Wise Words on Conduct
“To Thine Own Self Be True”
To treat yourself as if you were someone you are responsible for helping is, instead, to consider what would be truly good for you. This is not “what you want.” It is also not “what would make you happy.” Every time you give a child something sweet, you make that child happy. That does not mean that you should do nothing for children except feed them candy. “Happy” is by no means synonymous with “good.” You must get children to brush their teeth. They must put on their snowsuits when they go outside in the cold, even though they might object strenuously. You must help a child become a virtuous, responsible, awake being, capable of full reciprocity—able to take care of himself and others, and to thrive while doing so. Why would you think it acceptable to do anything less for yourself?...
You need to consider the future and think, “What might my life look like if I were caring for myself properly? What career would challenge me and render me productive and helpful, so that I could shoulder my share of the load, and enjoy the consequences? What should I be doing, when I have some freedom, to improve my health, expand my knowledge, and strengthen my body?” You need to know where you are, so you can start to chart your course. You need to know who you are, so that you understand your armament and bolster yourself in respect to your limitations. You need to know where you are going, so that you can limit the extent of chaos in your life, restructure order, and bring the divine force of Hope to bear on the world.
You must determine where you are going, so that you can bargain for yourself, so that you don’t end up resentful, vengeful and cruel. You have to articulate your own principles, so that you can defend yourself against others’ taking inappropriate advantage of you, and so that you are secure and safe while you work and play. You must discipline yourself carefully. You must keep the promises you make to yourself, and reward yourself, so that you can trust and motivate yourself. You need to determine how to act toward yourself so that you are most likely to become and to stay a good person. It would be good to make the world a better place.
“Weigh Thine Neighbor On Thine Own Scale”
We would have others strictly corrected, but not but are not willing to be corrected ourselves. The large liberty of others displeases us, and yet we would not be denied anything we ask for. We are willing that others should be bound up by laws, and we suffer not ourselves by any means to be restrained. Thus it is evident how seldom we weigh our neighbor in the same balance with ourselves. If all were perfect, what then should we have to suffer from others, for God's sake?
"Invest Wisely. Everything Counts"
It may make a difference to all eternity whether we do right or wrong today.
James Freeman Clarke
“Be Never Altogether Idle”
We must always resolve against those things which hinder us most...we must examine and order well both our exterior and interior; because both are conducive to our advancement...In the morning resolve, in the evening examine the performances, how thou hast behaved this day in the word, work, or thought;...bridal gluttony, and thou shalt the easier restrain all carnal inclinations. Be never altogether idle, but either reading or writing, or praying or meditating, or laboring in something that may be for the common good.
"Guard The Ridges And Railways"
Good and evil both increase at compound interest. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.
Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.
“The Wasted Life”
God created me—and you—to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion—namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying His supreme excellence in all the spheres of life...the mark of God-enthralled joy is to overflow and expand by extending itself into the hearts of others. The wasted life is the life without a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples...We waste our lives when we do not pray and think and dream and plan and work toward magnifying God in all spheres of life.
"How To Fulfill Your Deepest Destiny"
We and God have business with each other; and in opening ourselves to His influence our deepest destiny is fulfilled. The universe ...takes a turn genuinely for the worse or for the better in proportion as each one of us fulfills or evades God's demands.
“Keep a Tender Heart”
“A Navajo Indian tradition says that your conscience is like a small triangle inside your heart. When you know something is wrong, it turns and pricks the flesh of your heart with one of its corners. But when you harden your heart and ignore your conscience, it keeps turning, wearing down its corners in the effort to get your attention. Eventually the triangle gets so worn down that it becomes smooth and circular, spinning around and around in your heart but to no use. You can’t feel it anymore”
Alex and Brett Harris
“Guide Thy Bark Aright”
“...let us go back to the man who says that a thing cannot be wrong unless it hurts some other human being. He quite understands that he must not damage the other ships in the convoy, but he honestly thinks that what he does to his own ship is simply his own business. But does it not make a great difference whether his ship is his own property or not? Does it not make a great difference whether I am, so to speak, the landlord of my own mind and body, or only a tenant, responsible to the real landlord?...Now there are a good many things which would not be worth bothering about if I were going to live only seventy years, but which I had better bother about very seriously if I am going to live forever...if we are to think about morality, we must think of all three departments: relations between man and man: things inside each man: and relations between man and the power that made him.”
