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Our Acts Page 5 of  139

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  • Only the one called "hero" can know if his act was in spite of his fear, or an act seeking to gain something not knowable to others. Only the one called "coward" can know if his act was because of his fear, or an act seeking to gain something not knowable to others.

  • Self-improvement is found only in taking small steps. Discouragement is found in taking large steps, in very much the same way as trying to memorize a poem one page at a time.

  • It is rare that practice ever made perfect, but it is near certain that practice will make less imperfect.

  • Abiding by our convictions while trying to abide by convention is often like trying to ride two monocycles.

  • Those, whose happiness depends upon fine eating, might be better off by being less concerned about what went into their heads, and more concerned about what goes on inside of their heads.

  • Can we be so shallow in our feeling of gratitude for another‘s existence, to not also feel gratitude for all of the events that produced that person?

  • If we look fear in the face, we may find that fear is only a mask, returning from the distant past, and that it is without substance.

  • Those that are so afraid of the future that planning is all they do will have happy heirs.

  • Freeing our minds from the assumed certainties of the past is like releasing a balloon on a windy day. Both will alight, but no one can say where.

  • The killing of another’s creative spirit may be the most subtle and unrecognized form of all evils.

  • It would be a much better world if we treated minorities as though someday they might become the majority.

  • In appealing to authority, the individual is leaning on a crutch because his argument can’t stand on its own.

  • If one must choose between conformity and conscience, choose the one that will accompany you into sleep.

  • A mature person is wise to remain close to those that criticize and avoid those that praise, because the first tends to strengthen while the second tends to weaken.

  • When coming to a fork in a path, where one path is well worn and the other less so, the most opportune course might be to make a new path between the two.

  • To rear responsible children without suffering the consequences of their acts, is like expecting a tree to be able to withstand strong winds by being grown in a greenhouse.

  • When we say "why?" we are never given a compete answer, only one that may satisfy us.

  • Success largely depends upon regarding our failures as temporary disruptions.

  • One can lie about the present and the past, but it is impossible to lie about the future. Although the future will come, at present it contains no truth. We can only lie about our intentions for the future, or lie about our beliefs about the future.

  • If one is to become a slave, then it should be to the master named "Conscience".

  • It is utter futility to try to change others when we find it so difficult to change ourselves.

  • Rearing children without moral guidance is like withholding yeast from bread until after it is baked.

  • If we want to pursue a wise and productive life, it would be helpful to think of our minds and bodies as being like the driver and his automobile.

  • Using profanity in the presence of strangers indicates a severe lack of both judgment and vocabulary.

  • Perhaps a word to the wise is sufficient, but a whole sentence is better.

  • Collecting superstitions, dogmas, and prejudices, is like organizing one's own lynch mob.

  • In "always keeping one's chin up", one should expect to stumble over what ever is ahead.

  • Anger from another shouldn’t be allowed to breed and reproduce more anger in our minds, for to do so would be to allow the successful raping of our minds. Calm understanding remains the best protection against the anger of others.

  • When loaning money to a friend, one is often giving away the money as well as the friendship.

  • The tongue can penetrate into the heart of another yet show no wound.

  • Becoming disillusioned is so often expressed as a negative occurrence, yet it is difficult to see why one would want to deal with a real world by using those things that are proven to be false. One should deal with the real world with those things that have a demonstrable existence, and deal with the abstract world with those things that have a theoretical existence only.

  • It isn’t clear what the first thing is that must be done in order to become immortal, but the second thing is to die.

  • The most certain way to have multi-phobic adults is to teach our children that danger resides in almost everything.

  • Many, if not most, feel that they’re not unusually creative, but this is less true than they believe. If one only reflects on one’s dreams, when the “I can’t” kind of thinking is turned off, everyone will discover a rich source of original movie-like happenings being created quickly and effortlessly. The trick is to turn off the “I can’t” kind of thinking during the day.

  • We would all give more affection were it not for the fact that we feel deprived of affection; but were we to give more affection, that deficiency would soon cease.

  • The most difficult people to forgive are those that we’ve abused the most.

  • In Gresham’s Law, bad money drives out good money. For instance paper money drove out gold and silver money. In much the same way, “bad truths” drive out “good truths” Good truths are those realties that have always existed, and “bad truths” are the fantasies that tend to drive out realities. Realities abound about us, but they often are discomforting while the fantasies provide comfort. Realities are discomforting because they come into our awareness after we have long become nestled in our fantasies of youth. As long as we continue to rely on our fantasies instead of our realities our problems will grow.

  • Humans are the only creatures that so often receive more pleasure from the anticipation of something than in its realization.

  • All progress is in some way dependent on violating traditions and customs.

  • Mankind seems to find its inherent ignorance so intolerable, that if a rational understanding isn’t available that it willingly accepts an irrational understanding no matter how improbable.


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