Archive | February, 2012

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth.

Service to others is the rent you pay for your room here on earth. – Muhammad Ali What does that mean? Service to others is a great idea. I’m not talking about “Would you like fries with that?” but actually doing something that helps other people with their lives. Helping someone learn to read. Helping […]

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What the world really needs is more love and less paper work.

What the world really needs is more love and less paper work. – Pearl Bailey What does that mean? To me, this quote is a bit tongue-in-cheek, but still worth the effort to examine. With the advent of the computer and the so-called “paperless society,” we seem to have more and more paperwork everywhere we […]

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The minute a person whose word means a great deal to others dare to take the open-hearted and courageous way, many others follow.

The minute a person whose word means a great deal to others dare to take the open-hearted and courageous way, many others follow. – Marian Anderson What does that mean? This quote is about influence, and the courage to use it. It says that the moment a person of influence takes a stand, people will […]

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The capacity to devote yourself to the welfare of others yields otherwise unobtainable power and potential for good.

The capacity to devote yourself to the welfare of others yields otherwise unobtainable power and potential for good. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? This quote is about one of the most powerful forces on the planet, the human capacity for love. Isn’t that a good definition for why people will put effort into the welfare […]

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Before all else, be armed.

Before all else, be armed. – Niccolò Machiavelli What does that mean? In it’s original form, this quote was intended as advice to a ruler of a city-state. It meant to urge them to be prepared for armed conflict with another city-state, or to defend themselves from roving gangs of brigands. Without arms (a generic term of […]

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In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure. – Bill Cosby What does that mean? How many of us have a fear of failure? For him, as a comic, the failure would be very public and the feedback would be immediate and brutal. He must really have truly […]

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A slender acquaintance with the world must convince every man that actions, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends.

A slender acquaintance with the world must convince every man that actions, not words, are the true criterion of the attachment of friends. – George Washington What does that mean? This quote is fairly typical of his day and age. Back then, you didn’t have strangers asking to be your friend on every Social Media site. […]

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Education is that whole system of human training within and without the school house walls, which molds and develops men.

Education is that whole system of human training within and without the school house walls, which molds and develops men. – W. E. B. Du Bois What does that mean? Allowing for the anachronism of the generic term ‘men’ (he lived in a less politically correct time), this quote is about education of the people of the […]

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If we insist on being as sure as is conceivable… we must be content to creep along the ground, and never soar.

If we insist on being as sure as is conceivable… we must be content to creep along the ground, and never soar. – John Henry Newman What does that mean? To me, this is a quote about the necessity of action. It says if we procrastinate and wait until something is absolutely, 100% certain, beyond any […]

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History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again.

History, despite its wrenching pain, cannot be unlived, but if faced with courage, need not be lived again. – Maya Angelou What does that mean? This quote reminds us that we cannot change the past. What has happened is done and gone, there is no changing it. However happy, however painful, it has happened and […]

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In order to use human intelligence properly our mind should be calm.

In order to use human intelligence properly our mind should be calm. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? This quote is fairly straight forward. We humans are a fairly clever lot. We are intelligent and can do a great many things with our minds. However, the quote cautions us to have a calm mind […]

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There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.

There is no avoiding war; it can only be postponed to the advantage of others.– Niccolò Machiavelli What does that mean? At the time of the quote, there was a state of tension and often open warfare between any number the Italian City States, and the Princes who ran them. In observation of this phenomenon, the […]

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Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable.

Real difficulties can be overcome, it is only the imaginary ones that are unconquerable. – Theodore N. Vail What does that mean? It’s all in your mind, at least that’s what today’s quote is saying to me. If you think you can’t, you never will. If you can’t imagine doing it, you won’t. If your […]

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As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.

As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. – King Solomon What does that mean? In many other translations, this quote ends with “sharpens the countenance of a friend.” In this context, countenance is an antiquated word meaning character of a person. The first portion is interesting, when you consider the time of […]

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I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand.

I declare to you that woman must not depend upon the protection of man, but must be taught to protect herself, and there I take my stand. – Susan B. Anthony What does that mean? While this quote is from a famous suffragette, I believe it is still applicable today. In the time of the saying, […]

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