"Buck The Trend"
Modern morality consists in accepting the standard of one's age. I consider that for any man of culture to accept the standard of his age is a form of the grossest immorality.
"Pleasure After Pain"
Morality turns on whether the pleasure precedes or follows the pain.
"Pleasure Minus Harm"
Enjoy and give pleasure, without doing harm to yourself or to anyone else - that, I think, is the whole of morality.
Don't do anything you're not prepared to see in the papers the next morning.
To laugh often and much;
to win the respect of intelligent people
and the affection of children;
to earn the appreciation of honest critics
and endure the betrayal of false friends;
to appreciate beauty;
to find the best in others;
to leave the world a bit better
whether by a healthy child,
a garden patch,
or a redeemed social condition;
to know even one life has breathed easier
because you have lived.
This is to have succeeded.
Bessie Anderson Stanley
Responsible persons are mature people who have taken charge of themselves and their conduct, who own their actions and own up to them—who answer for them
William J. Bennett
"...And Heaven Takes Note"
Not a day passes over this earth, but men and women of no note do great deeds, speak great words and suffer noble sorrows.
"Work With Him"
The Bible really seems to clinch the matter when it puts the two things together into one amazing sentence. The first half is, "Work out your own salvation with fear and trembling"-which looks as if everything depended on us and our good actions: but the second half goes on, "For it is God who worketh in you"- which looks as if God did everything and we nothing...God and man are working together.
"Direct Your Instincts"
...there are no such things as good and bad impulses. Think again of a piano. It has not got two kinds of notes on it, the 'right' notes and the 'wrong' ones. Every single note is right at the one time and wrong at another. The Moral Law is not any one instinct or set of instincts: it is something which makes a kind of tune (the tune we call goodness or right conduct) by directing the instincts.
"Everything We Do"
The art of acting morally is behaving as if everything we do matters.
I cannot and will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions.
Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct.
"Don't Forget To Dust"
He shows much more of Himself to some people than to others -- not because He has favorites, but because it is impossible for Him to show Himself to a man whose whole mind and character are in the wrong condition. Just as sunlight, though it has no favorites, cannot be reflected in a dusty mirror as clearly as a clean one.
"How To Read Minds"
We know what a person thinks not when he tells us what he thinks, but by his actions.
Isaac Bashevis Singer
"All Things Pertaining To Life And Godliness"
He who gave our nature to be perfected by our virtue willed also the necessary means of its perfection.
Efficiency is concerned with doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right things.
Peter F. Drucker
"Don't Do Anything I Wouldn't Do"
Neither urge another to that thou wouldst be unwilling to do thyself, nor do thyself what looks to thee unseemly and intemperate in another.
"Reflect And Proceed"
Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought
To the good I would be good; to the not-good I would also be good, in order to make them good.
"As A Ring Of Gold In A Swine's Snout"
Virtue may not always make a Face handsome, but Vice will certainly make it ugly.
No man ever got lost on a straight road
Do not be grieved if you do not enjoy popular favor; grieve rather that you do not live as well and carefully as befits a servant of God.
Thomas a Kempis
"Your Decision: A Son Like John, Or A Tool Like Judas?"
A merciful man aims at his neighbour's good as so does 'God's' will, consciously co-operating with 'the simple good'. A cruel man oppresses his neighbour and so does simple evil. But in doing such evil he is used by God, without his knowledge or consent, to produce the complex good — so that the first man serves God as a son, and the second as a tool. For you will certainly carry out God's purpose, however you act, but it makes a difference to you whether you serve like Judas or like John.
"Greatness Is Goodness"
They are only great who are truly good.
