Example has more followers than reason. We unconsciously imitate what pleases us, and insensibly approximate to the characters we most admire. In this way, a generous habit of thought and of action carries with it an incalculable influence.
We should round every day of stirring action with an evening of thought. We learn nothing of our experience except we must upon it.
The best advisers, helpers and friends, always are not those who tell us how to act in special cases, but who give us, out of themselves, the ardent spirit and desire to act right, and leave us then, even through many blunders, to find out what our own form of right action is
Books are but waste paper unless we spend in action the wisdom we get from thought.
The alternative to recalling and interpreting dreams is not always pleasant. Individuals cannot expect to drift forever. If they do not puzzle out their identity, and the direction of their lives by the aid of their dreams, then they may be brought, by the relentless action of their own pent-up souls, into some crisis which requires that they come to terms with themselves. It may be a medical crisis. It may be the end of a marriage or of a job. It may be depression or withdrawal.
Every action of our lives touches in some chord that will vibrate in eternity.
If the aim of the military action is an equivalent for the political object, that action will in general diminish as the political object diminishes. The more this object comes to the front, the more will this be so. This explains how, without self-contradiction, there can be wars of all degrees of importance and energy, from a war of extermination down to a mere state of armed observation.
War is an act of force, and to the application of that force there is no limit. Each of the adversaries forces the hand of the other, and a reciprocal action results which in theory can have no limit.
It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life and from use and disuse: a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms, Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and wonderful have been, and are being evolved.
The future of religion is connected with the possibility of developing a faith in the possibilities of human experience and human relationships that will create a vital sense of the solidarity of human interests and inspire action to make that sense a reality.
We cannot seek or attain health, wealth, learning, justice or kindness in general. Action is always specific, concrete, individualized, unique.
In all men, thought and action start from a single source, namely feeling.
Better to die in action than sitting still.
While others talked about what they would do if they heard that they had to die within that very hour, Saint Charles Borromaeus said he would continue his game of chess. For he had begun it only in honor of god, and he could wish for nothing better than to be called away in the midst of an action undertaken in the honor of God.
Not alone to know, but to act according to thy knowledge, is thy destination, proclaims the voice of thy inmost soul. Not for indolent contemplation and study of thyself, nor for brooding over emotions of piety - no, for action was existence given thee; thy actions, and thy actions alone, determine thy worth.
Nobody can think straight who does not work. Idleness warps the mind. Thinking without constructive action becomes a disease.
Religion is action not diction.
Indolence is a delightful but distressing state; we must be doing something to be happy. Action is no less necessary than thought to the instinctive tendencies of the human frame.
We crave freedom, but freedom is never an end in itself; it is a means to be used for further aims. Its value lies in the extent to which it can assist the development of life. To possess freedom with no life for which to use it is but the bitterest farce. Life never means complete freedom, and every action and relation is an added bond. Life is to be attained, not through a non-moral freedom of caprice, but through a glad welcoming and loyal fulfillment of every bond and obligation which comes in the daily path of life.
The men of action are, after all, only the unconscious instruments of the men of thought.