Ideals

In many spiritual traditions there is only one important question to answer, and that question is: Who am I? When we begin to answer it, we are filled with images and ideals – the negative images of ourselves that we wish to change and perfect and the positive images of some great spiritual potential – yet the path is not so much about changing ourselves as it is about listening to the fundamentals of our being.

Cherish your visions; cherish your ideals; cherish the music that stirs in your heart, the beauty that forms in your mind, the loveliness that drapes your purest thoughts, for out of them will grow all delightful conditions, all heavenly environment; of these, if you but remain true to them, your world will at last be built... Dreams are the seedlings of reality.

If you wish to learn the highest ideals, begin with the alphabet.

There is only one thing that remains to us, that cannot be taken away: to act with courage and dignity and to stick to the ideals that have given meaning to life.

The willingness to harm or hurt comes ultimately out of fear. Non-harming requires that you see your own fears and that you understand them and own them. Owning them means taking responsibility for them. Taking responsibility means not letting fear completely dictate your vision or your view. Only mindfulness completely dictate your vision or your view. Only mindfulness of our own clinging and rejecting, and a willingness to grapple with these mind states, however painful the encounter, can free us from this circle of suffering. Without a daily embodiment in practice, lofty ideals tend to succumb to self-interest.

When the world seems large and complex, we need to remember that great world ideals all begin in some home neighborhood.

What are the American ideals? They are the development of the individual through liberty and the attainment of the common good through democracy and social justice.

If I do not acquire ideals when I'm young, when will I? Not when I'm old.

In this possibly terminal phase of human existence, democracy and freedom are more than just ideals to be valued - they may be essential to survival.

You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements.

The most essential requirement for a happy marriage is soul unity - similarity of spiritual ideals and goals, implemented by a practical willingness to attain those goals by study, effort, and self-discipline.

The ideals men die for often become the prejudices their descendants kill for.

Ideals are ideas or beliefs when these are objects not only of contemplation or affirmation but also of hope, desire, endeavor, admiration and resolve.

I conceive the essential task of religion to be to develop the consciences, the ideals, and the aspirations of mankind.

The purpose of science is to develop, without prejudice or preconception of any kind, a knowledge of the facts, the laws, and the processes of nature. The even more important task of religion, on the other hand, is to develop the conscience, the ideals, and the aspirations of mankind.

Nobody grows old by merely living a number of years; people grow old by deserting their ideals.

Youth is not a time of life, it is a state of mind, it is not a matter of rosy cheeks, red lips and supple knees; it is a matter of the will, a quality of the imagination, a vigor of the emotions; it is the freshness off the deep springs of life. Youth means the temperamental predominance of courage over timidity, of the appetite for adventure over the love of ease. This often exists in a man of sixty more than a boy of twenty. Nobody grows old merely by a number of years. We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul. Worry, fear, self-distrust bows the heart and turns the spirit back to dust. Whether sixty or sixteen, there is in every human being's heart the lure of wonder, the unfailing childlike appetite of what's next, and the joy of the game of living.

A man's usefulness depends upon his living up to his ideals insofar as he can. It is hard to fail but it is worse never to have tried to succeed. All daring and courage, all iron endurance of misfortune, make for a finer, nobler type of manhood. Only those are fit to live who do not fear to die, and none are fit to die who have shrunk from the joy of the life and the duty of life.

Whether or not the philosophers care to admit that we have a soul, it seems obvious that we are equipped with something or other which generates dreams and ideals, and which sets up values.

The ideals of yesterday are the truths of today.