"As Instruments of Righteousness"
Let your eye be chaste, your hand faithful, your tongue truthful and your heart enlightened.
Tablet of Baha’u'llah
"Morality = Joy"
All theories of morality agree in considering that conduct whose total results, immediate and remote, are beneficial, is good conduct; while conduct whose total results, immediate and remote, are injurious, is bad conduct. The happiness or misery caused by it are the ultimate standards by which all men judge their behavior.
"Acquiring A Taste For Obedience"
...action precedes love. The...way to get to like doing God's work...is to throw yourself into it.
"Wait For Clarity"
Act nothing in furious Passion; it's putting to Sea in a Storm.
"He Has Honor"
He has honor if he holds himself to an ideal of conduct though it is inconvenient, unprofitable, or dangerous to do so.
"Thy Father Sees From Heaven And Will Reward You"
Better to deserve honor and not have it than to have honor and not deserve it.
"Trying To Make Someone Else Look Bad?"
He who violates another's honor loses his own.
"For Nothing is Hidden That Will Not Become Evident"
Whenever you are to do a thing, though it can never be known but to yourself, ask yourself how you would act were the whole world looking at you, and act accordingly.
"What If Everyone Did That?"
There is...only one categorical imperative: It is: Act only according to that maxim by which you can at the same time will that it should become a universal law.
"The Right Thing At The Right Time"
The character of every act depends upon the circumstances in which it is done.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
"Choose Your Asphalt"
The road to Hell is paved with good intentions, the road to Heaven is paved with good deeds.
"Ugly In Them? Ugly In Me."
Neither urge another to that thou wouldst be unwilling to do thyself, nor do thyself what looks to thee unseemly and intemperate in another.
"Consider The Lilies Of The Field"
Those who make their dress a principal part of themselves, will, in general, become of no more value than their dress.
One does what one is; one becomes what one does.
Robert von Musil
While we may not be physically slaughtering our children before literal blocks of stone or wood, doesn’t idolatry continue to plague us? Who among us could deny that if the apostle Paul was looking over the average American city, his spirit would be “provoked within him as he saw that the city was full of idols” (Acts 17:16)? Though we live thousands of years after Ezekiel and Paul, our sons and daughters continue to be sacrificed on the altars of modern society . ҉ Millions of unborn babies are slaughtered every year on the abortive altar of Selfishness. Sons are offered at the altar of Sports. Daughters are placed on the altar of Sexuality. The Temple of Materialism overflows with adherents. Shrines to Pride and Ego stand prominently in every neighborhood. Fulfillment is sought at the altar of Busyness and Celebrity is worshiped at the altar of Fame. The time, geography and culture has changed, but the sinful tragedy marches on. With our idols we are guilty of unfaithfulness to our Creator. And we even offer our own God-given children in sacrifice to people and things that are not gods. . ҉ Dads, what do you want most for your children? Moms, what is your greatest aspiration for your sons and daughters? We know how we ought to answer that question, but what are we communicating to our heritage day after day, TV-show after TV-show, weekend after weekend? How are the priorities of our children being shaped as they follow the lead of our own living? Who or what is shown to be worthy of worship in our homes? Are we teaching our children that Almighty God is to be held as reverently ultimate and consistently worthy of the highest place in every single aspect of daily life?
...Moms and Dads, let’s not waste this precious time. When “enough is enough,” let’s have the courage to say so. As unrighteous danger and moral decay continues to creep into our homes, let’s have the fortitude to tune out, log off and fight back. Let’s take the time, not only to say “No” to our children, but to explain why. Let’s lovingly and consistently teach our children what is “out of bounds.” Let’s model for our children that the God of heaven alone is worthy of our worship.
“The Sweetest Charm”
“Unaffected modesty is the sweetest charm of female excellence, the richest gem in the diadem of her honor”
Webster’s Dictionary 1828
The time is always right to do what is right
Martin Luther King, Jr.
"The Ends Do Not Justify The Means"
The glory of great men must always be measured against the means they have used to acquire it.
"What Benjamin Franklin Asked Himself Upon Awakening And Sleeping"
What good shall I do today?...What good have I done today?"
