Educate your children of self-control, to the habit of holding passion and prejudice and evil tendencies subject to an upright and reasoning will, and you have done much to abolish misery from their future lives and crimes from society.
It is not good to speak of evil of all whom we know bad; it is worse to judge evil of any who may prove good. To speak ill upon knowledge shows a want of charity; to speak ill upon suspicion shows a want of honesty. I will not speak so bad as I know of many; I will not speak worse than I know of any. To know evil of others and not speak it, is sometimes discretion; to speak evils of others and not know it, is always dishonesty. He may be evil himself who speaks good of others upon knowledge, but he can never be good himself who speaks evil of others upon suspicion.
Too many follow example rather than precept; but it is safer to learn rather from precept than example. Man a wise teacher does not follow his own teaching; for it is easier to say, do this, than to do it. If then I see good doctrine with an evil life, though I pity the last, I will follow the first. Good sayings belong to all; evil actions only to their authors.
An hour's industry will do more to produce cheerfulness, suppress evil humors, and retrieve one's affairs, that a month's moaning. It sweetens enjoyment, and seasons our attainments with a delightful relish.
Without Contraries is no progression. Attraction and Repulsion, Reason, and Energy, Love and hate, are necessary to Human existence. From these contraries spring what the religious call Good and Evil. Good is the passive that obeys Reason. Evil is the active springing from Energy. Good is Heaven. Evil is Hell.
The chief evil of war is more evil. War is the concentration of all human crimes. Here is its distinguishing, accursed brand. Under its standard gather violence, malignity, rage, fraud, perfidy, rapacity, and lust. If it only slew man, it would do little. It turns man into a beast of prey.
He that resolves upon any great and good end, has, by the very resolution, scaled the chief barrier to it. He will find such resolution removing difficulties, searching out or making means, giving courage for despondency, and strength for weakness and like the star to the wise men of old, ever guiding him nearer and nearer to perfection.
Keep clear of personalities in conversation. Talk of things, objects, thoughts. The smallest minds occupy themselves with persons. Do not needlessly report ill of others. As far as possible, dwell on the good side of human beings. There are family boards where a constant process of depreciating, assigning motives, and cutting up character goes forward. They are not pleasant places. One who is healthy does not wish to dine at a dissecting table. There is evil enough in man, God knows. But it is not the mission of every young man and woman to detail and report it all. Keep the atmosphere as pure as possible, and fragrant with gentleness and charity.