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Our Human Nature Page 9 of  161

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  • If there is one quality that clearly distinguishes man from other animals, it is that we are driven to gain understanding of our existence. When our understanding involves other than verifiable fact, we tend to substitute assumptions and call them facts. The longer those assumptions are held as fact, the more difficult is their dislodgement by newly discovered verifiable facts. Thus the force driving us to seek understanding of our existence, often compels us to cling to ignorance, the very opposite of what we were driven to escape.

  • "Bad-luck" is what we like to call our failures. "Skill" is what we like to call our successes.

  • Most individuals dislike honest criticism more than dishonest criticism, only because the former is more likely to be accurate.

  • True humility makes no demands for attention, any more than a flower demands to be picked.

  • Strength of character cannot be developed by a life that is free of tribulation, any more than a good sword can be created without the furnace and the forge.

  • John D. Rockefeller was the richest man of his time, yet everyone reading this possesses something much more valuable than his riches - LIFE.

  • On top of the loss of a loved one, is the devastation in value of everything that was once shared; a void that extends far from the grave.

  • Our greatest failure can be quantified as the difference between what we are and what we could have been.

  • It helps us, when confronting the problems of today, to remember that a year ago we were similarly vexed over problems that were so important that they can’t even be remembered now.

  • Much of the desire for "the good old days" is only a disguised yearning to feel as important as we felt then.

  • We can never be certain when we make a path that was never trod, whether it will lead us to inspiration or madness.

  • It is unlikely that an original thought ever occurred while in a group; rather original thought is discovered in the lonely quietness of solitude.

  • When we emerge from darkness and into the sunlight, we tend to squint and close our eyes. Likewise when we peer out of the caverns of our ignorance into the enlightenment of new ideas, we tend to narrow and close our minds.

  • There is little doubt but whatever we regard intelligence as being, that it is something that we are born with, but like a gold mine, it must be developed and exploited before it makes any difference.

  • The most profound thing that I’ve ever heard, and that has implications throughout life yet can affect life dramatically, is the very simple statement- “You can learn to like anything.”

  • A time of ease is a time of decay; a time of struggle is a time of growing.

  • Others may seem slow because they seem to understand slowly; perhaps they only regard understanding as being done when in greater depth than our more shallow understandings.

  • Few things will bring on as many irrational thoughts as when someone tries to justify another irrational thought.

  • Absolutely no one is capable of knowing your limits, not even you; limits are for encountering, not for limiting theoretically.

  • Dispersed pursuits produce little or nothing, while concentrated pursuits produce changes; the difference is like the difference between a soft breeze and a strong wind that can either fill sails or down trees.

  • One of the reasons that the average individual doesn’t think critically is because their minds have been filled with simplicities; a adult would still crave baby food if that were all that they ever ate.

  • To be comfortable with failures is a near certain way to have more of them.

  • We lie to no one more than we lie to ourselves; we do this so habitually that we often are completely unaware when this is happening. We need to ask-What is there about me that I don’t want to be aware of? And, why don’t I want to be aware of this? Once we answer these questions, we take the first steps towards really knowing ourselves.

  • It is unlikely that anyone will ever lament a kindness done for another, but any thoughtful reflection will bring forth regrets for kindnesses that were left undone, and which can never be given today or in our tomorrows.

  • When we dream during sleep, it clearly shows that our barrier to hallucinations sleeps with us.

  • Our being loved is life’s strongest affirmation that we are of value.

  • Mankind has no greater enemy than fear; yet we tend to increase that enemy in others in so many ways, and we preserve it even in ourselves by protecting our fears from being destroyed. We do this by not discovering that almost all fears have no harmful consequences if just ignored.

  • There are some that are vain about their lack of vanity and arrogant about their humility.

  • The number of mistakes you make is directly related to how many of your in-laws are present.

  • One of the keys to self-understanding is to think of those things that we dislike and those things that we are drawn towards and then try to answer the question “Why?”


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