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Rosalie Maggio

  • Eliminate irrelevant and inaccurate comunications about what it means to be male or female, black or white, young or old, rich or poor, disabled or temporarily able-bodied, or to hold a particular belief system.

  • Although an impressive amount of business and social interaction takes place over the telephone and fax, by e-mail, or in person today, the well-written letter remains a staple of business success and one of the strongest connecting links between human beings.

  • In the United States today, we seem to be concerned with our souls in unprecedented numbers and in new and diverse ways. The flourishing spiritual bouquet includes traditional domesticated blooms as well as surprising hybrids and sturdy wildflowers. New reflections on the nature of spiritual things, on our own souls, and on what it means to be both divinely human and humanly divine are joining and sometimes replacing more codified beliefs. Organized religions have much to offer us, but we've discovered that ultimately we are responsible for our own souls. We thus find ourselves reinventing the wheel, but it is a wheel of our own making, and we like this.

    • Rosalie Maggio,
    • introduction, in Rosalie Maggio, ed., Quotations on the Soul ()
  • Although we have not assigned God a sexual orientation, a height, or eye color, we have thought nothing of assigning a gender and a religion (God always belongs to the same one we do).

    • Rosalie Maggio,
    • introduction, in Rosalie Maggio, ed., Quotations on the Soul ()
  • We can go for days, weeks, and even months without saying or thinking the word 'education.' And yet, day in and day out, we are educating others and being educated ourselves. In the narrower sense of education — those classrooms and buildings and campuses where teachers and taught are brought together for purposes stated and unstated, for outcomes intended and unintended — we have all been profoundly affected by the pattern of days essentially not of our own making.

    • Rosalie Maggio,
    • introduction, in Rosalie Maggio, ed., Quotations on Education ()
  • At the heart of good education are those gifted, hardworking, and memorable teachers whose inspiration kindles fires that never quite go out, whose remembered encouragement is sometimes the only hard ground we stand upon, and whose very selves are the stuff of the best lessons they ever teach us. Most of us, no matter how long ago it's been, can name our kindergarten teacher. Our first music teacher. Our junior high algebra teacher. Good teachers never die.

    • Rosalie Maggio,
    • introduction, in Rosalie Maggio, ed., Quotations on Education ()
  • Life seems somehow less shocking, painful, and lonely — and more hopeful, agreeable, and beautiful — when our experiences are confirmed by those of others. Although each of us is unique, there are familiar responses and doubts and joys that let us know we have kin. We are not, after all, too strange to live.

    • Rosalie Maggio,
    • introduction, in Rosalie Maggio, ed., Quotations by Women on Life ()
  • Warped with satisfactions and terrors, woofed with too many ambiguities and too few certainties, life can be lived best not when we have the answers — because we will never have those — but when we know enough to live it right out to the edges, edges sometimes marked by other people, sometimes showing only our own footprints.

    • Rosalie Maggio,
    • introduction, in Rosalie Maggio, ed., Quotations by Women on Life ()
  • Money is a mystery. Not only is our behavior with respect to money sometimes puzzling and erratic, but our feelings about money are often contradictory, illogical, deep-rooted, and scarcely known even to our most secret selves. We are getting better at handling money, but what it means to us, how we use it to express ourselves, and how it can help us become all that we are meant to be remain murky issues.

    • Rosalie Maggio,
    • introduction, in Rosalie Maggio, ed., Money Talks ()
  • Money is a response. We use it to express our social values, our gratitude, our appreciation, our pleasure, our support. Money gives us the ability to respond (response-ability), and its empowering use often defines the truly responsible among us.

    • Rosalie Maggio,
    • introduction, in Rosalie Maggio, ed., Money Talks ()
  • Money is always on its way somewhere; we are only a way station. What we do with it while it's in our keeping will say much about us — as will the direction it takes after we speed it on its way.

    • Rosalie Maggio,
    • introduction, in Rosalie Maggio, ed., Money Talks ()
  • ... cutting edges are always a little rough ...

  • Language both reflects and shapes society. Culture shapes language and then language shapes culture. Little wonder that the words we use to talk to each other, and about each other, are the most important words in our language: they tell us who I am, they tell us who you are, they tell us who 'they' are.

  • There are complaints that it's hard to remember what you can say and what you can't, which words are 'in' for certain groups and which words are not. And yet we started out learning that the 'kitty' on the sidewalk was actually a squirrel, we learned to differentiate between fire trucks and school buses, and many people today know the difference between linguini, fettucini, and rotini. The same people who say they can't remember the 'right' terms in referring to people are often whizzes at remembering which professional sports teams have moved where and are now called what.

  • Somewhere, sometime, men and women have said, thought, or done everything the other sex has said, thought, or done except for a very few sex-linked biological activities (e.g., only women can give birth or nurse a baby and only a man can provide the sperm needed to fertilize an egg). To describe a woman as unwomanly is a contradiction in terms; if a woman is doing it, saying it, wearing it, thinking it, it must be — by definition — womanly.

  • Language doesn't belong to grammarians, linguists, wordsmiths, writers, or editors. It belongs to the people who use it. It goes where people want it to go, and, like a balky mule, you can't make it go where it doesn't want to go.

  • Absolute freedom doesn't exist and never did. Just as we don't spit on the floor at work, swear at customers, or send out letters full of misspellings, so too we might have to 'watch our language.' It is odd that the request for unbiased language in schools and workplaces is considered intolerable when other limits on our freedom to do whatever we want are not.

  • ... if there's one thing consistent about language it is that it is constantly changing. The only languages that do not change are those whose speakers are dead.

  • Men may buy pornography but women pay for it ...

Rosalie Maggio, U.S. writer

(1943)