Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.
Humor simultaneously wounds and heals, indicts and pardons, diminishes and enlarges; it constitutes inner growth at the expense of outer gain, and those who possess and honestly practice it make themselves more through a willingness to make themselves less.
Anyone who works on self-improvement will find faults. An honest look at ourselves will show we are not on as high a spiritual level as we thought. Do not be excessively upset about this for it is a universal experience and should not disturb your peace of mind to the degree it will prevent you from further growth.
Every aspect of our lives is a challenge and a test. With this perspective, life will never be boring or mundane. Every single situation and occurrence is different from each other and each is an opportunity for elevation and growth.
Every occurrence and situation in our lives can be utilized for elevation and growth. When a person’s main focus is growth, he will be able to have peace of mind regardless of what the specific situation is.
Perhaps we scarcely notice that in every direction our natural understanding leads us to nothing. We come either to contradiction or to the unknown... We do not think of the growth of a seed in our world in the same way. We cannot imitate growth. Growth is from ‘inside’. Higher dimensions enter our world from inside, from the direction of the most minute.
Life is an instinct for growth, for survival, for the accumulation of forces, for power.
The growth of wisdom may be gauged exactly by the diminution of ill-temper.
The pearl-oyster that contains the precious pearl is in itself of very little value, but it is essential for the growth of the pearl. The shell itself may prove to be of no use to the man who has got the pearl. So ceremonies and rites may not be necessary for him who has attained the Highest Truth - God.
For centuries and centuries the world has been struggling to divide up economic scarcity, and for the first time we have the tools of abundance with which to meet mankind's basic economic and material needs. If we will use these tools intelligently, with a sense of social and moral responsibility, they will enable us to solve mankind's basic material needs. Then we can devote greater time and energy and effort to the facilitation of man's growth as a social and cultural and spiritual being, which is the real meaning of life on this earth.
Since truthfulness, as a conscious virtue and sacrifice, is the blossom, nay, the pollen, of the whole moral growth, it can only grow with its growth, and open when it has reached its height.
A person who makes his happiness dependent on material or physical pleasures will never be guaranteed happiness. There is always something that might happen to destroy his happiness and success. The only guarantee for happiness is to find happiness in spiritual growth.
Education comes to us from nature, from men, or from things. The inner growth of our organs and faculties is the education of nature, the use we learn to make of this growth is the education of men, what we gain by our experience of our surroundings is the education of things. Thus we are each taught by three masters. If their teaching conflicts, the scholar is ill-educated and will never be at peace with himself; if their teaching agrees, he goes straight to his goal, he lives at peace with himself, he is well-educated.
Growth is a never-ending process that can be accomplished under the most adverse circumstances. Growth can be achieved from one's attempts to... "Go for the perfect try."
The spirit of self-help is the root of all genuine growth in the individual; and, exhibited in the lives of many, it constitutes the true source of national vigor and strength. Help from without is often enfeebling in its effects, but help from within invariably invigorates.
For souls in growth, great quarrels are great emancipators.
There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of trail and error: experimentation. The 'failed' experiments are as much a part of the process as the experiment that ultimately 'works.'
When we accept any discipline for ourselves, we try to avoid everything except that which is necessary for our purpose; it is this purposefulness, which belongs to the adult mind, that we force upon school children. We say, “Never keep your mind alert, attend to what is before you, what has been given you.” This tortures the child because it contradicts nature’s purpose, and nature, the greatest of all teachers, is thwarted at every step by the human teacher who believes in machine-made lessons rather than life lessons, so that the growth of the child’s mind is not only injured, but forcibly spoiled.
The physical loss is not sufficient for mourning. Purely on a physical level what would a person gain if he lived many more years? What is the ultimate gain in devouring hundreds more chickens and thousands more loaves of bread? What is the overall difference if the deceased left all this to others? The Torah obligates us to mourn to emphasize the loss of the true value of life; which is the spiritual elevation a person could have gained if he were still alive. The Almighty placed him on this earth for this purpose. The person’s death should remind the mourners to fill their lives with the spiritual growth that they are capable of.
Our whole free dynamic society’s future depends upon a continued growth of our sense of responsibility and morality in direct proportion to the increase in our material wealth.