Challenge

To be human is to be challenged to be more divine. Not even to try to meet such a challenge is the biggest defeat imaginable.

The moral challenge is to carry out our pursuits with character, to treat ethics as a ground rule, not an option, even when the standards of ethics impede our ability to get what we want.

Of all the virtues we can learn no trait is more useful, more essential for survival, and more likely to improve the quality of life than the ability to transform adversity into an enjoyable challenge.

If you are kind, people may accuse you of selfish, ulterior motives; be kind anyway.
If you are successful, you will win some false friends and true enemies; succeed anyway.
If you are honest and frank, people may cheat you; be honest and frank anyway.
If you find serenity and happiness, they may be jealous; be happy anyway.
The good you do today, people will often forget tomorrow; do good anyway…
You see, in the final analysis, it is between you and God; it was never between you and them anyway.

Man must understand his universe in order to understand his destiny. Mystery, however, is a very necessary ingredient in our lives. Mystery creates wonder and wonder is the basis for man’s desire to understand. Who knows what mysteries will be solved in our lifetime, and what new riddles will become the challenge of the new generations? Science has not mastered prophesy. We predict too much for next year yet far too little for the next ten. Responding to challenge is one of democracy’s great strengths. Our successes in space lead us to hope that this strength can be used in the next decade in the solution of many of our planet’s problems.

We speak here of the challenge of the dichotomies of war and peace, violence and non-violence, racism and human dignity, oppression and repression and liberty and human rights, poverty and freedom from want.

Crisis is creative... Out of crises flow new ideas, new approaches, new patterns, new inventions, new discoveries, new leadership... Crisis is challenge. It can challenge you to create a new life. Out of disappointment and defeat, out of illness and despair you can find victory.

The key to the art of listening is selectivity... Listen critically. Mentally challenge assertions, ideas, philosophies. Seek the truth with an open mind. Listen with your heart... Listen for growth. Be an inquisitive listener. Listen creatively... Listen to yourself. Listen to your deepest yearnings, your highest aspirations, your noblest impulses. Listen to the better man within you. Listen with depth. Be still and meditate. Listen with the ear of intuition for the inspiration of the Infinite.

You can’t pursue happiness and catch it. Happiness come upon you unawares while you are helping others... Happiness does not depend upon a full pocketbook, but upon a mind full of rich thoughts and a heart full of rich emotions. Happiness does not depend upon what happens outside of you but on what happens inside of you; it is measured by the spirit in which you meet the problems of life. Happiness is a state of mind... Happiness doesn’t come from doing what we like to do but from liking what we have to do... Happiness grows out of harmonious relationships with others, based on attitudes of good will, tolerance, understanding and love... The master secret of happiness is to meet the challenge of each new day with the serene faith that: “All things work together for good to them that love God.”

Creation is a continuing process... One meaning of our life, then, is the opportunity and challenge it presents to us for participation in the continuous process of creation - through discussion and cooperative work rather than conflict.

This autonomy of man, this attempt of the Ego to understand itself out of itself, is the lie concerning man which we call sin. The truth about man is that his ground is not in himself but in God -- that his essence is not in self sufficient reason but in the Word, in the challenge of God, in responsibility, not in self-sufficiency. The true being of man is realized when he bases himself upon God's Word. Faith is then not an impossibility or a salto mortale [mortal leap], but that which is truly natural; and the real salto mortale (a mortal leap indeed!) is just the assertion of autonomy, self-sufficiency, God-likeness. [It is] through this usurped independence [that] man separates himself from God, and at the same time isolates himself from his fellows. Individualism is the necessary consequence of rational autonomy, just as love is the necessary consequence of faith.

The idea of brotherhood redawns upon the world with a broader significance than the narrow association of members in a sect or creed; and thinkers of great soul like Lessing challenge the world to say which is more godlike, the hatred and tooth-and-nail grapple of conflicting religions, or sweet accord and mutual helpfulness. Ancient prejudice of man against his brother-man wavers and retreats before the radiance of a more generous sentiment, which will not sacrifice men to forms, or rob them of the comfort and strength they find in their own beliefs. The heresy of one age becomes the orthodoxy of the next. Mere tolerance has given place to a sentiment of brotherhood between sincere men of all denominations.

The first question to be answered by any individual or any social group, facing a hazardous situation, is whether the crisis is to be met as a challenge to strength or as an occasion for despair.

The term "just war" contains an internal contradiction. War is inherently unjust, and the great challenge of our time is how to deal with evil, tyranny, and oppression without killing huge numbers of people.

There is never time in the future in which we will work out our salvation. The challenge is in the moment; the time is always now.

There is no greater leadership challenge than parenting.

Diversity of stimulation means novelty, and novelty means challenge to thought. The more activity is restricted to a few definite lines-as it is when there are rigid class lines preventing adequate interplay of experiences-the more action tends to become routine on the part of the class at a disadvantage, and capricious, aimless, and explosive on the part of the class having the materially fortunate position.

What makes people smart, curious, alert, observant, competent, confident, resourceful, persistent - in the broadest and best sense, intelligent- is not having access to more and more learning places, resources, and specialists, but being able in their lives to do a wide variety of interesting things that matter, things that challenge their ingenuity, skill, and judgement, and that make an obvious difference in their lives and the lives of people around them.

It is an inherent weakness of religion not to take offense at the segregation of God, to forget that the true sanctuary has no walls... It has often done more to canonize prejudices than to wrestle for truth; to petrify the sacred than to sanctify the secular. Yet the task of religion is to be a challenge to the stabilization of values.

Not only should we be unashamed of grief, confident that its expression will not permanently hurt us, but we should also possess the wisdom to talk about our loss and through that creative conversation with friends and companions begin to reconstruct the broken fragments of our lives... should not resist the sympathy and stimulation of social interaction. We should learn not to grow impatient with the slow healing process of time . . . We should anticipate these stages in our emotional convalescence: unbearable pain, poignant grief, empty days, resistance to consolation, disinterestedness in life, gradually giving way under the healing sunlight of love,friendship, social challange, to the new weaving of a pattern of action and the acceptance of the irresistible challenge of life.