Don’t Know

“When you don’t know that you don’t know, it’s a lot different than when you do know that you don’t know.”

~ Bill Parcells
Blind Monks Examining an Elephant by Itcho Hanabusa, 1888

More on Don’t Know:

“I think you can never ever lie, ever. If you don’t know, say, ‘I don’t know’.”
~ Gore Verbinski

“The central dilemma in journalism is that you don’t know what you don’t know.”
~ Bob Woodward

“I think of myself as a positive agnostic. I don’t know, therefore I’m open. I don’t know, therefore I’m interested.”
~ Grace Slick

“Human beings understand too much.”
Seung Sahn

Don’t know mind
“Don’t know mind” is our enlightened mind before ideas, opinions or concepts arise to create suffering. Practicing with don’t know mind has long been a central tenet of Korean Zen.


“Where justice is denied, where poverty is enforced, where ignorance prevails, and where any one class is made to feel that society is an organized conspiracy to oppress, rob and degrade them, neither persons nor property will be safe.”

~ Frederick Douglass
Frederick Douglass painting by Dan Sproul

More on reform:

“Conservatives will fight hard to preserve the institutions of mass incarceration and police brutality. Because they don’t see themselves as victims of these things, but as benefactors, they will fight hard to preserve the status quo against a reform candidate.”
~ Shaun King

“An institution or reform movement that is not selfish, must originate in the recognition of some evil that is adding to the sum of human suffering, or diminishing the sum of happiness.”
~ Clara Barton

“It’s time to fundamentally change the way that we do business in Washington. To help build a new foundation for the 21st century, we need to reform our government so that it is more efficient, more transparent, and more creative. That will demand new thinking and a new sense of responsibility for every dollar that is spent.”
~ Barack Obama

“If man is only a little lower than the angels, the angels should reform.”
~ Mary Wilson Little

“Each generation doubtless feels called upon to reform the world. Mine knows that it will not reform it, but its task is perhaps even greater. It consists in preventing the world from destroying itself.”
~ Albert Camus

Reform     /rəˈfôrm/

make changes in (something, typically a social, political, or economic institution or practice) in order to improve it. “an opportunity to reform and restructure an antiquated schooling model”

the action or process of reforming an institution or practice. “the reform of the police force”

of, denoting, or pertaining to Reform Judaism. “a Reform rabbi”


“In South Africa, we could not have achieved our freedom and just peace without the help of people around the world, who through the use of non-violent means, such as boycotts and divestment, encouraged their governments and other corporate actors to reverse decades-long support for the Apartheid regime.”

~ Desmond Tutu
Balanced stone sculpture by Miha Brinovec

More on support:

“I go to assume a task more difficult than that which devolved upon Washington. Unless the great God, who assisted him, shall be with me and aid me, I must fail; but if the same omniscient mind and almighty arm that directed and protected him shall guide and support me, I shall not fail – I shall succeed.”
~ Abraham Lincoln

“I’m interested in what motivates individuals to participate in atrocious acts to support their ideological identification.”
~ Jordan Peterson

“If we despond, public confidence is destroyed, the people will no longer yield their support to a hopeless contest, and American liberty is no more. Through the darkness which shrouds our prospects, the ark of safety is visible. Despondency becomes not the dignity of our cause, nor the character of those who are its supporters.”
~ Samuel Adams

Support     /səˈpôrt/

1- bear all or part of the weight of; hold up. “the dome was supported by a hundred white columns”
2- give assistance to, especially financially; enable to function or act. “the government gives $2.5 billion a year to support the activities of the voluntary sector”

1- a thing that bears the weight of something or keeps it upright. “the best support for a camera is a tripod”
2- material assistance. “he urged that military support be sent to protect humanitarian convoys”


“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”

~ Winston Churchill
Salvador Dali

More on listening:

“To survive and even thrive in a changing world, nature offers another great lesson: the survivors are those who at the least adapt to change, or even better learn to benefit from change and grow intellectually and personally. That means careful listening and constant learning.”
~ Frances Arnold

“To see and listen to the wicked is already the beginning of wickedness.”
~ Confusius

“I like to listen. I have learned a great deal from listening carefully. Most people never listen.”
~ Ernest Hemingway

“Listen to many, speak to a few.”
~ William Shakespeare

Listen     /ˈlis(ə)n/

give one’s attention to a sound. “evidently he was not listening”

an act of listening to something.

Come Together

“Let us come together before we’re annihilated.”

