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About the Author

Giedre Steikunaite
Student (London, United Kingdom)

Currently an editorial intern at the New Internationalist magazine ("The people, the ideas, the action in the fight for global justice"), I'm studying journalism and contemporary history in London, UK. Freelancing for various publications, back in Lithuania I was a reporter for a current affairs weekly Panorama. Development, climate change, and social issues are my main topics of interest.


Say it as it is

Published 03rd June 2010 - 16 comments - 9545 views -


A good spicy quote can help put things into perspective. We have our own changing list of quotes on this platform, at the bottom of the page.

Google tells me that “development” is mainly of the “Smile! Life is beautiful” style (think self-development, self-help and self-growth). On MDGs, Kofi Annan is leading the way.

Here are some quotes which apply or could be applied to international development, environment and our own role in the process of making the world a better place.



Some people stay away from the door for the chance of it opening up. Billy Joel

Forget about making poverty history. Climate change will make poverty permanent. Nazmul Chowdhury

Don’t throw anything away. There is no “away”. Royal Dutch Shell advert

Unless we change direction, we are likely to end up where we are going. Chinese proverb

Don’t go around saying the world owes you a living. The world owes you nothing. It was here first. Mark Twain

All things are possible once enough human beings realize that everything is at stake. Norman Cousins

Poverty is like punishment for a crime you didn’t commit. Eli Khamarov

The poor are poor because the rich are rich.  Author unknown

All the people like us are we, and everyone else is They. Rudyard Kipling

In these times you have to be an optimist to open your eyes when you awake in the morning. Carl Sandburg

The more things change, the more they remain... insane. Michael Fry and T. Lewis

There are no passengers on Spaceship Earth. We are all crew. Marshall McLuhan

Only two things are infinite, the universe and human stupidity, and I’m not sure about the former. Albert Einstein

The trouble with our times is that the future is not what it used to be. Paul Valery


My personal favourites:

The problem with common sense is that it’s not very common. Author untraceable

Until the lions produce their own historian, the story of the hunt will glorify the hunter. African proverb

What do I think about Western civilization? I think it would be a good idea. Mahatma Gandhi


Out of context but nevertheless funny:

What is wrong with you people? Are you nuts? Woody Allen


What would you add?


Photos: sky with words by Lomo-Cam, four in one by, grass by kevindooley, beach by Katie Tegtmeyer, all via flickr.



Category: Media | Tags:


  • Radka Lankašová on 03rd June 2010:

    All for one, one for all. Three musketeers

  • Johan Knols on 03rd June 2010:

    Hi Giedre,
    I like posts like this a lot. Funny quote from Africa about the lion. More so because I am about to upload a topic on hunting.

    My quote from Bishop Desmond Tutu:
    “When the missionaries came to Africa they had the Bible and we had the land. They said, ‘Let us pray.’ We closed our eyes. When we opened them we had the Bible and they had the land.”

  • Iris Cecilia Gonzales on 04th June 2010:

    I like the Chinese proverb. Unless we change direction, we are likely to end up where we are going. Nice Giedre. Thanks.

  • Giedre Steikunaite on 04th June 2010:

    Thanks guys!

    Radka, classic.

    Johan, good one, thank you. I saw Tutu recently on a BBC series, where he was chatting with all sorts of experts at a dinner table about Africa’s development. Shame the online BBC iPlayer is only watchable in the UK.

    Iris, having in mind that we are not going anywhere peaceful and quiet, I guess we do have to change direction. wink

  • Hanna Clarys on 06th June 2010:

    I like the one from Mark Twain and I just love the post, Giedre!

    This is a quote that I read somewhere years ago, but it sticks in my head forever (sadly I’m forgotten whose it is):
    “When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor have no food, they call me a communist.”

  • Lion Aid on 07th June 2010:


    Please may we use that quote you found about lions? It is fantastic!

  • Giedre Steikunaite on 07th June 2010:

    @Hanna, thank you! The quote that got stuck in your head is by archbishop Hélder Câmara, the original in Portuguese is Quando dou comida aos pobres chamam-me de santo. Quando pergunto por que eles são pobres chamam-me de comunista. Great addition to the list! smile

    @Lion Aid, of course you can! Most of the quotes here are from various internet sources, but this one is from my New Internationalist Yearly Planner 2010. I wish I made them up myself but no wink Dear Lions, keep up the good work you’re doing!

  • Clare Herbert on 12th June 2010:

    I love this one:  “Forget about making poverty history. Climate change will make poverty permanent.” Nazmul Chowdhury

    I’d add:
    “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got”

  • Giedre Steikunaite on 12th June 2010:

    Cheers Clare! wink

  • bixente on 13th June 2010:

    I like this one the most,“The poor are poor because the rich are rich”.I’d add:They pee on us and we have to say it’s raining.Castelao.
    Sigue asi.

  • Giedre Steikunaite on 14th June 2010:

    Gracias Bixente. Cheers wink

  • Cath Inspirational Quotes on 24th June 2010:

    Great quotes.  One of my favorites:
    “No one can help everybody, but everybody can help somebody.”
    William Arthur Ward

  • Daniel Nylin Nilsson on 28th June 2010:

    “Don’t throw anything away. There is no “away”. Royal Dutch Shell advert” - that is very true, but I was surprised to see it come from Shell smile

    The Gandhi qoute in teh end is my personal favourite.

  • Giedre Steikunaite on 28th June 2010:

    Maybe Shell meant something else? And unintentionally created an environmental quote wink

    Gandhi’s is one of my favourite ones too. I first heard it during a uni lecture on de-colonization I think.

  • Hussam Hussein on 01st July 2010:

    What do I think about Western civilization? I think it would be a good idea. Mahatma Gandhi

    is great!

  • Giedre Steikunaite on 01st July 2010:

    Indeed Hussam! smile

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