Reflections on Respecting Differences

Quotations About the Importance of Respecting Differences

I hope that you enjoy this collection of quotes about respecting differences. Notice how many different compelling reasons for respecting differences are included – some from unexpected sources!

Toward no crime have men shown themselves so cold-bloodedly cruel as in punishing differences of belief.                                                                                                                                                                     James Russell Lowell  

Honest differences are often a healthy sign of progress.
Mahatma Gandhi  
People are pretty much alike. It’s only that our differences are more susceptible to definition than our similarities.
Linda Ellerbee
If we cannot end now our differences, at least we can help make the world safe for diversity.
John F. Kennedy  
For too long, we have focused on our differences – in our politics and backgrounds, in our race and beliefs – rather than cherishing the unity and pride that binds us together.
Bob Riley
Equality, rightly understood as our founding fathers understood it, leads to liberty and to the emancipation of creative differences; wrongly understood, as it has been so tragically in our time, it leads first to conformity and then to despotism.
Barry Goldwater
More than an end to war, we want an end to the beginning of all wars – yes, an end to this brutal, inhuman and thoroughly impractical method of settling the differences between governments.
Franklin D. Roosevelt
So, let us not be blind to our differences – but let us also direct attention to our common interests and to the means by which those differences can be resolved.
John F. Kennedy  
I believe that we are here for each other, not against each other. Everything comes from an understanding that you are a gift in my life – whoever you are, whatever our differences.
John Denver
Differences of habit and language are nothing at all if our aims are identical and our hearts are open.
J. K. RowlingHarry Potter and the Goblet of Fire

About the Author

 Linda Fisher Thornton is CEO/Owner of Leading in Context, a leadership development firm providing leadership consulting and learning publications in an ethical context. She publishes compelling workshop materials that help leaders understand complex ethical issues.  Her “Different” Training Module is helping leaders understand the implications of their interpersonal behavior more clearly. The module contains a Continuum of 5 Leader Perceptions of “Different” and the behaviors that may result from each of the 5 perspectives. For more information and sample content, see “Ethical Implications of How Leaders Perceive ‘Different’.”

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The Leading in Context™ Video “The Evolving Leadership Context: Respectful Workplaces” is downloadable at the and explains 5 reasons why respectful behavior is the new “minimum standard” for workplace behavior. Some of the reasons may surprise you.

About Linda Fisher Thornton
Author of 7 Lenses, Speaker, Bringing Out the Best in People and Organizations Through Proactive Ethical Leadership, CEO Leading in Context, 2014 Top 100 Thought Leaders in Trustworthy Business Behavior, Adj. Assist. Prof. of Ethics and Leadership, UR SPCS

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