~ Stevie Wonder
Come Together by John Lennon

More on coming together:

“I like that about London. It comes together when it needs to, and it has magic.”
~ Faye Marsay

“Today different ethnic groups and different nations come together due to common sense.”
~ Dalai Lama

“Coming together should be considered something positive for people and communities. When thoughts come together, that can be more positive than an individual thought.”
~ Amitabh Bachchan

“That’s what good teams do right there: We come together – and go boom!”
~ Matt Nagy

Together     /təˈɡeT͟Hər/

1- with or in proximity to another person or people. “together they climbed the dark stairs”
2- into companionship or close association. “the experience has brought us together”

adjective (informal)
self-confident, level-headed, or well organized. “she seems a very together young woman”


“Black Lives Matter started from a post that I put on Facebook after the acquittal of George Zimmerman. I woke up in the middle of the night sobbing, just trying to process what had happened and wanting to find community around being in a lot of grief and having a lot of rage.”

~ Alicia Garza
Souvenir by Albert Bloch, 1921

More on grief:

“Grief can be the garden of compassion. If you keep your heart open through everything, your pain can become your greatest ally in your life’s search for love and wisdom.”
~ Rumi

“There is no pain so great as the memory of joy in present grief.”
~ Aeschylus

“The person you consider ignorant and insignificant is the one who came from God, that he might learn bliss from grief and knowledge from gloom.”
~ Khalil Gibran

“No one ever told me that grief felt so like fear.”
C. S. Lewis

Grief     /ɡrēf/

deep sorrow, especially that caused by someone’s death. “she was overcome with grief”


“Every moment is an organizing opportunity, every person a potential activist, every minute a chance to change the world.”

~ Dolores Huerta
Composition With Color Planes by Piet Mondrian, 1917

More on organizing:

“It is essential that there should be organization of labor. This is an era of organization. Capital organizes and therefore labor must organize.”
~ Theodore Roosevelt

“From the depth of need and despair, people can work together, can organize themselves to solve their own problems and fill their own needs with dignity and strength.”
~ Cesar Chavez

“If you care about other people, you might try to organize to undermine power and authority. That’s not going to happen if you care only about yourself.”
~ Noam Chomsky

“You would better educate ten women into the practice of liberal principles than to organize a thousand on a platform of intolerance and bigotry.”
~ Susan B. Anthony

Organize     /ˈôrɡəˌnīz/

1- arrange into a structured whole; order. “organize lessons in a planned way”
2- make arrangements or preparations for (an event or activity); coordinate. “the union organized a 24-hour general strike”


“Each of us has a vision of good and of evil. We have to encourage people to move towards what they think is good . . . everyone has his own idea of good and evil and must choose to follow the good and fight evil as he conceives them. That would be enough to make the world a better place.”

~ Pope Francis
Ram’s Head, White Hollyhock-Hills by Georgia O’Keeffe, 1935

More on vision:

“Where there is no vision, there is no hope.”
~ George Washington Carver

“As selfishness and complaint pervert the mind, so love with its joy clears and sharpens the vision.”
~ Helen Keller

“Vision without action is merely a dream. Action without vision just passes the time. Vision with action can change the world.”
~ Joel A. Barker

Vision   /ˈviZHən/

1- the faculty or state of being able to see. “she had defective vision”
2- the ability to think about or plan the future with imagination or wisdom. “the organization had lost its vision and direction”

verb (rare)


“A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. Indeed, it’s the only thing that ever has.”

~ Margaret Mead
Game Changer (detail) by Banksy, 2020

More on caring:

“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.”
~ Leo Buscaglia

“Even in literature and art, no man who bothers about originality will ever be original: whereas if you simply try to tell the truth (without caring twopence how often it has been told before) you will, nine times out of ten, become original without ever having noticed it.”
~ C. S. Lewis

“Live so that when your children think of fairness, caring and integrity, they think of you.”
~ H. Jackson Brown, Jr.

Care     /ker/

1- the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance and protection of someone or something. “the care of the elderly”
2- serious attention or consideration applied to doing something correctly or to avoid damage or risk. “he planned his departure with great care”

1- feel concern or interest; attach importance to something. “they don’t care about human life”
2- look after and provide for the needs of. “he has numerous animals to care for”

Wise Up

“You are educated. Your certification is in your degree. You may think of it as the ticket to the good life. Let me ask you to think of an alternative. Think of it as your ticket to change the world.”

~ Tom Brokaw
Jonah and the Whale by Salvador Dali; 1975, RoGallery

More on education:

“A person who won’t read has no advantage over one who can’t read.”
~ Mark Twain

“Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day; teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.”

“The only thing that interferes with my learning is my education.”
~ Albert Einstein

“The function of education is to teach one to think intensively and to think critically. Intelligence plus character – that is the goal of true education.”
~ Martin Luther King, Jr.

Education     /ˌejəˈkāSH(ə)n/

1- the process of receiving or giving systematic instruction, especially at a school or university. “a new system of public education”
2- an enlightening experience. “a day with those kids was an education in patience and forbearance”