Words of wisdom

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Quotes that move me this morning…


“What I must do is all that concerns me, and not what people think. This rule, equally arduous in actual and in intellectual life, may serve for the whole distinction between greatness and meanness. It is harder, because you will always find those who think they know what is your duty better than you know it. It is easy in the world to live after the world’s opinion; it is easy in solitude to look after your own; but the great man is he who, in the midst of the crowd, keeps with perfect sweetness the independence of solitude.”

~Ralph Waldo Emerson


The Art of Happiness There was never a time when so much official effort was being expended to produce happiness, and probably never a time when so little attention was paid by the individual to creating and personal qualities that make for it. What one misses most today is the evidence of widespread personal determination to develop a character that will, in itself, given any reasonable odds, make for happiness. Our whole emphasis is on the reform of living conditions, of increased wages, of controls on the economic structure-the government approach-and so little on man improving himself. The ingredients of happiness are so simple that they can be counted on one hand. Happiness comes from within, and rests most securely on simple goodness and clear conscience. Religion may not be essential to it, but no one ins known to have gained it without a philosophy resting on ethical principles. Selfishness is its enemy; to make another happy is to be happy one’s self. It is quiet, seldom found for long in crowds, most easily won in moments of solitude and reflection. It cannot be bought; indeed, money has very little to do with it. No one is happy unless he is reasonably well satisfied with himself, so that the quest for tranquility must of necessity begin with self-examination. We shall not often be content with what we discover in this scrutiny. There is much to do, and so little done. Upon this searching self-analysis, however, depends the discovery of those qualities that make each man unique, and whose development alone can bring satisfaction. Of all those who have tried, down the ages, to outline a program for happiness, few have succeeded so well as William Henry Channing, chaplain of the House of Representatives in the middle of the last century: “To live content with small means; so seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy . . . to study hard, think quietly, talk gently, act frankly; to listen to the stars and birds, to babes and sages, with open heart; to bear all cheerfully, do all bravely, await occasions, hurry never; in a word to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common.” It will be noted that no government can do this for you; you must do it for yourself.

~William S. Ogdon
Source: New York Times, Editorial Page, Dec. 30, 1945


Each person has an ideal, a hope, a dream of some sort which represents his soul. In the long light of eternity this seed of the future is all that matters! We must find this seed no matter how small it is; we must give to it the warmth of love, the light of understanding and the water of encouragement. We must learn to deal with people as they are – not as we wish them to be. We must study the moral values which shape our thinking, arouse our emotions and guide our conduct. We must get acquainted with our inner stream and find out what’s going on in our heads and hearts. We must put an end to blind, instinctive, sensory thought and feeling. We must take time to be human.

~Colby Dorr Dam


What if a demon were to creep after you one night, in your loneliest loneness, and say, “This life which you live must be lived by you once again and innumerable times more; and every pain and joy and thought and sigh must come again to you, all in the same sequence. The eternal hourglass will again and again be turned-and you with it, dust of the dust!” Would you throw yourself down and gnash your teeth and curse that demon? Or would you answer, “Never have I heard anything more divine?”

~ Friedrich Nietzsche (1844 – 1900)


Have a wonderful Sunday.


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