I consider it a mark of great prudence in a man to abstain from threats or any contemptuous expressions, for neither of these weaken the enemy, but threats make him more cautious, and the other excites his hatred, and a desire to revenge himself.
Whatever satisfies souls is true; prudence entirely satisfies the craving and glut of souls, itself only finally satisfies the soul, the soul has that measureless pride which revolts from every lesson but its own.
The melancholy prudence of the abandonment of such a great being as a man is to the toss and pallor of years of money making with all their scorching days and icy nights... is the great fraud upon modern civilization.
Old age likes to dwell in the recollections of the past, and, mistaking the speedy march of years, often is inclined to take the prudence of the winter time for a fit wisdom of midsummer days. Manhood is bent to the passing cares of the passing moment, and holds so closely to his eyes the sheet of “to-day,” that it screens the “to-morrow” from his sight.
Every year that I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the love we have not given, the powers we have not given, the power we have not used, the selfish prudence which will risk nothing, and which, shirking pain, misses happiness as well.
Education should be constructed on two bases: morality and prudence. Morality in order to assist virtue, and prudence in order to defend you against the vices of others. In tipping the scales toward morality, you merely produce dupes and martyrs. In tipping it the other way, you produce egotistical schemers.
Every day I live I am more convinced that the waste of life lies in the love we have not given, the powers we have not used, the selfish prudence that will risk nothing and which, shirking pain, misses happiness as well.
If things are ever to move upward, someone must be ready to take the first step, and assume the risk of it. No one who is not willing to try charity, to try nonresistance as the saint is always willing, can tell whether these methods will or will not succeed. When they do succeed, they are far more powerfully successful than force or worldly prudence. Force destroys enemies; and the best that can be said of prudence is that it keeps what we already have in safety. But nonresistance, when successful, turns enemies into friends; and charity regenerates its objects.
The peace of God is peace within ourselves. The unrest of human life comes largely from our being torn asunder by contending impulses. Conscience pulls this way, passion that. Desire says, “Do this”; reason, judgment, prudence say “It is your peril if you do!” One desire fights against another. And so the man is rent asunder. There must be the harmonizing of all the being if there is to be real rest of spirit.