The Best Margaret Mead quotes

Margaret Mead quotes thumbnail

Margaret Mead was an American anthropologist who pioneered the study of human behavior and culture. She is considered one of the most influential thinkers of the 20th century, and her work has had a lasting impact on anthropology, sociology, and women’s studies. Mead’s engaging writing and tireless research made her one of the most respected figures in her field, and her theories about the nature of human culture continue to shape our understanding of the world today. In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at Mead’s life and work, exploring some of her most groundbreaking ideas about society and human behavior.

Discover the strongest Love, Change, Time, Human Beings, Society, Life, World, Children World quotes from Margaret Mead, and much more.


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About Margaret Mead

birth of the author

December 16, 1901

death of the author

November 15, 1978

college of the author

Alma Mater:
Barnard College, Columbia University

occupation of the author


award of the author

Kalinga Prize


In almost any society I think, the quality of the nonconformists is likely to be just as good as and no better than that of the conformists. โ€” Margaret Mead

We won’t have a society if we destroy the environment. โ€” Margaret Mead

We must recognize that beneath the superficial classifications of sex and race the same potentialities exist, recurring generation after generation, only to perish because society has no place for them. โ€” Margaret Mead

Once any group in society stands in a relatively deprived position in relation to other groups, it is genuinely deprived. โ€” Margaret Mead

we won t have a society if we destroy the environment Margaret Mead quote

The contempt for law and The contempt for The human consequences of lawbreaking go from The bottom to The top of american society. โ€” Margaret Mead

It is not until science has become a discipline to which the research ability of any mind from any class in society can be attracted that it can become rigorously scientific. โ€” 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. โ€” Margaret Mead


You can no longer save your family, tribe or nation. You can only save the whole world. โ€” Margaret Mead

The united states has The power to destroy The world, but not The power to save it alone. โ€” Margaret Mead

you can no longer save your family tribe or nation you can only save the whole world Margaret Mead quote

I was brought up to believe that the only thing worth doing was to add to the sum of accurate information in the world. โ€” Margaret Mead

Earth DAY reminds the people of the world of the need for continuing care which is vital to Earth’s safety. โ€” Margaret Mead

We are at a point in history where a proper attention to space, and especially near space, may be absolutely crucial in bringing the world together. โ€” Margaret Mead


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In our contemporary world, no one can think or work with a single picture of what a family is. No one can fit all human behavior, all thought and feeling, into a single pattern. โ€” Margaret Mead

I think rigid heterosexuality is a perversion of nature. โ€” Margaret Mead

the united states has the power to destroy the world but not the power to save it alone Margaret Mead quote


Children must be taught how to think, not what to think. โ€” Margaret Mead

There is no greater insight into the future than recognizing…when we save our children, we save ourselves โ€” Margaret Mead

Instead of needing lots of children, we need highโ€“quality children. โ€” Margaret Mead

Where did Margaret Mead attend school?

Margaret Mead entered DePauw University in 1919, transferred to Barnard College a year later, and graduated from there in 1923.

We must have…a place where children can have a whole group of adults they can trust. โ€” Margaret Mead

We have refused to recognize the creativity of youth. We don’t want our children to write poetry or go to the stars. We want them to go steady, get married and have four children. โ€” Margaret Mead

children must be taught how to think not what to think Margaret Mead quote

Children not only have to learn what their parents learned in school, but also have to learn how to learn. This has to be recognized as a new problem which is only partly solved. โ€” Margaret Mead

Today’s children are the first generation to grow up in a world that has the power to destroy itself. โ€” Margaret Mead

No society that feeds its children on tales of successful violence can expect them not to believe that violence in the end is rewarded. โ€” Margaret Mead

One of the most dangerous things that can happen to a child is to kill or torture an animal an get away with it. โ€” Margaret Mead

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

instead of needing lots of children we need high quality children Margaret Mead quote

Somehow, we have to get older people back close to growing children if we are to restore a sense of community, acquire knowledge of the past, and provide a sense of the future. โ€” Margaret Mead

I like to handle babies. You can learn a lot from the way they respond, the way they slide down your hips, the way they trust you. The first thing a child must learn is to trust. โ€” Margaret Mead

The people of one nation alone cannot save Their own children; each holds The responsibility for The oThers’ children. โ€” 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. โ€” Margaret Mead

The older child who has lost or broken some valuable thing will be found when his parents return, not run away, not willing to confess, but in a deep sleep. The thief whose case is being tried falls asleep. โ€” Margaret Mead

I am interested in what happens to people who find the whole of life so rewarding that they are able to move through it with the same kind of delight in which a child moves through a game. โ€” 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. โ€” Margaret Mead


A small group of thoughtful people could change the world. โ€” Margaret Mead

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

Never believe that a few caring people can’t change the world. for, indeed, that’s all who ever have. โ€” Margaret Mead

a small group of thoughtful people could change the world Margaret Mead quote

Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. โ€” 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. โ€” Margaret Mead

Where we choose to put our attention changes our brain, which in time can change how we see and interact with the world. โ€” Margaret Mead

Injustice experienced in the flesh, in deeply wounded flesh, is the stuff out of which change explodes. โ€” Margaret Mead

