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Our Human Nature Page 117 of  161

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  • The advantage of being narcissistic is that one need never fear a rival.

  • Becoming a slave to fashion and style is to communicate: “I have no taste; can you lend me some of yours?”

  • Duty isn’t something that we can force into another like an unpleasant dose of medicine; but rather duty is something that must grow, unopposed, within each of us or not at all.

  • Almost always, the perils that we believe to be in our futures seem more ominous than the perils we recognize in the present.

  • Often we must reach into darkness to discover light.

  • Some of the greatest pleasures in life are ones that we try to avoid, like getting very cold followed by a warm bath, getting very thirsty followed by a cold drink, and being separated from a loved one followed by reunion. Now if we would only be equally relieved if our ignorance were followed by knowledge.

  • Convictions tend to weaken their owners in proportion to the untruths that support them, and to strengthen in proportion to the truths that they encompass.

  • Few have the courage to confront the enemy dwelling within them.

  • To remind others of the good deeds that we have done for them is to cancel out the good.

  • Many a courtship is like a preview of a movie; interesting enough to get you in but not interesting enough to make you stay.

  • Many a meek are brave as many a brash are cowards.

  • Each of us is born with a creative impulse that is usually crushed by the criticisms of others; those that retain that impulse are the ones that, for unknowable reasons, just don’t give a damn what others think.

  • We should wonder, when we fail to comprehend another, whether the fault lies with our own deficiencies or that of the other.

  • We are not carried to the inevitable on a conveyor belt named “destiny”; rather, each of us is carried by nothing other than our ability to create our destiny each day by our choices.

  • Many will boast of the “will-dos” and ignore all of the “never-haves”.

  • Death might not seem so terrible if we got a sample of it first; but then again, perhaps we already have.

  • Our credulity is a door that we keep open to allow a permanent home to falsehoods of all kinds.

  • Few are as easy to deceive as ourselves; this is probably the result of long practice.

  • The difference between decisiveness and impulsiveness is in the outcome.

  • We tend to be more concerned about the intent of our acts, while others are more concerned about the results.

  • Despair commonly leads to lethargy, but often it ferments into violence.

  • Dignity doesn’t require other’s recognition of what we are; it only requires our own recognition.

  • Before providing any discipline to others, we should first be sure that we have a surplus of our own.

  • Fears have a way of distorting our realities, such as the ignorance of genetic engineering arouses fears merely because something disastrous can be imagined.

  • Never ignore what a person says while intoxicated, because what is said may be much closer to the truth than when sober and fearful.

  • Words of anger echo back to us like ricocheting stones.

  • A person should be judged as one would a nail, not easily bent when struck.

  • The four stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, and acceptance, also applies to more minor misfortunes; it is best to bypass the first three steps and go directly to acceptance and get on with life.

  • Every individual has ancestors that were rogues and some that were heroes. We are not made less by the former or more by the latter, and it is only the vain that denies one and boasts of the other.

  • The past casts its shadows ahead of us, and no matter how many times we trample these shadows, they’ll always go with us until the darkness descends.

  • It is wise to be objectively aware of those things for which we cannot be objective.


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