Archive | conscience

Never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense.

Never give in, except to convictions of honor and good sense. – Winston Churchill What does that mean? This quote is often badly mistaken to mean that one should be stubborn, as the portion of the speech immediately preceding this might seem to say, taken out of context. But the “Never, never, never… give up” […]

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To refrain from imitation is the best revenge.

To refrain from imitation is the best revenge. – Marcus Aurelius What does that mean? Another classically brief quote. But it is packed with meaning. It is talking about revenge and how to best achieve it. However, it doesn’t say to serve it cold, or when they aren’t looking for it. The quote is about restraint. […]

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There is no person so severely punished, as those who subject themselves to the whip of their own remorse.

There is no person so severely punished, as those who subject themselves to the whip of their own remorse. – Seneca What does that mean? The first thing to acknowledge with this quote is that there are people to whom this does not apply. People with broken spirits or minds can do terrible things, and think […]

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Through education we have to lead people to see that concern for others is actually in their own interest.

Through education we have to lead people to see that concern for others is actually in their own interest. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? This quote starts by recognizing one of the primary truths of life. We cannot force people to do or understand anything. We can only educate them and lead them to the […]

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Each person must live their life as a model for others.

Each person must live their life as a model for others. – Rosa Parks What does that mean? Think about that for a moment. There are people who have famously said that they are not a role model, but they are exactly that, even if they don’t want the title. Someone out there, someone is watching. […]

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The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it.

The truth of the matter is that you always know the right thing to do. The hard part is doing it. – Norman Schwarzkopf, Jr. What does that mean? I was reminded of this quote in a recent e-mail exchange. The discussion included the many tough choices that the person being discussed made, and how they […]

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Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do.

Every man is guilty of all the good he did not do. – Voltaire What does that mean? This quote was shortened far before the advent of Twitter. It is from one of his books, and the complete quote is: “A minister of state is excusable for the harm he does when the helm of […]

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There is a point at which the law becomes immoral and unethical. That point is reached when it becomes a cloak for the cowardice…

There is a point at which the law becomes immoral and unethical. That point is reached when it becomes a cloak for the cowardice that dares not stand up against blatant violations of justice. – Kurt Huber What does that mean? This is an excerpt from one of the leaflets produced by The White Rose, a […]

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Just as we need good physical health we also need strength of mind to ensure our well-being; and we develop it by cultivating ethics.

Just as we need good physical health we also need strength of mind to ensure our well-being; and we develop it by cultivating ethics. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? This quote starts with the discussion of a simple truth, saying that most of us recognize that it is necessary to keep our bodies in […]

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Men of genius are admired, men of wealth are envied, men of power are feared; but only men of character are trusted.

Men of genius are admired, men of wealth are envied, men of power are feared; but only men of character are trusted. – Alfred Adler What does that mean? People of genius, like Albert Einstein and Marie Curie are admired or held in high esteem, both for their abilities as scientists as well as for what they actually achieved. People of wealth, like Bill Gates or Oprah Winfrey are envied or looked at with covetous […]

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It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.

It is double pleasure to deceive the deceiver.  – Niccolò Machiavelli What does that mean? This quote is a little petty, but there is a certain satisfaction in putting something over on someone who regularly tries to deceive others. Successfully lying to a habitual liar would fall into this same category. While the quote is specifically about […]

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The world is a dangerous place to live. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don’t do anything about it.

The world is a dangerous place to live. Not because of the people who are evil; but because of the people who don’t do anything about it. – Albert Einstein What does that mean? The quote starts by saying the world is a dangerous place, which it always has been, and likely, always will be. However, […]

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Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony

Happiness is when what you think, what you say, and what you do are in harmony. ― Mohandas Gandhi What does that mean? This is all about being congruent. Some people will say what they believe is expected, not what is actually going through their mind. Others will do what they think is expected, even though […]

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Politics have no relation to morals

Politics have no relation to morals. – Niccolò Machiavelli What does that mean? Having grown up in the greater Chicago-land area, this quote really makes sense to me. Morals are about doing what is right for the right reasons. The definition of what is or isn’t moral is influenced by culture and environment, but there is […]

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Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom.

Honesty is the first chapter in the book of wisdom. – Thomas Jefferson What does that mean? Here, I think he is saying that it’s hard to be wise if you are a liar. If you are a liar, how could anyone believe you even if you somehow managed to become wise? I say that […]

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