I am unafraid as I prepare myself for that day when the artifices and disguises will be stripped away and I shall make judgment of myself. Is it just brave talk, or do I mean what I say? Were they for real, those defiant words I spoke aginst fortune, or were they just theatre – Just acting a part?
Indeed, if you find anything in human life better than justice, truth, self-control, courage – in shrot, anything better than the sufficiency of your own mind, which keeps you acting according to the demands of true reason and accepting what fate gives you outside of your own power of choice – I tell you, if you can see anything better than this, turn to it heart and soul and take full advantage of this greater good you’ve found.
Lectures and learned seminars and sayings culled from the teachings of philosophers and educated conversation do not reveal the mind’s real strength. For speech is bold even where the speaker is timorous. What you have achieved will be revealed only when you breathe your last.
…if you can forgive as well as forget, if you can keep from growing sour, surly, bitter and cynical… You’ve got it half-licked.
One who tries to stand on tiptoe cannot stand still. One who stretches his legs too far cannot walk. One who advertises himself too much is ignored. One who is too insistent on his own view finds few to agree with him. One who claims too much credit does not get even what he deserves. One who is too proud is soon humiliated. These are condemned as extremes of greediness and self-destructive activity. Therefore, one who acts naturally avoids such extremems.
~ the Book of Tao
Some day, in the years to come, you will be wrestling with the great temptation, or trembling under the great sorrow of your life. But the real struggle is here, now … NOW it is being decided whether in the day of your supreme sorrow or temptation, you shall miserably fail or gloriously conquer. Character cannot be made except by a steady, long continued process.
Most of our mental development and study discipline comes through formal education. But as soon as we leave the external discipline of school, many of us let our minds atrophy. We don’t do any more serious reading, we don’t explore new subjects in any real depth outside our action fields, we don’t think analytically, we don’t write — at least not critically or in a way that tests our ability to express ourselves in distilled, clear, and consice language. Instead we spend our time wathcing TV.
You cannot play with the animal in you without becoming wholly animal, play with falsehood without forfeiting your right to truth, play with cruelty without losing your sensitivity of mind. He who wants to keep his garden tidy does not reserve a plot for weeds.
A good teacher can never be fixed in a routine. Each moment requires a sensitive mind that is constantly changing and adapting. A teacher must never impose this student to fit his favorite pattern. A good teacher protects his pupils from his own influence. A teacher is never a giver of truth; He is a guide, a pointer to the truth that each student must find for himself. I am not teaching you anything. I just help you to explore yourself.
If you can’t write clearly, you probably don’t think nearly as well as you think you do.