101+ Best Margaret Mead Quotes: Exclusive Selection

Margaret Mead was a well-acclaimed cultural anthropologist who mainly focused her studies and research on child rearing, personality, and culture. Mead was best known for her bold lectures on controversial social issues. Thoughtful Margaret Mead quotes will give you insightful views on various social issues and show that change starts with you.

If you’re searching for famous life sayings that perfectly capture what you’d like to say or just want to feel inspired yourself, browse through an amazing collection of Jane Goodall quotes, best James Baldwin quotes, and Angela Davis quotes.

Most Famous Margaret Mead Quotes

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

Children must be taught how to think, not what to think. – Margaret Mead

Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. – Margaret Mead

I must admit that I personally measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to her or his fellow human beings. – Margaret Mead

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

If one cannot state a matter clearly enough so that even an intelligent twelve-year-old can understand it, one should remain within the cloistered walls of the university and laboratory until one gets a better grasp of one’s subject matter. – Margaret Mead

It may be necessary temporarily to accept a lesser evil, but one must never label a necessary evil as good. – Margaret Mead

Life in the twentieth century is like a parachute jump: you have to get it right the first time. – Margaret Mead

What people say, what people do, and what they say they do are entirely different things. – Margaret Mead

Even though the ship may go down, the journey goes on. – Margaret Mead

I learned the value of hard work by working hard. – Margaret Mead

Sooner or later I’m going to die, but I’m not going to retire. – Margaret Mead

The way to do fieldwork is never to come up for air until it is all over. – Margaret Mead

The ability to learn is older—as it is also more widespread—than is the ability to teach. – Margaret Mead

We are now at a point where we must educate our children in what no one knew yesterday and prepare our schools for what no one knows yet. – Margaret Mead

I have spent most of my life studying the lives of other peoples—faraway peoples—so that Americans might better understand themselves. – Margaret Mead

A city must be a place where groups of women and men are seeking and developing the highest things they know. – Margaret Mead

Our humanity rests upon a series of learned behaviors, woven together into patterns that are infinitely fragile and never directly inherited. – Margaret Mead

Man’s most human characteristic is not his ability to learn, which he shares with many other species, but his ability to teach and store what others have developed and taught him. – Margaret Mead

The negative cautions of science are never popular. If the experimentalist would not commit himself, the social philosopher, the preacher, and the pedagogue tried the harder to give a short-cut answer. – Margaret Mead

In 1976: We women are doing pretty well. We’re almost back to where we were in the twenties. – Margaret Mead

I had no reason to doubt that brains were suitable for a woman. And as I had my father’s kind of mind—which was also his mother’s—I learned that the mind is not sex-typed. – Margaret Mead

Differences in sex as they are known today are based on the bringing up of the mother. She is always pushing the female towards similarity and the male towards differences. – Margaret Mead

There is no evidence that suggests women are naturally better at caring for children with the fact of childbearing out of the center of attention, there is even more reason for treating girls first as human beings, then as women. – Margaret Mead

It has been a woman’s task throughout history to go on believing in life when there was almost no hope. – Margaret Mead

Because of their age-long training in human relations—for that is what feminine intuition really is—women have a special contribution to make to any group enterprise. – Margaret Mead

Every time we liberate a woman, we liberate a man. – Margaret Mead

The male form of a female liberationist is a male liberationist—a man who realizes the unfairness of having to work all his life to support a wife and children so that someday his widow may live in comfort, a man who points out that commuting to a job he doesn’t like is just as oppressive as his wife’s imprisonment in a suburb, a man who rejects his exclusion, by society and most women, from participation in childbirth and the most engrossing, delightful care of young children— a man, in fact, who wants to relate himself to people and the world around him as a person. – Margaret Mead

Women want mediocre men, and men are working to become as mediocre as possible. – Margaret Mead

Mothers are a biological necessity; fathers are a social invention. – Margaret Mead

Fathers are biological necessities, but social accidents. – Margaret Mead

Man’s role is uncertain, undefined, and perhaps unnecessary. – Margaret Mead

I think extreme heterosexuality is a perversion. – Margaret Mead

No matter how many communes anybody invents, the family always creeps back. – Margaret Mead

One of the oldest human needs is having someone to wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night. – Margaret Mead

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

We have got to face the fact that marriage is a terminable institution. – Margaret Mead

Of all the peoples whom I have studied, from city dwellers to cliff dwellers, I always find that at least 50 percent would prefer to have at least one jungle between themselves and their mothers-in-law. – Margaret Mead

Any woman can find a husband unless she is deaf, dumb or blind [S]he cannot always marry the ideal man of her choice. – Margaret Mead

And when our baby stirs and struggles to be born it compels humility: what we began is now its own. – Margaret Mead

The pains of childbirth were altogether different from the enveloping effects of other kinds of pain. These were pains one could follow with one’s mind. – Margaret Mead

You just have to learn not to care about the dust mites under the beds. – Margaret Mead

Instead of needing lots of children, we need high-quality children. – Margaret Mead

The solution to adult problems tomorrow depends on large measure upon how our children grow up today. – Margaret Mead

Thanks to television, for the first time the young are seeing history made before it is censored by their elders. – Margaret Mead

As long as any adult thinks that he, like the parents and teachers of old, can become introspective, invoking his own youth to understand the youth before him, he is lost. – Margaret Mead

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

Old age is like flying through a storm. Once you’re aboard, there’s nothing you can do. – Margaret Mead

