When I was growing up, my parents told me, 'Finish your dinner. People in China and India are starving.' I tell my daughters, 'Finish your homework. People in India and China are starving for your job.'

— Thomas Friedman

The most successful Thomas Friedman quotes to discover and learn by heart

What every employer is looking for is not someone who can do the job, but someone who can reinvent the job.

68

Pessimists are usually right and optimists are usually wrong but all the great changes have been accomplished by optimists.

45

Criticizing Israel is not anti-Semitic, and saying so is vile.

But singling out Israel for opprobrium and international sanction - out of all proportion to any other party in the Middle East - is anti-Semitic, and not saying so is dishonest.

31

Supply chains cannot tolerate even 24 hours of disruption.

So if you lose your place in the supply chain because of wild behavior you could lose a lot. It would be like pouring cement down one of your oil wells.

23

I've always believed the world would be a better place if more people everywhere have a chance to shape their own future and realize their full potential. I think that is what life is about.

22

No matter what your profession – doctor, lawyer, architect, accountant – if you are an American, you better be good at the touchy-feely service stuff, because anything that can be digitized can be outsourced to either the smartest or the cheapest producer.

20

Remember, in China when you are one in a million, there are 1,300 other people just like you.

19

No two countries that both had McDonald's had fought a war against each other since each got its McDonald's

18

Hope and optimism aren't just attitudes, they are life strategies.

18

When widely followed public figures feel free to say anything, without any fact-checking, it becomes impossible for a democracy to think intelligently about big issues.

14

The thing you have to remember is, oil and gas are commodities, and the more we use them the more the price goes up, like any commodity. Solar, wind - they are technologies, so the more you use them, the more the price goes down.

13

Guantanamo Bay is the anti-Statue of Liberty.

11

About Thomas Friedman

Quotes 136 sayings
Nationality American
Profession Journalist
Birthday October 16

By 'flat' I did not mean that the world is getting equal.

I said that more people in more places can now compete, connect and collaborate with equal power and equal tools than ever before. That's why an Indian in Bangalore can take care of the office work of American doctors or read the X-rays of German hospitals.

9

The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist -- McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the builder of the F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies is called the United States Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps.

9

I firmly believe that the next great breakthrough in bioscience could come from a 15-year-old who downloads the human genome in Egypt.

8

I think that competition will exist even if we discover more oil.

We're never going to know how much we have, or how long will it last. You are always going to want to have diversity of supply. I think the Middle East will remain a region of competition, of global competition, fighting for a long time.

8

The first rule of holes is when you're in one, stop digging.

When you're in three, bring a lot of shovels.

6

Change your leaders, not your light bulbs.

5

You take one bomber and deploy him in Baghdad, and another is manufactured in Riyadh the next day. It's exactly like when you take the toy off the shelf at Wal-Mart and another is made in Shen Zhen the next day.

4

Our kids are going to be so angry with us one day. We've charged their future on our Visa cards.

4

You win the presidency by connecting with the American people's gut insecurities and aspirations. You win with a concept.

4

Just because we can't sell shares in nature doesn't mean it has no value.

4

We need to become energy independent or at least aspire to that.

3

A generation ago [the Democratic Party] stood for progressive change.

Now they defend every federal program as if each were sacred. They have become the most conservative force in American politics.

3

What about the rest of life? Respect for the sanctity of life, if you believe that it begins at conception, cannot end at birth.

3

The Middle East would always be an important trading partner in just a market sense, like America is a big market for us, Asia is a big market, Europe is a big market. You are going to have hundreds of millions of consumers there, from just a standard market point of view, from a very narrow American point of view.

3

I am hoping, though, that many of them have kids, who, when they have a moment to take a break from their iPods, Internet, or Google, will explain to their parents running the country just how the world is being flattened.

3

Two things are going on at the same time with the flattening of the world: The relentless quest for efficiency is squeezing some of the fat out of life.

3

What if we're wrong and there is no climate change? Well, by doing everything possible to address it, we will still use less water, stimulate new energy savings and, in time, money-saving technologies, enjoy cleaner air, and preserve more forests and trees and animals.

3

If e-mail had been around before the telephone was invented, people would have said, 'Hey, forget e-mail! With this new telephone invention I can actually talk to people!'.

3

Sometimes, when my wife and I were going out to dinner, I would take my laptop with me and work in the car, so as to take advantage of the half hour going and coming.

3

We're going in the wrong direction and I think the only way to counter that is to bring the story home in really concrete ways to people - in ways that kids can understand and non-scientists can understand.

3

The Arab awakening has been, up to now, a lot about freedom from dictatorial regimes - Syria, Yemen, Libya, Tunisia, Bahrain and Egypt. But once you got freedom from, then you need freedom to. Freedom from is about destroying things. Freedom to is about constructing things, constructing the rule of law.

3

Rock stars get room keys, I get business cards.

2

When you lose your job, the unemployment rate isn't four percent, it's 100 percent.

2

It has always been my view that terrorism is not spawned by the poverty of money; it is spawned by the poverty of dignity. Humiliation is the most underestimated force in international relations and in human relations. It is when people or nations are humiliated that they really lash out and engage in extreme violence.

2

What we do know is that the planet is going from 7 billion people today to 9 billion. More people want to live like us, drive American- size cars, live in an American-size home, and eat American-size Big Macs. What does that mean? It means that energy demand is going to be going up.

1

Our bailout of Detroit will be remembered as the equivalent of pouring billions of taxpayers' money into the mail-order catalogue business on the eve of the birth of eBay.

1

We have to be the best global citizens we can be.

1

Big breakthroughs happen when what is suddenly possible meets what is desperately needed

1

America is interested in change and reform in the Middle East but in a stable way.

0

A 2011 report produced by Forrester Research estimated that the revenue generated through the sales of smartphone and tablet applications will reach $38 billion annually by 2015. Think about that: An industry that did not exist in 2006 will be generating $38 billion in revenues within a decade. . . .

0

Saudi hijackers first came into contact with al-Qaeda and went through Terrorism 101 when they signed up for the jihad in Afghanistan.

0

Why is it Muslims from Pakistan or from Egypt come to America and thrive, and they are frustrated back home? It's about clean government. It's about a rule of law. It's about intellectual property protection. They've got all the talent and energy of anybody else. As new immigrants they may have more of it, so you put them in our system and they become doctors, lawyers, and businessmen and entrepreneurs.

0

American young people have got to understand from an early age that the world pays off on results, not on effort. Not everyone should win a prize no matter where he or she finishes.

0

There is something more severe than the problem with Thomas Friedman, which can be generalized to represent someone causing action while being completely unaccountable for his words.

0

The reason that we are becoming less equal is because of the greater requirements, secure requirements, for a good job. This goes back to the '80s basically, this started changing as globalization and the IT revolution merged, and each started to drive the other.

0

Golf has an ambivalent relationship with the environment.

On one hand, it's a great preserver of open spaces. Golf doesn't pave the world - it helps to green the world. But the downside is, it uses a lot of fertilizer, pesticides and water. And this is in a world where we know that synthetic fertilizers and pesticides are toxic, and water is more and more scarce. Golf could do a lot more.

0

You always have to remember that Mother Nature is a lot like your body.

If your temperature goes from 98.6 to 100.6, you don't feel so good. If it goes from 100.6 to 102.6, well, you call the doctor. If it goes from 102.6 to 104.6, you're in the emergency room at a hospital. The same with Mother Nature - small changes in global average temperatures have a huge climate effect.

0
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