All Time Famous Y. C. James Yen Quotes

Y. C. James Yen Quotes

Y. C. James Yen (1890–1990) was a Chinese educator and advocate for rural reconstruction. He founded the Yan’an Academy in 1921, promoting a “Three Circles” approach that integrated rural living, learning, and organization to empower communities. Yen played a key role in the Chinese Mass Education Movement, emphasizing functional literacy for the masses, particularly in rural areas. During the Chinese Civil War, he moved to Taiwan, continuing his work in education and rural development. Yen’s contributions left a lasting impact, and he is recognized as a pioneer in adult education and rural reconstruction in China. His ideas and initiatives extended internationally, highlighting the importance of practical knowledge and community empowerment.

Y. C. James Yen Quotes

1. “Go to the people
Live among them
Learn from them
Love them
Serve them
Plan with them
Start with what they know
Build on what they have.”
— Y. C. James Yen

2. “We work with the people not out of pity but out of respect for their potential for growth and development, both as individuals and as communities.”
— Y. C. James Yen

3. “Commitment cannot be taught;
it can only be caught.
I refer to the crusading spirit.
Without the crusading spirit,
you may have the starting power
but not the staying power.”
— Y. C. James Yen

4. “When we have a new heart, we become new people, and then we have a new society, then we have a new nation.”
— Y. C. James Yen

5. “A worker in the rural reconstruction must have: The body of an athlete The attitude of a teacher The mind of a scientist The heart of a missionary The spirit of a crusader.”
— Y. C. James Yen

6. “The people are the foundation of the nation. Our only chance for a lasting peace on earth: the release of the strength of the common man.”
— Y. C. James Yen

7. “Technical know-how of the experts must be transformed into practical do-how of the people.”
— Y. C. James Yen

8. “When we talk about democracy, if the people’s stomach is empty, democracy is also empty. Democracy can not be installed by fiat; it must be achieved by the people themselves.”
— Y. C. James Yen

9. “True independence is not a gift to be received. It can’t be a hand-out to people. It must be an achievement by the people.”
— Y. C. James Yen

10. “Relief has its place. But what the people need is not relief, but release – release of their own potential for development.”
— Y. C. James Yen

11. “I must dedicate my life to teaching my people, for only education would make their lot less bitter, their latent power more strong.”
— Y. C. James Yen

12. “Go to the people and live among them in order to know them and learn from them.”
— Y. C. James Yen

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