Quotes by: Nicholas Kristof
Kristof at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on January 30, 2010
||Nicholas Donabet Kristof
April 27, 1959
Chicago, Illinois, United States
Magdalen College, Oxford
||Journalist, author, columnist
||Sheryl WuDunn (m. 1988)
My father, a refugee from Eastern Europe, was preparing a fraudulent marriage to an American citizen as a route to this country when he was sponsored, making fraud unnecessary. My wife's grandfather bought papers from another Chinese villager to be able to come to the United States.
I think humanitarians really feel very awkward and embarrassed about marketing, but it really doesn't matter whether a shampoo gets better marketing. It does matter when a famine or a huge crisis is - oh - well, I hate to use the word 'marketed' better but, you know, is publicized in a way that will be more effective.
The greatest problem is not with flat-out white racists, but rather with the far larger number of Americans who believe intellectually in racial equality but are quietly oblivious to injustice around them.
Girls' education is no silver bullet. Iran and Saudi Arabia have both educated girls but refused to empower them, so both remain mired in the past. But when a country educates and unleashes women, those educated women often become force multipliers for good.
Young people often aren't in a position to write checks to charities. But there are two things they can do that are invaluable. One is volunteering, especially mentoring other young people with reading, math or help thinking about college. Through iMentor, one can even mentor people online.
One of the biggest complaints readers have about my work is that I don't tell them often enough what they can do. I do think this is an area where journalism sometimes falls short. We describe a really grim situation but don't really explain to people what they can do about it.
You educate a boy, and he'll have fewer children, but it's a small effect. You educate a girl, and, on average, she will have a significantly smaller family.
Every high school and college graduate in America should, I think, have some familiarity with statistics, economics and a foreign language such as Spanish. Religion may not be as indispensable, but the humanities should be a part of our repertory. They may not enrich our wallets, but they do enrich our lives. They civilize us. They provide context.
The great divide is not between faiths, but one between intolerant zealots of any tradition and the large numbers of decent, peaceful believers likewise found in each tradition.
Gays and lesbians began to gain civil rights when Americans realized that their brothers, cousins, daughters were gay.
The one public system in which America goes out of its way to provide services to African-Americans is prison.
Wilderness trails constitute a rare space in America marked by economic diversity. Lawyers and construction workers get bitten by the same mosquitoes and sip from the same streams; there are none of the usual signals about socioeconomic status, for most hikers are in shorts and a T-shirt and enveloped by an aroma that would make a skunk queasy.
There are very few things I've done just twice in my life, 40 years apart, and one is to backpack on the Pacific Crest Trail across the California/Oregon border.
Conservatives are, I think, correct to highlight family stability as a fundamental issue that goes to the welfare of children as much as food stamps or anything else.
Technology companies must constantly weigh ethical decisions: Where should Facebook set its privacy defaults, and should it tolerate glimpses of nudity? Should Twitter close accounts that seem sympathetic to terrorists? How should Google handle sex and violence, or defamatory articles?
Humans pull together in an odd way when they're in the wilderness. It's astonishing how few people litter and how much they help one another. Indeed, the smartphone app to navigate the Pacific Crest Trail, Halfmile, is a labor of love by hikers who make it available as a free download.
Anybody looking at the history even of the 20th century would not single out Islam as the bloodthirsty religion; it was Christian/Nazi/Communist Europe and Buddhist/Taoist/Hindu/atheist Asia that set records for mass slaughter.
Our world is enriched when coders and marketers dazzle us with smartphones and tablets, but, by themselves, they are just slabs. It is the music, essays, entertainment and provocations that they access, spawned by the humanities, that animate them - and us.
I suspect unconscious bias has been far more of a factor for President Obama than overt racism and will also be a challenge for Hillary Rodham Clinton if she runs for president again.
Purely altruistic behavior is pretty much impossible because of the selfish pleasures we derive from it.
Worrying about bills, food, or other problems leaves less capacity to think ahead or to exert self-discipline. So, poverty imposes a mental tax.
Too often, wealthy people born on third base blithely criticize the poor for failing to hit home runs. The advantaged sometimes perceive empathy as a sign of muddle-headed weakness rather than as a marker of civilization.
Inequality causes problems by creating fissures in societies, leaving those at the bottom feeling marginalized or disenfranchised.
Ben Affleck exec-produced a documentary for HBO called 'Reporter' about my 2007 win-a-trip journey. I take the trip each year partly to encourage young people to think about global humanitarian issues: I think blogs by a student may be more compelling for that audience than my own work.