Archive for June, 2007

Carl Sandburg’s Pithy Wisdom …

Posted on June 26, 2007. Filed under: American Thinkers, Guide Posts, Light plus Weighty |

Carl Sandburg was a lot of things – poet, historian, novelist, balladeer, and folklorist. Though born of Swedish parents, H. L. Mencken called him, “indubitably an American in every pulse-beat.” He won two Pulitzer Prizes, one for his biography of Abraham Lincoln and one for his poems.

Nearly all the best things that came to me in life have been unexpected and unplanned by me. The secret of happiness is to admire without desiring. The Best is the Enemy of the Good.  The greatest cunning is to have none at all.

Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you. One of the greatest necessities in America is to discover creative solitude.

Anger is the most impotent of passions. It effects nothing and hurts the one who is possessed by it more than the one against whom it is directed.

I am an idealist. I don’t know where I’m going but I’m on my way. Where was I going? I puzzled and wondered about it till I actually enjoyed the puzzlement and wondering.


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Epictetus …

Posted on June 25, 2007. Filed under: The Great Greeks |

Epictetus was a philosopher of the Stoic school. Probably born a slave, he lived in Rome until his exile to Greece, where he lived and died.

God has entrusted me with myself……  No man is free who is not master of himself. The two powers which constitute a wise man, are those of bearing and forbearing.

The essence of philosophy is that a man should so live that his happiness shall depend as little as possible on external things. It is the nature of the wise to resist pleasures, but the foolish to be a slave to them.

Freedom is not procured by a full enjoyment of what is desired, but by controlling the desire. It’s not what happens to you, but how you react to it that matters.

He is a wise man who does not grieve for the things which he has not, but rejoices for those which he has. Whoever does not regard what he has as most ample wealth, is unhappy, though he be master of the world.

When you are offended at any man’s fault, turn to yourself and study your own failings, then you will forget your anger.  Whenever you are angry, be assured that it is not only a present evil, but that you have increased a habit.

The time when you should withdraw into yourself is when you are forced to be in a crowd. We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.

The greater the difficulty, the more glory in surmounting it. Skilled pilots gain their reputation from storms and tempests.


Be careful to leave your sons well instructed rather than rich, for the hopes of the instructed are better than the wealth of the ignorant.

All religions must be tolerated for every man must get to heaven in his own way.


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Francis la Rochefoucauld …

Posted on June 20, 2007. Filed under: The French Contribution |

Francis Rochefoucauld  was an author of maxims and memoirs. He stands as an example of the accomplished nobleman.

Great souls are not those who have fewer passions or more vices but those who have greater designs. Few things are impracticable in themselves; and it is for want of application, rather than of means, that men fail to succeed.

Decency is the least of all laws but yet it is the law which is most strictly observed. Perfect behaviour is born out of complete indifference.

A wise man thinks it more advantageous not to join the battle than to win. Gracefulness is to the body what understanding is to the mind.

Before we set our hearts tto much on anything, let us examine how happy are they, who already possess it.

I have always been an admirer. I regard the gift of admiration as indispensable if one is to amount to something; I don’t know where I would be without it.

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Where Headed???

Posted on June 20, 2007. Filed under: Light plus Weighty |

WH Auden in his translation of Dag Hammerskjoeld’s  ‘Markings’-

He was a member of the crew on Colombus’s Caravel, yet he kept wondering whether he would return in time to take over the old shoe makers job.

And this is Emerson on Daniel Webster’s ambition to become President –

He was a great man with a small ambition.

And  Tennyson at his grandest –

To strive, to seek, to find and not to yeild.

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Always Read Sign

Posted on June 15, 2007. Filed under: Quotes |

It is with trifles, and when he is off guard,
that a man best reveals his character.

Arthur Schopenhauer

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Complexities of life …

Posted on June 14, 2007. Filed under: Quotes |

The man of fixed ingrained principles who has mapped out a straight course;

and has the courage and self-control to adhere to it, does not find life complex.

Complexities are all of our own making.”

– B.C. Forbes

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When Women Love Us …

Posted on June 14, 2007. Filed under: Mars & Venus |

When women love us,
they forgive us everything, even our crimes;
when they do not love us,
they give us credit for nothing, not even our virtues.

Honore de Balzac

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Posted on June 7, 2007. Filed under: Quotes |

“You gain strength, courage and confidence by every experience in which you really stop to look fear in the face.
You are able to say to yourself, ‘I have lived through this horror. I can take the next thing that comes along.’
You must do the thing you think you cannot do.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

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Walk Tall …

Posted on June 7, 2007. Filed under: Quotes |

Freedom …

Walter Whitman (1819 – 1892). American poet, essayist, journalist, and humanist. Among the most influential poets in the American canon, often called the “father of free verse”. His ‘Leaves of Grass’, which has been described as obscene for its overt sexuality.

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Posted on June 4, 2007. Filed under: Mars & Venus |

“I haven’t spoken to my wife in years. I didn’t want to interrupt her.”
-Rodney Dangerfield

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