"Dress The Part. Why?"
You become what you pretend to be.
"A Good Name Is Better Than A Good Ointment"
Our names are labels, plainly printed on the bottled essence of our past behavior
Logan Pearsall Smith
He who is slow in making a promise is most faithful in its performance.
Jean Jacques Rousseau
"What Lies Within"
What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared with what lies within us"
Oliver Wendell Holmes
"Viewing Media With Deathbed Clarity"
I don’t want to wait until everything is clearer on my deathbed; I would like my deathbed clarity now, when it can still do some good. I expect that one of the things I will regret on that day “when the keepers of the house tremble, and the strong men are bent, and the grinders cease because they are few,” is the movies and TV shows I allow myself to see. . ҉ In truth, this allowance has been more drift than philosophy, but to the extent that you can dignify half-conscious notions with the status of convictions, mine have been the following: (1) I am no legalist, and (2) one must be informed about the culture. . ҉ The interesting thing about these self-justifications, as I view them at the moment, is that they are nowhere to be found in the Bible. Oh, some crafty person can wrest them out of the Word “by good and necessary consequences,” as they say. I can imagine the texts rustled to the rescue: Galatians will be a rich vein. And Colossians 2:21, where Paul excoriates teachers of “Do not handle, do not taste, do not touch,” who put rule keeping for true piety. . ҉ What is unequivocal in the Bible is the command to love God with all your heart. What has no ambiguity is the call to pure eyes that alone will see God. What is not fudgeable is that we are to put God’s word above the word of man. . ҉ Evan Thomas went around Wales during the great Revival of 1906 telling folks to “put away everything doubtful in your life.” I like that. You have to think about that one. I sometimes get deathbed inklings. I feel quite sure that when the death dew lies on my brow, I will not think it had been necessary to see a raunchy movie in order to be better informed about the culture.
Character may be manifested in the great moments, but it is made in the small ones.
"This Moment's Obedience"
All the real action in the Christian life takes place on the cellular level of this moment’s obedience to this moment’s call.
"Seven Essential Life Skills"
1)Focus and Self Control
6)Taking on Challenges
7)Self-Directed, Engaged Learning.
People laugh at your unwholesome talk at the moment but think less of you afterwards.
Marry a man who loves God more than he loves you.
Neglect a phone call, lose a friend.
I complained, "God hasn't answered my prayer." That's because I was not looking for help in my weakness but for the removal of my weakness to the praise of my own glory.
Sit on a sensitive letter for three days before sending it.
A phone call to say, "I'm thinking of you," yields benefits all out of proportion to the time investment.
The best teaching moments are never at convenient times.
An idol forfeits your life. You look back and say you never lived.
God is the better chess player. Just obey.
Talent is good, but faithfulness is better.
Tell your child what delights you about him.
Drop the dust rag and look at your child when he's telling you a story.
"A Letter To Departing Soldiers"
I’ve been thinking about the true statement you said about how the military is going to change you. It can't not. . My prayer for you is that when you see death, it will make you treasure life.
When you see suffering it will make you that much more compassionate.
When you see soldiers using and degrading women, may you stand for honor.
When you see violence, my prayer is that it will make you love peace.
When you see poverty, may your response be gratitude for when and where you were born.
When you feel pain, use it to long for heaven.
When you see courage may it empower you, and
when you see sacrifice- remember Christ’s for your forgiveness.
When you see selflessness, and are yourself selfless, know that we appreciate all you are doing to keep our country safe and free.
Stand firm. Stand strong.
“Virtue: The Hand-Me-Down Toolbox”
It's funny: I always imagined when I was a kid that adults had some kind of inner toolbox full of shiny tools: the saw of discernment, the hammer of wisdom, the sandpaper of patience. But then when I grew up I found that life handed you these rusty bent old tools - friendships, prayer, conscience, honesty - and said 'do the best you can with these, they will have to do'. And mostly, against all odds, they do.
“The Best Intentions”
My intention is to be a force for good in the world.