portrait of Margaret Mead
Photo by Edward Lynch, New York World Telegraph staff (ca. 1940)

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Quotes of the Day for 16 December 2002 – Margaret Mead

Margaret Mead was born at Philadelphia on this day in 1901; when she died in 1978, she was the most famous anthropologist in the world. She wrote 20 books and was coauthor of 20 more. Her most famous work, "Coming of Age in Samoa," has come under attack, but she certainly contributed to the public awareness of anthropology and the quotes I have for her certainly sound sensible.

As I said in our last issue, Friday the 13th may or may not bring ill luck, but that day was certainly a black one for me. After assembling those quotes on luck I went to bed, like always, where I suffered a stroke before rising. I allowed myself to be subject to a wide range of exciting medical procedures, which indicate approximately nothing about the cause of the stroke or the likelihood of recovery. I am experiencing slight loss of fine motor control in my left arm, making typing a bit frustrating, and significant gross motor control in my left leg, making walking something of a challenge. (I'm sure it looks as silly as it feels.) I have no idea how much this will slow me down, but you should expect that I will miss a few issues in the next few weeks as a result.

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You will find an expanded profile, photo, additional biographical links, and all quotes from this author on the author's Notable Quotable page.

The quotes:

Having someone wonder where you are when you don't come home at night is a very old human need.

I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world.

I was wise enough to never grow up while fooling most people into believing I had.

It may be necessary temporarily to accept a lesser evil, but one must never label a necessary evil as good.

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it's the only thing that ever has.

The ability to learn is older - as it is also more widespread - than is the ability to teach.
     - All from Margaret Mead, 1901 - 1978

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