew yesterday, and prepare our schools for what no one knows yet.
If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.
Many societies have educated their male children on the simple device of teaching them not to be women.
Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome and some are delightful.
I must admit that I personally measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to her or his fellow human beings.
Never believe that a few caring people can't change the world. For, indeed, that's all who ever have.
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