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Quotes of the day: Richard Dreyfuss

Published Wednesday, October 28, 2015 @ 9:30 PM EDT
Oct 28 2015

Richard Stephen Dreyfuss (born October 29, 1947) is an American actor best known for starring in a number of film, television, and theater roles since the late 1960s, including the films American Graffiti, Jaws, Close Encounters of the Third Kind, Mr. Holland's Opus, and The Goodbye Girl.

The Academy award-winning actor aims to revive civic education in order to teach future generations about the power of their citizenship and the principles that hold America together. In 2006, he created The Dreyfuss Civics Initiative (TDCI), a non-profit and pre-partisan organization that advocates for the teaching of civics in United States classrooms. TDCI's mission is to revitalize and enhance the teaching of civics in American public education in order to empower future generations with the critical thinking skills needed to fulfill the vast potential of American citizenship (Click here for full Wikipedia article)


Civics is not only how to run the country before it's your turn to run the country; it is, in fact, the study of power, practical political power. And you must start that process at an age level when kids' brains are still open and malleable.

Civility is not not saying negative or harsh things. It is not the absence of critical analysis. It is the manner in which we are sharing this territorial freedom of political discussion. If our discourse is yelled and screamed and interrupted and patronized, that's uncivil.

Happiness has a bad rap. People say it shouldn't be your goal in life. Oh, yes it should.

I really think that living is the process of going from complete certainty to complete ignorance.

In a way, J.F.K. was the high point of the American dream. In order to go to the moon and back, all we did was say we could- and we did.

It is an obvious and blatant stupidity beyond my ability to articulate how dumb it is for us not to teach our children how to run the government.

John Kennedy really did extend the reach of the American people and said, like Lincoln said in a way, that our reach is farther than our grasp- and we should aim high.

Let's give some substance to patriotism. It may take a generation.

Power never turns power down, ever, unless institutionally demanded.

The rules are all wrong today. The mandate of the media really does pre-date the founding of the United States.

There is one solution to all of our problems: Teaching our kids clarity of thought and political representation in democracy. That's it.

Wake up and live. It's a fast world out there.

We mistake politics for legislative debate. You can be passionate without being personal.

We need to get back to reasoning and thinking things through. The future generation is being brought up in greed and without a true understanding of civics. There is no more emphasis on knowledge and time. As a society we need to process ideas and understand what certain principles are based upon.

You don't have to act as if you care; you just have to care enough to act.


(October 29 is also the birthday of Jean Giraudoux.)

Categories: Quotes of the day, Richard Dreyfuss


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