Archive | virtue

A kingdom founded on injustice never lasts.

A kingdom founded on injustice never lasts. – Seneca What does that mean? This is also alternately translated in the following manner: “Unjust rule never abides continually.” This quote is an interesting observation of the basics of human nature. Humans are a resilient bunch, and we are often willing to put up with a great […]

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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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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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Disaster is Virtue’s opportunity.

Disaster is Virtue’s opportunity. – Seneca What does that mean? Also translated as Calamity is Virtue’s opportunity, it is a call to us to not shrink from the unpleasant things which fall our way in life. This quote is a call to bear what-ever happens, and to encourage others as well. Without a change in […]

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Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t.

Being powerful is like being a lady. If you have to tell people you are, you aren’t. – Margaret Thatcher What does that mean? This quote is interesting, as it draws an analogy which I would never have considered. But that’s probably because I’m a guy. The quote starts off talking about being a lady. In this […]

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True love begins when nothing is looked for in return.

True love begins when nothing is looked for in return. – Antoine de Saint-Exupéry What does that mean? I have heard a lot of variants of this quote, but many seem to take it in a different direction. To me, this is about the end-game of love, where you end up, and how you get there. […]

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Not everybody can be famous. But everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service.

Not everybody can be famous. But everybody can be great, because greatness is determined by service. – Martin Luther King, Jr What does that mean? A slightly longer version is as follows: “Not everybody can be famous but everybody can be great because greatness is determined by service… You only need a heart full of grace and […]

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Stimulate the heart to love, and all other virtues will rise of their own accord.

Stimulate the heart to love, and all other virtues will rise of their own accord. – W. T. Ussery This is a thinly sourced quote, apparently from a book titled Sermons, from the Baptist Publishing Company, Nashville, Tennessee, from 1912. I still don’t have a bio for him. Does anyone have any information on him? […]

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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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Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others.

Gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all others. – Cicero What does that mean? Well, to discuss this, we need some virtues. While each religion and culture have their own take on virtue, hopefully this list will help you get the quote’s idea. Lets start with self-control, fairness, respect, and […]

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Modesty forbids what the law does not.

Modesty forbids what the law does not. – Seneca What does that mean? Whether you call it modesty, correct behavior, or something else, this quote is about doing the right thing. This is separate, or at least it is often different from what the law says we are required to do, or forbidden to do. And […]

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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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Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses.

Forget injuries, never forget kindnesses. – Confucius What does that mean? This is a beautiful quote, for its shortness, its symmetry, and its heart. Injuries can be dealt with in many ways, but they boil down to two basic ways. You remember them, or you forget them. The minor injuries, based on our values, are the […]

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Once you have a genuine sense of concern for others, there’s no room for cheating, bullying or exploitation.

Once you have a genuine sense of concern for others, there’s no room for cheating, bullying or exploitation. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? In the last two weeks, we discussed how concern for others helped quell anger inside ourselves, and how concern for others could help us make our corner of the world a more […]

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