To do good in return for evil, to love your enemy, is a height of morality to which it may be doubted whether the social instincts would, by themselves, have ever led us.
We believe at once in evil; we only believe in good upon reflection. Is not this sad?
We cannot do evil to others without doing it to ourselves.
Preventives of evil are far better than remedies; cheaper and easier of application, and surer of result.
The influences of little things are as real, and as constantly about us, as the air we breathe or the light by which we see. These are the small - the often invisible - the almost unthought of strands, which are inweaving and twisting by millions, to bind us to character - to good or evil here, and to heaven or hell hereafter.
The real problem is in the hearts and minds of men. It is not a problem of physics but of ethics. It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit in man.
Goodness can be taught, and any man who knows what goodness is knows evil too, because he judges from the good.
Inside the souls of wealthy men bleak famine lives while minds of stature struggle trapped in starving bodies. How then can man distinguish man, what test can he use? The test of wealth? That measure means poverty of mind; of poverty? The pauper owns one thing, the sickness of his condition, a compelling teacher of evil; by nerve in war? Yet who, when a spear is cast across his face, will stand to witness his companion’s courage? We can only toss our judgments random on the wind.
Sordid and infamous sensuality , the most dreadful evil that issued from the box of Pandora, corrupts every heart, and eradicates every virtue.
Let no man be sorry he has done good, because others concerned with him have done evil! If a man has acted right, he has done well, though alone; if wrong, the sanction of all mankind will not justify him.
We should not be too hasty in bestowing either our praise or censure on mankind, since we shall often find such a mixture of good and evil in the same character, that it may require a very accurate judgment and a very elaborate inquiry to determine on which side the balance turns.
Good is all that serves life, evil is all that serves death. Good is reverence for life...and all that enhances life. Evil is all that stifles life, narrows it down, cuts it to pieces... Dostoevsky said, "If there is no God, then anything is possible." I would say that if there is no love, nothing is possible. Man absolutely cannot live by himself... Uniformity and freedom are incompatible. Uniformity and mental health are incompatible.
Our character is but the stamp on our souls of the free choices of good and evil we have made through life.
All the evil in the world is the fault of the self-styled pure in heart, a result of their eagerness to unearth secrets and expose them to the light of the sun.
Pain and pleasure, good and evil, come to us from unexpected sources. It is not there where we have gathered up our brightest hopes, that the dawn of happiness breaks. It is not there where we have glanced our eye with affright, that we find the deadliest gloom. What should this teach use? To bow to the great and only Source of light, and live humbly and with confiding resignation.
To bear up under loss; to fight the bitterness of defeat and the weakness of grief; to be victor over anger, to smile when tears are close; to resist disease and evil men and base instincts; to hate hate and to love love; to go on when it would seem good to die; to look up with unquenchable faith in something ever more about to be - that is what any man can do, and be great.
There are three kinds of silence. Silence from words is good, because inordinate speaking tends to evil. Silence, or rest from desires and passions is still better, because it promotes quietness of spirit. But the best of all is silence from unnecessary and wandering thoughts, because that is essential to internal recollection, and because it lays a foundation for a proper reputation and for silence in other respects.
Enthusiasm is an evil much less to be dreaded than superstition. Superstition is the disease of nations; enthusiasm that of individuals; the former grows inveterate by time; the latter is cured by it.
Neutrality in things good or evil is both odious and prejudicial; but in matters of an indifferent nature is safe and commendable. Herein taking of parts maketh sides, and breaketh unity. In an unjust cause of separation, he that favoreth both parts may perhaps have least love of either side, but hath most charity in himself.
Never put much confidence in such as put no confidence in others. A man prone to suspect evil is mostly looking in his neighbor for what he sees in himself. As to the pure all things are pure, even so to the impure all things are impure.