It has always struck me that there is a far greater distinction between man and man than between many men and most other animals.
There would not be so many open mouths if there were not so many open ears.
Religion presents few difficulties to the humble; many to the proud; insuperable ones to the vain.
Some people carry their hearts in their heads; very many carry their heads in their hearts. The difficulty is to keep them apart, yet both actively working together.
Virtue has many preachers, but few martyrs.
In general, one cannot judge the true extent of a person’s fortune by outward appearances. The little a righteous man has may be far better than the noisy abundance in which many lawless delight. The modest possessions of a righteous man make him much happier than the great fortunes of many evildoers about which so much ado is made in the world.
Too many promises lessen confidence.
Consumption, celebrity and the quest for perfection in this world are all subject to the law of diminishing returns: each successive acquisition and achievement will mean less than the one before. Diminishing returns are finally leading to diminished expectations about the promise of finding happiness without caring for our souls. Perhaps we are now ready to reject the hucksters of materialisms that have lured us down so many dead ends, and start again on the road that will lead us back to God.
The mere reality of life would be inconceivably poor without the charm of fancy, which brings in its bosom, no doubt, as many vain fears as idle hopes, but lends much oftener to the illusions it calls up a gay flattering hue than one which inspires terror.
All ills spring from some vice, either in ourselves or others; and even many of our diseases proceed from the same origin. Remove the vices, and the ills follow. You must only take care to remove all the vices. If you remove part, you may render the matter worse. By banishing vicious luxury, without curing sloth and an indifference to others, you only diminish industry in the state, and add nothing to men’s charity or their generosity.
Faith is a pre-condition of all systematic knowing, all purposive doing and all decent living. Societies are held together, not primarily by the fear of the many for the coercive power of the few, but by a widespread faith in the other fellow’s decency.
Our current neglect of Law is yet another of the many indications that twentieth-century educators have ceased to be concerned with questions of ultimate truth or meaning and (apart from mere vocational training) are interested solely in the dissemination of a rootless and irrelevant culture, and the fostering of the solemn foolery of scholarship for scholarship’s sake.
He who thinks much says but little in proportion to his thoughts. He selects that language which will convey his ideas in the most explicit and direct manner. He tries to compress as much thought as possible into a few words. On the contrary, the man who talks everlastingly and promiscuously, who seems to have an exhaustless magazine of sound crowds so many words into his thoughts that he always obscures, and very frequently conceals them.
If you love knowledge, you will be a master of knowledge. What you have come to know, pursue by exercise; what you have not learned, seek to add to your knowledge, for it is as reprehensible to hear a profitable saying and not grasp it as to be offered a good gift by one's friends and not accept it. Believe that many precepts are better than much wealth , for wealth quickly fails us, but precepts abide through all time.
In the practical use of our intellect, forgetting is as important as remembering... A great many people think they are thinking when they are rearranging their prejudices... the difference between a good man and a bad one is the choice of cause.
Our thought, incessantly deciding, among many things of a kind, which ones for it shall be realities, here chooses one of many possible selves or characters, and forthwith reckons it no shame to fail in any of those not adopted expressly as its own.
One of the most useless of all things is to take a deal of trouble in providing against dangers that never come. How many toil to lay up riches which they never enjoy; to provide for exigencies that never happen; to prevent troubles that never come; sacrificing present comfort and enjoyment in guarding against the wants of a period they may never live to see.
A good name, like good will, is got by many actions and lost by one.
The psyche is not of today. Its ancestry goes back many millions of years. Individual consciousness is only the flower and fruit of a season, sprung from the perennial root beneath the earth.
We are constantly repeating messages in our minds. If they are negative: “I’m a failure,” “The world is an awful place,” “Nothing ever goes right,” we make our lives miserable. We have the ability to consciously make an effort to repeat to our selves positive messages: “I have the ability to keep improving,” “The world contains many wonderful opportunities,” “Everything that happens to me can be used for growth”... Little by little they will have a positive effect on your personality and emotions.