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quotations about independence

A lofty sense of independence is, in man, the best privilege of his nature.


To be independent of public opinion is the first formal condition of achieving anything great.

GEORG WILHELM FRIEDRICH HEGEL, Outlines of the Philosophy of Right

The individual must be independent and free within his own sphere or cease to be an individual.

CALVIN COOLIDGE, speech, May 30, 1924

The world looks with some awe upon a man who appears unconcernedly indifferent to home, money, comfort, rank, or even power and fame. The world feels not without a certain apprehension, that here is someone outside its jurisdiction; someone before whom its allurements may be spread in vain; some one strangely enfranchised, untamed, untrammelled by convention, moving independent of the ordinary currents of human action.

WINSTON CHURCHILL, speech at the unveiling of a memorial to T. E. Lawrence, Oct. 3, 1936

It is precisely those who are apparently aloof from the world who build for themselves a remarkable and thoroughly individual world in miniature, using their own special equipment, termite-like.


Freedom is the crux of self-respect. It is difficult to feel good about ourselves when we are unnaturally dependent on someone or something.

DAVID J. LIEBERMAN, Find Out Who's Normal and Who's Not

Independence is for the very few; it is a privilege of the strong. And whoever attempts it even with the best right but without inner constraint proves that he is probably not only strong, but also daring to the point of recklessness. He enters into a labyrinth, he multiplies a thousandfold dangers which life brings with it in any case, not the least of which is that no one can see how and where he loses his way, becomes lonely, and is torn piecemeal by some minotaur of conscience. Supposing one like that comes to grief, this happens so far from the comprehension of men that they neither feel it nor sympathize. And he cannot go back any longer.


Read Walter Matthews' essay on Independence


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