We have too many people who live without working, and we have altogether too many who work without living.
A slave has but one master; an ambitious man has as many masters as there are people who may be useful in bettering the position.
How many of us have been attracted to reason; first learned to think, to draw conclusions, to extract a moral from the follies of life, by some dazzling aphorism!
Out of the ashes of misanthropy benevolence rises again; we find many virtues where we had imagined all was vice, many acts of disinterested friendship where we had fancied all was calculation and fraud - and so gradually from the two extremes we pass to the proper medium; and, feeling that no human being is wholly good or wholly base, we learn that true knowledge of mankind which induces us to expect little and forgive much. The world cures alike the optimist and the misanthrope.
Idleness is the bane of body and mind, the nurse of naughtiness, the chief author of all mischief, one of the seven deadly sins, the cushion upon which the devil chiefly reposes, and a great cause not only of melancholy, but of many other diseases; for the mind is naturally active; and if it be not occupied about some honest business, it rushes into mischief or sinks into melancholy.
If adversity hath killed his thousands, prosperity hath killed his ten thousands; therefore adversity is to be preferred. The one deceives, the other instructs; the one is miserably happy, the other happily miserable; and therefore many philosophers have voluntarily sought adversity and commend it in their precepts.
The moment you can make a very simple discovery, viz., that obligation to God is your privilege, and is not imposed as a burden, your experience will teach you many things - that duty is liberty, that repentance is a release from sorrow, that sacrifice is gain, that humility is dignity, that the truth from that which you hide is a healing element that bathes your disordered life, and that even the penalties and terrors of God are the artillery only to protection to His realm.
Bereavement is a wound. It's like being very, very badly hurt... You will grieve and that is painful. And your grief will have many stages, but all of them will be healing. Little by little, you will be whole again. And you will be a stronger person. Just as a broken bone knits and becomes stronger than before, so will you.
Joy is indeed a precious quality which very few experience in their lives. The person who knows how to enjoy life will never grow old no matter how many years he can call his own. It is easy to be happy at specific times, but there is a certain art in being happy and contented every day.
Any path is only a path. There is no affront to yourself or others in dropping it if that is what your heart tells you to do. But your decision to keep on the path or to leave it must be free of fear and ambition. I warn you, look at every path closely and deliberately. Try it as many times as you think necessary. Then ask yourself and yourself alone one question. It is this: Does the path have a heart? Does this path have a heart is the only question. If it does, then the path is good. If it doesn't, it is of no use.
I extend the circle of real religion very widely. Many men fear God, and love God, and have sincere desire to serve him, whose views of religious truth are very imperfect, and in some points utterly false. But may not many such persons have a state of heart acceptable before God?
As the bosom of earth blooms again and again, having buried out of sight the dead leaves of autumn, and loosed the frosty bands of winter; so does the heart, in spite of all that melancholy poets write, feel many renewed springs and summers. It is a beautiful and a blessed world we live in, and whilst that life lasts, to lose the enjoyment of it is a sin.
All the great things are simple, and many can be expressed in a single word: freedom; justice; honor; duty; mercy; hope.
I have lived to know that the great secret of happiness is this; never suffer your energies to stagnate. The old adage of "too many irons in the fire," conveys an abominable lie. You cannot have too many - poker, tongs and all - keep them all going.
The happy gift of being agreeable seems to consist not in one, but in an assemblage of talents tending to communicate delight; and how many are there, who, by easy manners, sweetness of temper, and a variety of other undefinable qualities, possess the power of pleasing without any visible effort, without the aids of wit, wisdom, or learning, nay, as it should seem in their defiance; and this without appearing even to know that they possess it.
It is interesting to contemplate a tangled bank, clothed with many plants of many kinds, with birds singing on the bushes, with various insects flitting about, and with worms crawling through the damp earth, and to reflect that these elaborately constructed forms, so different from each other, and dependent upon each other in so complex a manner, have all been produced by laws acting around us. These laws, taken in the largest sense, being Growth with Reproduction; Inheritance which is almost implied by reproduction; Variability from the indirect and direct action of the conditions of life and from use and disuse: a Ratio of Increase so high as to lead to a Struggle for Life, and as a consequence to Natural Selection, entailing Divergence of Character and the Extinction of less-improved forms, Thus, from the war of nature, from famine and death, the most exalted object which we are capable of conceiving, namely, the production of the higher animals, directly follows. There is grandeur in this view of life, with its several powers, having been originally breathed by the Creator into a few forms or into one; and that, whilst this planet has gone cycling on according to the fixed law of gravity, from so simple a beginning endless forms most beautiful and wonderful have been, and are being evolved.
Calumny is like counterfeit money; many people who would not coin it circulate it without qualms.
One watch set right will do to set many by; one that goes wrong may be the means of misleading a whole neighborhood; and the same may be said of example.
Great opportunities come to all, but many do not know they have met them. The only preparation to take advantage of them, is simple fidelity to what each day brings.
When I want to discover something, I begin by reading up everything that has been done along that line in the past, that's is what all these books in the library are for. I see what has been accomplished at great labor and expense in the past. I gather the data of many thousands of experiments as a starting point, and then I make thousands of more.