Archive | character

Be here now. Be somewhere else later. Is that so complicated?

Be here now. Be somewhere else later. Is that so complicated? – David Bader What does that mean? This quote is about the fundamentals of Zen, at least as I understand it. Being present. Where are you and where is your mind, your focus and your energy? This quote reminds us to be here in […]

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Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.

Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless. – Mother Teresa What does that mean? Hello. Thank you. That’s nice. I’m happy for you. You’re welcome. All these are kind words, as are many others. It costs you next to nothing to share such kindness with another person. […]

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In a race it’s right to want to win but not cheat. So in life; strive for what’s yours, but don’t take others have striven for.

In a race it’s right to want to win but not cheat. So in life; strive for what’s yours, but don’t take others have striven for. – Chrysippus What does that mean? This was another interesting quote to research, as it is quoted by Cicero to illustrate a point, and is paraphrased for use on […]

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Your descendants shall gather your fruits.

Your descendants shall gather your fruits. – Virgil What does that mean? also translated as “your grandchildren shall gather your fruits,” it is part of a discussion of the times of harvesting, and of the planting of fruit trees (pears, in this case). Fruit trees take a long time to grow and then mature to […]

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We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is “good,” because it is good, if “bad” because it works in us patience, humility, and hope.

We ought to give thanks for all fortune: if it is “good,” because it is good, if “bad” because it works in us patience, humility, & hope. – C. S. Lewis What does that mean? This quote is a great example of finding the silver lining in any situation. Far too many people live in […]

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What is permissible is not always honorable.

What is permissible is not always honorable. – Cicero What does that mean? As many large societies are based on laws, we tend to focus on what is permissible and what is proscribed, without much thought in regards to why. Yet all groups within any society have things they adhere to because of their beliefs […]

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Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult.

Fools show their annoyance at once, but the prudent overlook an insult. – Proverbs 12-16 NIV What does that mean? In this translation, it is all about keeping your head about you when things become difficult. What you do in such moments helps people determine what kind of person you are. Fools, as it says, will […]

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Fortune gives us nothing which we can really own.

Fortune gives us nothing which we can really own. – Seneca What does that mean? This quote makes me wonder what we really own. According to the quote, nothing gained from fortune (luck) is really ours to own. That makes sense, because what comes by chance can just as easily be lost by chance. Ask […]

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Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.

Without courage, we cannot practice any other virtue with consistency. We can’t be kind, true, merciful, generous, or honest.” – Maya Angelou What does that mean? Courage is a powerful word. Whether it is one man standing against a line of tanks, or simply resisting your own personal temptation. Courage is a foundational virtue, without […]

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But [Injury] does not give Virtue; therefore she cannot take it away.

But [Injury] does not give Virtue; therefore she cannot take it away. – Seneca What does that mean? This quote is especially interesting in the translation. The longer excerpt (which I have included at the bottom of the post) doesn’t talk of injury having or giving virtue. Instead it says that virtue doesn’t give or […]

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States are as the men, they grow out of human characters.

States are as the men, they grow out of human characters. – Plato What does that mean? Consider your national identity. It might not be true for you, but at one point it was a sufficiently common trait to label a whole group. But the state, being a group of people, will reflect their common […]

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Knowledge becomes evil if the aim be not virtuous.

Knowledge becomes evil if the aim be not virtuous. – Plato What does that mean? This is an interesting quote about knowledge and how it is applied. It is in the application that knowledge becomes evil or virtuous. Some of the same chemicals used to kill and maim millions in World War One are now […]

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Each man, in corrupting others, corrupts himself.

Each man, in corrupting others, corrupts himself. – Seneca What does that mean? This quote is part of a larger discussion of patterns of corruption. It talks about how entire communities and even countries have a pattern of what is acceptable. That pattern is usually impressed on the population as they grow up. They become […]

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Most men lead lives of quiet desperation.

Most men lead lives of quiet desperation. – Henry David Thoreau What does that mean? This is a slight misquote of what is in the book, but helps make it better understood for most people. And, given the age in which it was written, the word men should now be applied to all people. The […]

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In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of the things not meant for you.

In the end, only three things matter: how much you loved, how gently you lived, and how gracefully you let go of the things not meant for you. – Buddhist saying What does that mean? As far as anyone can tell, this is a fake quote, modified from Jack Kornfield’s “Buddha’s Little Instruction Book.” But […]

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