All of us who grew up before the war are immigrants in time, immigrants from an earlier world, living in an age essentially different from anything we knew before. The young are at home here. Their eyes have always seen satellites in the sky. They have never known a world in which war did not mean annihilation. – Margaret Mead

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

We will be a better country when each religious group can trust its members to obey the dictates of their own religious faith without assistance from the legal structure of their country. – Margaret Mead

The liberals have not softened their view of actuality to make themselves live closer to the dream, but instead sharpen their perceptions and fight to make the dream actuality or give up the battle in despair. – Margaret Mead

The contempt for law and the contempt for the human consequences of lawbreaking go from the bottom to the top of American society. – Margaret Mead

We are living beyond our means. As a people we have developed a lifestyle that is draining the earth of its priceless and irreplaceable resources without regard for the future of our children and people all around the world. – Margaret Mead

We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment. – Margaret Mead

Having two bathrooms ruined the capacity to co-operate. – Margaret Mead

Prayer does not use up artificial energy, doesn’t burn up any fossil fuel, doesn’t pollute. Neither does song, neither does love, neither does the dance. – Margaret Mead

As the traveler who has once been from home is wiser than he who has never left his own doorstep, so a knowledge of one other culture should sharpen our ability to scrutinize more steadily, to appreciate more lovingly, our own. – Margaret Mead

The study of human culture is a context within which every aspect of human life legitimately falls and necessitates no rift between work and play, professional and amateur activities. – Margaret Mead

I have always done a woman’s job. – Margaret Mead

Never depend upon institutions or government to solve any problem. All social movements are founded by, guided by, motivated and seen through by the passion of individuals. – Margaret Mead

Never underestimate the ability of a small group of committed individuals to change the world. – Margaret Mead

No country that permits firearms to be widely and randomly distributed among its population – especially firearms that are capable of wounding and killing human beings – can expect to escape violence, and a great deal of violence. – Margaret Mead

Be who you really are, do what you want to do, in order to have what you really want. – Margaret Mead

There is no hierarchy of values by which one culture has the right to insist on all its own values and deny those of another. – Margaret Mead

Everyone needs to have access both to grandparents and grandchildren in order to be a full human being. – Margaret Mead

recognize and respect Earth’s beautiful systems of balance, between the presence of animals on land, the fish in the sea, birds in the air, mankind, water, air, and land. Most importantly there must always be awareness of the actions by people that can disturb this precious balance. – Margaret Mead

For the human species to evolve, the conversation must deepen. – Margaret Mead

There is no greater power in the world than the zest of a postmenopausal woman. – Margaret Mead

The most intractable problem today is not pollution or technology or war; but the lack of belief that the future is very much in the hands of the individual. – Margaret Mead

We must have a place where children can have a whole group of adults they can trust. – Margaret Mead

A woman, even a brilliant woman, must have two qualities in order to fulfill her promise: more energy than mere mortals, and the ability to outwit her culture. – Margaret Mead

A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. – Margaret Mead

You know you love someone when you cannot put into words how they make you feel. – Margaret Mead

There is no more creative force in the world than the menopausal woman with zest. – Margaret Mead

It is utterly false and cruelly arbitrary to put all the play and learning into childhood, all the work into middle age, and all the regrets into old age. – Margaret Mead

I measure success in terms of the contributions an individual makes to her fellow human beings. – Margaret Mead

Never ever depend on governments or institutions to solve any major problems. All social change comes from the passion of individuals. – Margaret Mead

The notion that we are products of our environment is our greatest sin; we are products of our choices. – Margaret Mead

You know my fury about people is based precisely on the fact that I consider them to be responsible, moral creatures who so often do not act that way. – Margaret Mead

What I am demanding of other people is what I am demanding of myself. – Margaret Mead

I was wise enough never to grow up, while fooling people into believing I had. – Margaret Mead

Laughter is man’s most distinctive emotional expression. – Margaret Mead

Instead of being presented with stereotypes by age, sex, color, class, or religion, children must have the opportunity to learn that within each range, some people are loathsome, and some are delightful. – Margaret Mead

Having someone wonder where you are when you don’t come home at night is a very old human need. – Margaret Mead

There is no greater insight into the future than recognizingwhen we save our children, we save ourselves – Margaret Mead

We are continually faced with great opportunities which are brilliantly disguised as unsolvable problems. – Margaret Mead

Young people are moving away from feeling guilty about sleeping with somebody to feeling guilty if they are not sleeping with someone. – Margaret Mead

If the future is to remain open and free, we need people who can tolerate the unknown, who will not need the support of completely worked out systems or traditional blueprints from the past. – Margaret Mead

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. For indeed that’s all who ever have. – Margaret Mead

It is easier to change a man’s religion than to change his diet. – Margaret Mead

Sisters is probably the most competitive relationship within the family, but once the sisters are grown, it becomes the strongest relationship. – Margaret Mead

My grandmother wanted me to have an education, so she kept me out of school. – Margaret Mead

I learned to observe the world around me, and to note what I saw. – Margaret Mead

For the very first time the young are seeing history being made before it is censored by their elders. – Margaret Mead

An ideal culture is one that makes a place for every human gift – Margaret Mead

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

I do not believe in using women in combat, because females are too fierce. – Margaret Mead

Women have an important contribution to make. – Margaret Mead

Our first and most pressing problem is how to do away with warfare as a method of solving conflicts between national groups within a society who have different views about how the society is to run. – Margaret Mead

There is no reason to think a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens cannot change the world; Indeed, that’s the only thing that ever has. – Margaret Mead

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