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1. Chaos often breeds life, when order breeds habit.

Henry Brooks Adams (1838-1918) U.S. historian. Education of Henry Adams (1907)


2. That man is a creature who needs order yet yearns for change is the creative contradiction at the heart of the laws which structure his at the heart of the laws which structure his conformity and define his deviancy.

Freda Adler (b.1934) U.S. writer, educator and criminologist. Sisters in Crime (1975)


3. Order means light and peace, inward liberty and free command over oneself; order is power…Order is man’s greatest need, and his true well-being.

Henri-Frederic Amiel (1821-81) Swiss poet and philosopher. December 15, 1859. Journal intime (1883-84)


4. Set thine house in order.

Bible. Isaiah, 38:1


5. Order is a lovely thing;

On disarray it lays its wing,

Teaching simplicity to sing.

Anna Hempstead Branch (1875-1937) U.S. poet and social worker. “The Monk in the Kitchen,” American Poetry 1671-1928 (Conrad Aiken, ed.; 1929)


6. Order is the shape upon which beauty depends.

Pearl S. Buck (1892-1973) U.S. writer. “The Home-maker,” To My Daughters, With Love (1967)


7. Good order is the foundation of all good things.

Edmund Burke (1729-97) British philosopher and politician. Reflections on the Revolution in France (1790)


8. It is meritorious to insist on forms; religion and all else naturally clothes itself in forms. Everywhere the formed world is the only habitable one.

Thomas Carlyle (1795-1881) British historian and essayist. On Heroes, Hero-Worship and the Heroic in History (1841)


9. Large organization is loose organization. Nay, it would be almost as true to say that organization is always disorganization.

  1. K. Chesterton (1874-1936) British novelist, poet and critic. “The Bluff of the Big Shops,” Outline of Sanity (1926)


10. At the point where order and chaos most closely resemble one another, there exists the greatest possibility for broadening the human capacity to adapt to instability and uncertainty.

Daryl R. Conner (b.1946) U.S. management author. Leading at the Edge of Chaos (1998)


11. The desire for order is the only order in the world.

Georges Duhamel (1884-1966) French writer. The Pasquier Chronicles (1933)


12. There is a rage to organize which is the sworn enemy of order.

Georges Duhamel (1884-1966) French writer. Vie des Martyrs (1917)


13. Exactness and neatness in moderation is a virtue, but carried to extremes narrows the mind.

Francois De Salignac De La Mothe-Fenelon (1651-1715) French theologian and writer. Telemaque (1699)


14. I tell you sir, the only safeguard of order and discipline in the modern world is a standardized worker with interchangeable parts. That would solve the entire problem of management.

Jean Giraudoux (1882-1944) French diplomat, novelist and playwright. The Madwoman of Chaillot (1945)


15. Everything which is properly business we must keep separate from life. Business requires earnestness and method; life must have a freer handling.

Johann Wolfgang Von Goethe (1749-1832) German poet, playwright, novelist and scientist. Elective Affinities (1809)


16. It is best to do things systematically, since we are only human, and disorder is our worst enemy.

Hesiod (fl. 800 B.C.) Greek poet. Works and Days (8th century B.C.)


17. There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.

Jane Jacobs (b.1916) U.S. urban theorist and social critic. The Death and Life of Great American Cities (1961)


18. Order and simplification are the first steps toward the mastery of a subject.

Thomas Mann (1875-1955) German writer. The Magic Mountain (1924)


19. Confusion is a word we have invented for an order which is not understood.

Henry Miller (1891-1980) U.S. writer. “Interlude,” Tropic of Capricorn (1939)


20. Excess of severity is not the path to the bomb.

John Morley (1838-1923) British politician and writer. Recollections (1917)


21. Order marches with weighty and measured strides; disorder is always in a hurry.

Bonaparte Napoleon I (1769-1821) French emperor. Maxims (1804-15)


22. There’s a certain amount of disorder that has to be reorganized.

William S. Paley (1901-90) U.S. founder of Columbia Broadcasting Corporation. On his return as CBS chairman after his retirement. Boston Globe (1986)


23. Life creates order, but order does not create life.

Antoine De Saint-Exupery (1900-44) French writer and aviator. Letter to a Hostage (1942)


24. Diversity is intimately linked to the possibility of self-organization.

Vandana Shiva (b.1944) Indian academic. Globalisation. Gandhi and Swadeshi (2000)


25. It is not until a creature begins to manage its environment that nature is thrown into disorder.

Clifford Simak (1904-88) U.S. writer. Shakespeare’s Planet (1976)


26. A place for everything and everything in its place. Order is wealth.

Samuel Smiles (1812-1904) Scottish social reformer and writer. Thrift (1875)


27. A. A violent order is disorder; and

  1. A great disorder is an order.

These two things are one.

Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) U.S. poet. “Connoisseur of Chaos,” Notes Toward a Supreme Fiction (1942)


28. Since we cannot hope for order let us withdraw with style from the chaos.

Tom Stoppard (b.1937) British playwright and screenwriter. Lord Malaquist and Mr Moon (1966)


29. Method is good in all things. Order governs the world. The Devil is the author of confusion.

Jonathan Swift (1667-1745) Irish writer and satirist. October 26, 1710. Letter to Stella, Journal to Stella (1766-68)


30. How very much do they err who consider the absence of order and method as implying greater liberty or removing a sense of restraint.

Charolotte Elizabeth Tonna (1790-1846) British writer and educator. Personal Recollections (1841), Letter 4


31. As order is heavenly, where quiet is had, So error is hell, or a mischief as bad.

Thomas Tusser (1524-80) English writer. “Huswifery Admonitions,” A Hundreth Good Poynts Huswifery (1561)


32. Have a place for everything and keep the thing somewhere else. This is not advice, it is merely custom.

Mark twain (1835-1910) U.S. writer. Notebook (1935)


33. Order always weigh on the individual. Disorder makes him wish for the police or for the death. These are two extreme circumstances in which human nature is not at ease.

Paul Valery (1871-1945) French poet and essayist. Quoted in Letters (Montesquieu; 1926), Preface


34. If disorder is the rule with you, you will be penalized for installing order.

Paul Valery (1871-1945) French poet and essayist. Tel Quel (1941-43)


35. Filing is concerned with the past; anything you actually need to see again has to do with the future.

Katharine Whitehorn (b.1926 British journalist. Sunday Best (1976))