Quiet and sincere sympathy is often the most welcome and efficient consolation to the afflicted. Said a wise man to one in deep sorrow, "I did not come to comfort you; God only can do that; but I did come to say how deeply and tenderly I feel for you in your affliction."
A person’s soul has a spark of divinity. Forgetting one’s lofty identity, one might pick up major faults and bad habits. Therefore remember at all times that you are a child of the great King and it is not befitting to act in a lowly and degrading manner.
By academic freedom I understand the right to search for truth and to publish and teach what one holds to be true. This right implies also a duty: one must not conceal any part of what one has recognized to be true.
Sometimes one pays most for the things one gets for nothing.
Strange is our situation here upon earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to divine a purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men - above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy. Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received. My peace of mind is often troubled by the depressing sense that I have borrowed too heavily from the work of other men.
Only those who know the supremacy of the intellectual life - the life which has a seed of ennobling thought and purpose within it - can understand the grief of one who falls from the serene activity into the absorbing soul wasting struggle.
The reward of one duty is the power to fulfill another.
Young love-making - that gossamer web!... The web itself is made of spontaneous beliefs and indefinable joys, yearnings of one life towards another, visions of completeness, indefinite trust.
To be a leader of men one must turn one's back on men.
There is no heart without remorse, no life without some misfortune, no one but what is something stained with sin.
From its first day to this, sheer greed was the driving spirit of civilization; wealth and again wealth and once more wealth, wealth, not of society, but of the single scurvy individual - here was its one and final aim.
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.
The mixing bowl of friendship, the love of one for the other, must be tempered. Love must not touch the marrow of the soul. Our affections must be breakable chains that we can cast them off or tighten them.
Though a hundred crooked paths may conduct to a temporary success, the one plain and straight path of public and private virtue can alone lead to a pure and lasting fame and the blessings of posterity.
Man can never escape the ideal or absolute; he can merely exchange one absolute for another. He can ignore anything beyond his needs only by making an ideal out of the fulfillment of his needs themselves. In short, man cannot be an animal; he can only be a philosopher or anthropologist who asserts that men are animals and ought to live like them. It is not necessary to point out that this is just to set up another absolute.
We have in America the largest public school system on earth, the most expensive college buildings, the most extensive curriculum, but nowhere else is education so blind to its objectives, so indifferent to any specific outcome as in America. One trouble has been its negative character. It has aimed at the repression of faults rather than the creation of virtues.
Laziness is the one common deficiency in mankind that blocks the establishment of a perfect world in which everyone leads a happy life.
There is no one subsists by himself alone.
There is no more dangerous illusion than the fancies by which people try to avoid illusion. It is imagination which leads us astray; and the certainty which we seek through imagination, feeling, and taste, is one of the most dangerous sources from which fanaticism springs.
What sort of philosophy one chooses depends, therefore, on what sort of man one is; for a philosophical system is not a dead piece of furniture that we can reject or accept as we wish; it is rather a thing animated by the soul of the person who holds it. A person indolent by nature or dulled and distorted by mental servitude, learned luxury, and vanity will never raise himself to the level of idealism.