Great Throughts Treasury

A database of quotes

Deeds

"Success depends on faith and good deeds... not upon the knowledge of the proofs which lead to them." - Isaac Abravanel, fully Don Itshak ben Yehouda Abravanel

"It's what each of us sows, and how, that gives to us character and prestige. Seeds of kindness, goodwill, and human understanding, planted in fertile soil, spring up into deathless friendships, big deeds of worth, and a memory that will not soon fade out. We are all sowers of seeds - and let us never forget it!" - George Matthew Adams

"Sentiment and principle are often mistaken for each other, though, in fact, they widely differ. Sentiment is the virtue of ideas; principle the virtue of action. Sentiment has its seat in the had; principle, in the heart. Sentiment suggest fine harangues and subtle distinctions; principle conceives just notions, and performs good actions in consequence of them. Sentiment refines away the simplicity of truth, and the plainness of piety; and "gives us virtue in words, and vice in deeds."" - Hugh Blair

"Piety and selfless deeds elevate the inhabitants of this earth to exalted spiritual estates... self-serving acts reduce them to the realms beneath, of sorrow and pain, rebirths among birds and vermin, or out of the wombs of pigs and beasts of the wild, or among trees. Action is a function of character, which in turn is controlled by custom. This is the whole substance of the secret. This knowledge is the ferry across the ocean of hell to beatitude. For all the animate and inanimate objects in this world... are transitory, like dream. The gods on high, the mute trees and stones, are but apparitions in the fantasy. Good and evil attaching to a person are perishable as bubbles. In the cycles of time they alternate. The wise are attached to neither." - Brahma-Vaivarta Purana NULL

"On life's journey faith is nourishment, virtuous deeds are a shelter, wisdom is the light by day and right mindfulness is the protection by night. If a man lives a pure life nothing can destroy him; if he has conquered greed nothing can limit his freedom." - Buddha, Gautama Buddha, or The Buddha, also Gotama Buddha, Siddhārtha Gautama Buddha and Buddha Śākyamuni NULL

"There are two lives to each of us, the life of our actions, and the life of our minds and hearts. History reveals men's deeds and their outward characters, but not themselves. There is a secret self that has its own life, unpenetrated and unguessed." -

"Write your name in kindness, love, and mercy on the hearts of thousands you come in contact with year by year, and you will never be forgotten. Your name and your good deeds will shine as the stars of heaven." - Allan Chalmers, fully Allan Knight Chalmers

"Enthusiasm is a virtue rarely to be met with in seasons of calm and unruffled prosperity.—It flourishes in adversity, kindles in the hour of danger, and awakens to deeds of renown.—The terrors of persecution only serve to quicken the energy of its purposes.—It swells in proud integrity, and, great in the purity of its cause, it can scatter defiance amidst hosts of enemies." - Thomas Chalmers

"Live for something. Do good, and leave behind you a monument of virtue that the storm of time can never destroy. Write you name, in kindness, love, and mercy, on the hearts of thousands you come in contact with year by year; you will never be forgotten. No, your name, your deeds, will be as legible on the hearts you leave behind as the stars on the brow of evening. Good deeds will shine as the stars of heaven." - Thomas Chalmers

"Thousands of men breathe, move, and live, pass off the stage of life, and are heard of no more. Why? they do not partake of good in the world, and none were blessed by them; none could point to them as the means of their redemption; not a line they wrote, not a word they spake, could be recalled; and so they perished: their light went out in darkness, and they were not remembered more than insects of yesterday. Will you thus live and die, O man immortal? Live for something. Do good, and leave behind you a monument of virtue that the storm of time can never destroy. Write your name, in kindness, love, and mercy, on the hearts of thousands you come in contact with year by year: you will never be forgotten. No! your name, your deeds, will be as legible on the hearts you leave behind you as the stars on the brow of evening. Good deeds will shine as the stars of heaven." - Thomas Chalmers