All social change comes from the passion of individuals. โ€” Margaret Mead

it is easier to change a man s religion than to change his diet Margaret Mead quote

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

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

In the presence of grandparent and grandchild, past and future merge in the present. โ€” Margaret Mead


Human nature is potentially aggressive and destructive and potentially orderly and constructive. โ€” Margaret Mead

Leisure and the cultivation of human capacities are inextricably interdependent. โ€” Margaret Mead

leisure and the cultivation of human capacities are inextricably interdependent Margaret Mead quote

For the human species to evolve, the conversation must deepen. โ€” Margaret Mead

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

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

Redundant Thematics

In Margaret Mead Statements


Human nature is almost unbelievably malleable, responding accurately and contrastingly to contrasting cultural conditions. โ€” Margaret Mead

From a hundred cultures, [there is] one culture which does what no culture has ever done beforeโ€“gives a place to every human gift. โ€” Margaret Mead

for the human species to evolve the conversation must deepen Margaret Mead quote

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

Why is Margaret Mead famous?

Margaret Mead was an American anthropologist best known for her studies of the peoples of Oceania.

She also commented on a wide array of societal issues, such as womenโ€™s rights, nuclear proliferation, race relations, environmental pollution, and world hunger.


An ideal culture is one that makes a place for every human gift. โ€” Margaret Mead

In all cultures, human beIngsโ€“In order to be humanโ€“must understand the nonhuman. โ€” Margaret Mead

We need every human gift and cannot afford to neglect any gift because of artificial barriers of sex or race or class or national origin. โ€” Margaret Mead

Human beings seem to hold on more tenaciously to a cultural identity that is learned through suffering than to one that has been acquired through pleasure and delight. โ€” Margaret Mead

The differences between the two sexes is one of the important conditions upon which we have built the many varieties of human culture that give human beings dignity and stature. โ€” 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. โ€” Margaret Mead


Any town that doesn’t have sidewalks doesn’t love its children. โ€” Margaret Mead

What is new is not bisexuality, but rather the widening of our awareness and acceptance of human capacities for sexual love. โ€” Margaret Mead

any town that doesn t have sidewalks doesn t love its children Margaret Mead quote

To demand that another love what one loves is tyranny enough, but to demand that another hate what one hates, is even worse. โ€” Margaret Mead

Monogamous heterosexual love is probably one of the most difficult, complex and demanding of human relationships. โ€” Margaret Mead

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

Jealousy is not a barometer by which the depth of love can be read. It merely records the degree of the lover’s insecurity. โ€” 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. โ€” Margaret Mead

The need to find meaning…is as real as the need for trust and for love, for relations with other human beings. โ€” Margaret Mead


I’ve been married three timesโ€“and each time I married the right person. โ€” Margaret Mead

The time has come, I think, when we must recognize bisexuality as a normal form of human behavior. โ€” Margaret Mead

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

I was a child that both my parents wanted. I was told from the time I was born that I was totally satisfactory. I had a chance to be what I wanted to be. โ€” Margaret Mead

i ve been married three times and each time i married the right person Margaret Mead quote

Blackberry winter, the time when the hoarforst lies on the blackberry blossoms; without this frost the berries will not set. It is the forerunner of a rich harvest. โ€” Margaret Mead

For the very first time the young are seeing history being made beFore it is censored by their elders. โ€” Margaret Mead

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

Each suburban housewife spends her time presiding over a power plant sufficient to have staffed the palace of a Roman emperor with a hundred slaves. โ€” Margaret Mead

People are still encouraged to marry as if they could count on marriage being for life, and at the same time they are absorbing a knowledge of the great frequency of divorce. โ€” Margaret Mead

All of us who grew up before World War II are immigrants in time, immigrants from an earlier world, living in an age essentially different from anything we knew before. โ€” Margaret Mead


There is no lonelier person than the one who lives with a spouse with whom he or she cannot communicate. โ€” Margaret Mead

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

If sports are the toy department of life, then the NFL is the FAO Schwartz of sports. โ€” Margaret Mead

The closest friends I made all through life have been people who also grew up close to a loved and loving grandmother or grandfather. โ€” Margaret Mead

if sports are the toy department of life then the nfl is the fao schwartz of sports Margaret Mead quote

We came to realize that a civilization which rode roughshod over the way of life of other peoples was incorporating evil in its own way of life. โ€” Margaret Mead

I have spent most of my life studying the lives of other peoplesโ€“faraway peoplesโ€“so that Americans might better understand themselves. โ€” Margaret Mead

Through a grandmother’s voice and hands the end of life is known at the beginning. โ€” Margaret Mead

No one will live all his life in the world into which he was born and no one will die in the world in which he worked in his maturity. โ€” Margaret Mead

Life is in one of its smoother phases … I’ve no responsibilities in the world except friends and students and cherishing the life of the worldโ€“โ€“and the belief that there is enough love to go round. โ€” Margaret Mead

In Bali] life is a rhythmic, patterned unreality of pleasant, significant movement, centered in one’s own body to which all emotions long ago withdrew. โ€” Margaret Mead

It is typical, in America, that a person’s hometown is not the place where he is living now but is the place he left behind. โ€” Margaret Mead

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