1901-1978, American Anthropologist
A city is a place where there is no need to wait for next week to get the answer to a question, to taste the food of any country, to find new voices to listen to and familiar ones to listen to again.
Margaret Mead – [Cities and City Life]
Coming to terms with the rhythms of women's lives means coming to terms with life itself, accepting the imperatives of the body rather than the imperatives of an artificial, man-made, perhaps transcendentally beautiful civilization. Emphasis on the male work-rhythm is an emphasis on infinite possibilities; emphasis on the female rhythms is an emphasis on a defined pattern, on limitation.
Margaret Mead – [Men and Women]
Each home has been reduced to the bare essentials — to barer essentials than most primitive people would consider possible. Only one woman's hands to feed the baby, answer the telephone, turn off the gas under the pot that is boiling over, soothe the older child who has broken a toy, and open both doors at once. She is a nutritionist, a child psychologist, an engineer, a production manager, an expert buyer, all in one. Her husband sees her as free to plan her own time, and envies her; she sees him as having regular hours and envies him.
Margaret Mead – [Housework]
For the very first time the young are seeing history being made before it is censored by their elders.
Margaret Mead – [Media]
I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world.
Margaret Mead – [Learning]
I've been married three times — and each time I married the right person.
Margaret Mead – [Marriage]
If I were to be taken hostage, I would not plead for release nor would I want my government to be blackmailed. I think certain government officials, industrialists and celebrated persons should make it clear they are prepared to be sacrificed if taken hostage. If that were done, what gain would there be for terrorists in taking hostages?
Margaret Mead – [Hostages]
If we are to achieve a richer culture, rich in contrasting values, we must recognize the whole gamut of human potentialities, and so weave a less arbitrary social fabric, one in which each diverse human gift will find a fitting place.
Margaret Mead – [Purpose]
If you associate enough with older people who do enjoy their lives, who are not stored away in any golden ghettos, you will gain a sense of continuity and of the possibility for a full life.
Margaret Mead – [Age and Aging]
Instead of needing lots of children, we need high-quality children.
Margaret Mead – [Children]
It is an open question whether any behavior based on fear of eternal punishment can be regarded as ethical or should be regarded as merely cowardly.
Margaret Mead – [Hell]
Life in the twentieth century is like a parachute jump; you have to get it right the first time.
Margaret Mead – [Life and Living]
Much of the ill-tempered railing against women that has characterized the popular writing of the last two years is a half-hearted attempt to find a way back to a more balanced relationship between our biological selves and the world we have built. So women are scolded both for being mothers and for not being mothers, for wanting to eat their cake and have it too, and for not wanting to eat their cake and have it too.
Margaret Mead – [Sex]
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.
Margaret Mead – [Teams and Teamwork]
Nobody has ever before asked the nuclear family to live all by itself in a box the way we do. With no relatives, no support, we've put it in an impossible situation.
Margaret Mead – [Family]
One of the oldest human needs is having someone wonder where you are when you don't come home at night.
Margaret Mead – [Humankind]
Our humility rest upon a series of learned behaviors, woven together into patterns that are infinitely fragile and never directly inherited.
Margaret Mead – [Behavior]
Our treatment of both older people and children reflects the value we place on independence and autonomy. We do our best to make our children independent from birth. We leave them all alone in rooms with the lights out and tell them, ''Go to sleep by yourselves.'' And the old people we respect most are the ones who will fight for their independence, who would sooner starve to death than ask for help.
Margaret Mead – [Independence]
People in America, of course, live in all sorts of fashions, because they are foreigners, or unlucky, or depraved, or without ambition; people live like that, but Americans live in white detached houses with green shutters. Rigidly, blindly, the dream takes precedence.
Margaret Mead – [America]
Sooner or later I'm going to die, but I'm not going to retire.
Margaret Mead – [Retirement]