"He whose deeds exceed his wisdom, his wisdom shall endure; but he whose wisdom exceeds his deeds, his wisdom will not endure." - Rabbi Chanina Bar Chama NULL

"How often a new affection makes a new man! The sordid, cowering soul turns heroic. The frivolous girl becomes the steadfast martyr of patience and ministration, transfigured by deathless love. The career of bounding impulses turns into an anthem of sacred deeds." - Edwin Hubbell Chapin

"The joy that is lasting and grows continuously is the joy of performing good deeds." - Y. Eibeschuetz

"I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker in this cause. The example of great and pure personages is the only thing that can lead us to fine ideas and noble deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and always irresistibly tempts its owners to abuse it." - Albert Einstein

"Simplicity is the straightforwardness of a soul which refuses itself any reaction with regard to itself or its deeds. This virtue differs from and surpasses sincerity. We see many people who are sincere without being simple. They do not wish to be taken for other than what they are; but they are always fearing lest they should be taken for what they are not." - François Fénelon, fully Francois de Salignac de la Mothe-Fénelon

"The effects of our actions may be postponed but they are never lost. There is an inevitable reward for good deeds and an inescapable punishment for bad. Meditate upon this truth, and seek always to earn good wages from Destiny." - Wu Ming Fu

"Great names stand not alone for great deeds; they stand also for great virtues, and, doing them worship, we elevate ourselves." - Henry Giles

"It is much easier to think right without doing right, than to do right without thinking right. Just thoughts may, and often do, fail of producing just deeds; but just deeds are sure to get just thoughts. The clearest understanding can do little in purifying an impure heart, the strongest little in straightening a crooked one. You cannot reason or talk an Augean stable into cleanliness. A single day's work would make more progress in such a task than a century's words." - Julius Charles Hare (1795-1855) and his brother Augustus William Hare

"The meaning of man's life lies in his perfecting the universe. He has to distinguish, father and redeem the sparks of holiness scattered throughout the darkness of the world. This service is the motive of all precepts and good deeds." - Abraham Joshua Heschel

"Great crises produce great men and great deeds of courage." - John F. Kennedy, fully John Fitzgerald "Jack" Kennedy

"A person who performs good deeds because he wants to fulfill the Almighty’s wishes will be happy if he hears others are doing even more than him. If, however, one feels pain when hearing others have accomplished more than him in spiritual matters, it shows he is basically motivated by desire for personal aggrandizement." -

"There is no depression for good deeds, and that is all that business consists of, and that is our real business." -

"Good words shall again you honor in the marketplace; but good deeds shall gain you friends among men." -

"Who is a righteous man and who is an evil man? Many people think a righteous man is one who does not transgress, and the evil person is one who constantly transgresses. But even the very righteous also transgress and even the very wicked perform good deeds. The essential difference between the two is that a righteous person tries to overcome his desires to do wrong and the evil person does not." - Yeruchem Levovitz, aka The Mashgiach

"Existence was given us for action. Our worth is determined by the good deeds we do, rather than by the fine emotions we feel." - Elias L. Magoon

"Every good act is charity. Your smiling in your brother's face, is charity; an exhortation of your fellow-man to virtuous deeds, is equal to alms-giving; your putting a wanderer in the right road, is charity; your removing stones, and thorns, and other obstructions from the road, is charity; your giving water to the thirsty, is charity. A man's true wealth hereafter, is the good he does in this world to his fellow-man. When he dies, people will say, "What property has he left behind him?" but the angels will ask, "What good deeds has he sent before him."" -

"Pride looks back upon its past deeds, and calculating with nicety what it has done, it commits itself to rest; whereas humility looks to that which is before, and discovering how much ground remains to be trodden, it is active and vigilant. Having gained one height, pride looks down with complacency on that which is beneath it; humility looks up to a higher and yet higher elevation. The one keeps us on this earth, which is congenial to its nature; the other directs our eye, and tends to lift us up to heaven." - James McCosh

"Men are all alike in their promises. It is only in their deeds that they differ." - Molière, pen name of Jean Baptiste Poquelin NULL

