My will does not produce the motive power to move my limbs. Rather, he who imparted motion to matter, and ordained its laws, shaped my will also; he thus joined together two utterly different things - the movement of matter and the decision of my will in such a way that whenever my will desires some action, the desired bodily movement will occur and vice versa, without there being any causation involved, or any influence of the one upon the other. It is just as if there were two clocks appropriately adjusted with reference to each other and the time of day in such a way that when one struck the hour the other immediately did likewise.
He who every morning plans the transactions of the day and follows out the plan carries a thread that will guide him through the labyrinth of the most busy life. The orderly arrangement of his time is like a ray of life which darts itself through all his occupations. But where no plan is laid, where the disposal of time is surrendered merely to the chance of incident, chaos will soon reign.
We can act as if there were a God; feel as if we were free; consider Nature as if she were full of special designs; lay plans as if we were to be immortal; and we find then that these words do make a genuine difference in our moral life.
The time-man in us does not know now. He is always preparing something in the future, or busy with what happened in the past... All decisions that belong to the life in time, to success, to business, comfort, are about ‘tomorrow’. All decisions about the right thing to do, about how to act, are about tomorrow. It is only what is done in now that counts, and this is a decision always about oneself and with oneself, even though its effect may touch other people’s lives ‘tomorrow’. Now is spiritual... Spiritual values have nothing to do with time.
A moral decision is the loneliest thing that exists. Knowledge is shed abroad everywhere. Anybody may dip his cup into that great sea and take out what he can. It is a public appropriation from a public store. But what the man himself must do as a moral being, what ordering he shall make of his life, what allegiance he shall choose, what cause he shall cleave to - this is decided in that solitude where his soul in authentic presence lives with no other companion than the Final Authority which he recognizes as supreme.
Repose is agreeable to the human mind; and decision is repose. A man has made up his opinions; he does not choose to be disturbed; and he is much more thankful to the man who confirms him in his errors, and leaves him alone, than he is to the man who refutes him, or who instructs him at the expense of his tranquillity.
While an open mind is priceless, it is priceless only when its owner has the courage to make a final decision which closes the mind for action after the process of viewing all sides of the question has been completed. Failure to make a decision after due consideration of all the facts will quickly brand a man unfit for a position of responsibility. Not all of your decisions will be correct. None of us is perfect. But if you get into the habit of making decisions, experience will develop your judgment to a point where more and more of your decisions will be right. After all, it is better to be right 51 percent of the time and get something done, than it is to get nothing done because you fear to reach a decision.
Action | Better | Consideration | Courage | Decision | Experience | Failure | Fear | Habit | Judgment | Man | Mind | Nothing | Position | Question | Responsibility | Right | Time | Will | Wisdom | Failure |
There is no hate without fear. Hate is crystallized fear, fear's dividend, fear objectivises. We hate what we fear and so where hate is, fear is lurking. Thus we hate what threatens our person, our liberty, our privacy, our income, popularity, vanity and our dreams and plans for ourselves. If we can isolate this element in what we hate we may learn to cease from hating.
The benefit of proverbs, or maxims, is that they separate those who act on principle from those who act on impulse; and they lead to promptness and decision in acting. Their value deepens on four things; do they embody correct principles; are they on important subjects; what is the extent, and what is the ease of their application?
In the long run, the only limits to the technological growth of a society are internal. A society has always the option of limiting its growth, either by conscious decision or by stagnation or by disinterest. A society in which these internal limits are absent may continue its growth forever.