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40 Quotes on Nonconformists

Celebrate those that dance to the beat of a different drummer.

Nonconformists make things happen.  Learn more about how important it is to have people that think "outside the box". 

Read, every day, something no one else is reading. Think, every day, something no one else is thinking. Do, every day, something no one else would be silly enough to do. It is bad for the mind to continually be part of unanimity. - Christopher Morley

The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself.  - Rita Mae Brown, Venus Envy

The opposite of bravery is not cowardice but conformity. - Dr. Robert Anthony

Conform and be dull. - J. Frank Doble

You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note. - Doug Floyd

 A "normal" person is the sort of person that might be designed by a committee. You know, "Each person puts in a pretty color and it comes out gray." - Alan Sherman

The average man is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain. - Colin Wilson

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.  - Dr. Seuss

A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he becomes a conformist. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

The average man is a conformist, accepting miseries and disasters with the stoicism of a cow standing in the rain. - Colin Wilson

Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind. - Dr. Seuss

A man must consider what a rich realm he abdicates when he becomes a conformist. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Nature made us individuals, as she did the flowers and the pebbles; but we are afraid to be peculiar, and so our society resembles a bag of marbles, or a string of mold candles. Why should we all dress after the same fashion? The frost never paints my windows twice alike. - Lydia Maria Child

Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail. - Ralph Waldo Emerson

Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary. - Albert Einstein

In all affairs it's a healthy thing now and then to hang a question mark on the things you have long taken for granted. - Bertrand Russell

Not all those who wander are lost. - J.R.R. Tolkien

You have enemies? Good. That means you've stood up for something, sometime in your life. - Winston Churchill

We are half ruined by conformity; but we should be wholly ruined without it. - Dudley Warner

Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road. - Voltaire

The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking. - J.K. Galbraith

The only man I know who behaves sensibly is my tailor; he takes my measurements anew each time he sees me. The rest go on with their old measurements and expect me to fit them. - George Bernard Shaw

What this country needs is radicals who will stay that way regardless of the creeping years. - John Fischer

With the pride of the artist, you must blow against the walls of every power that exists the small trumpet of your defiance. - Norman Mailer

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect. - Mark Twain

The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself. - Friedrich Nietzsche

New opinions are always suspected, and usually opposed, without any other reason but because they are not already common. - John Locke, An Essay Concerning Human Understanding

It is better to fail in originality than to succeed in imitation. - Herman Melville

We need - and should encourage and honour - not only discoverers of facts hitherto unknown but explorers of ideas and rethinkers of values. - Walter Moberly, The Crisis in the University

If you don't control your mind, someone else will. - John Allston

When all think alike, then no one is thinking. - Walter Lippman

Once in a while it really hits people that they don't have to experience the world in the way they have been told to. - Alan Keightley

Great things are not accomplished by those who yield to trends and fads and popular opinion. - Charles Kuralt

All progress has resulted from people who took unpopular positions. - Adlai Stevenson

People would rather be wrong than be different. - Henry Jacobsen

Here's to the crazy ones. The misfits. The rebels. The troublemakers. The round pegs in the square holes. The ones who see things differently. They're not fond of rules. And they have no respect for the status quo. You can quote them, disagree with them, glorify or vilify them. About the only thing you can't do is ignore them. Because they change things. They push the human race forward. And while some may see them as the crazy ones, we see genius. Because the people who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.

- Apple, "Think Different" campaign

It gives me great pleasure indeed to see the stubbornness of an incorrigible nonconformist warmly acclaimed. - Albert Einstein

I am not made like any of those I have seen. I venture to believe that I am not made like any of those who are in existence. If I am not better, at least I am different.  - Jean-Jacques Rousseau

If there is anything the nonconformist hates worse than a conformist, it’s another nonconformist who doesn’t conform to the prevailing standard of nonconformity. - Bill Vaughan

Here's to the kids who are different,
The kids who don't always get A's
The kids who have ears twice the size of their peers,
And noses that go on for days ...
Here's to the kids who are different,
The kids they call crazy or dumb,
The kids who don't fit, with the guts and the grit,
Who dance to a different drum ...
Here's to the kids who are different,
The kids with the mischievous streak,
For when they have grown, as history's shown,
It's their difference that makes them unique.

- Digby Wolfe, "Kids Who Are Different"

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April's Top 25 Reads