"Some people ask why the righteous suffer in this world. To a great extent the question is based on a misconception. Often, the criteria people use to judge whether another person is living a good life or not is by his financial standard of living... A truly righteous person by definition lives a happy life. Such a person has internalized the awareness that all the occurrences in his life are for the good, and he has satisfaction from his life. His life has meaning and purpose. His whole being is focused on spiritual elevation. He deeply feels that the good life is to fulfill the will of the Almighty and hence he feels great pleasure in the good deeds that he performs." - Yaakov Neiman

"The genius - in his works, in his deeds - is necessarily a prodigal: his greatness lies in the fact that he expends himself." -

"I believe we are here on earth to live, grow up and do what we can to make this world a better place... Life is to be lived to its fullest so that death is just another chapter. Memories of our lives, our works and our deeds will continue in others." - Rosa Parks

"The true worth of a soul is revealed as much by the motive it attributes to the actions of others as by its own deeds." - Jean-Antoine Petit-Senn

"If a person constantly keeps his mind focused on doing good deeds, his mind will be free from thoughts that lead to sadness." -

"It does not good to offer consoling words to a man in distress; his real friend in a pinch is a friend in deed, when deeds are needed." - Plautus, full name Titus Maccius Plautus NULL

"By mutual confidence and mutual aid great deeds are done, and great discov'ries made." - Alexander Pope

"The grandest of heroic deeds are those which are performed within four walls and in domestic privacy." -

"I grew up among wise man and found that there is nothing better for man than silence. Knowledge is not the main thing, but deeds." - Sayings of the Fathers (Pirkei Avot or Pirqe Aboth) NULL

"Nobody enters his good deeds in his day-book." -

"How can you clarify if you do good deeds because they are right or merely to gain honor and approval? Ask yourself: “Would I do this if I were all alone and no one would ever find out about my good deed?”" - Binyamin Yehoshua Silver

"The world is judged by the majority of its people, and an individual by the majority of his deeds. Happy he who performs a good deed: that may tip the scale for him and the world." - Eleazar ben Simon

"Courage is by no means incompatible with tenderness. On the contrary, gentleness and tenderness have been found to characterize the men, no less than the women, who have done the most courageous deeds." - Samuel Smiles

"Noble deeds and hot baths are the best cures for depression." - Dodie Smith, fully Dorothy Gladys "Dodie" Smith

"The gentle minde by gentle deeds is knowne." - Edmund Spenser

"Man's deeds are the measure of his days." -

"Our faults afflict us more than our good deeds console. Pain is ever uppermost in the conscience as in the heart." - Madame Swetchine, fully Anne Sophie Swetchine née Sophia Petrovna Soïmonov or Soymanof

"To be conscious of being absolutely enveloped by Brahma is not an act of mere concentration of mind. It must be the aim of the whole of our life. In all our thoughts and deeds we must be conscious of the infinite." -

"When the heat and motion of blind impulses and passions distract it on all sides, we can neither give nor receive anything truly. But when we find our centre in our soul by the power of self-restraint, by the force that harmonises all warring elements and unifies those that are apart, then all our isolated impressions reduce themselves to wisdom, and all our momentary impulses of heart find their completion in love; then all the petty details of our life reveal an infinite purpose, and all our thoughts and deeds unite themselves inseparably in an internal harmony." -

"Approval-seeking destroys one’s good deeds. Instead of doing the proper thing for its own sake, an approval-seeker will always focus on how others will react to what he is doing... Flattering wrongdoers is the root of much harm. It can lead to others emulating their misdeeds." - Ways of the Righteous, fully The Ways of Righteousness NULL

"Error is the force that welds men together; truth is communicated to men only by deeds of truth." -

"There appears to exist a greater desire to live long than to live well! Measure by man's desires, he cannot live long enough; measure by his good deeds, and he has not lived long enough; measure by his evil deeds, and he has lived too long." - Johann Georg Zimmermann