Put your whole soul into it. Stamp it with your own personality. Be active, be energetic, be enthusiastic and faithful, and you will accomplish your object. It will never make any difference to a hero what the laws are.
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His greatness will shine and accomplish itself unto the end, whether they second him or not. My evening visitors, if they cannot see the clock should find the time in my face. A great man quotes bravely, and will not draw on his invention when his memory serves him with a word just as good. Letters and Social Aims. Do what we can, summer will have its flies: if we walk in the woods, we must feed mosquitos: if we go a-fishing, we must expect a wet coat. Essays: First Series. Every really able man, in whatever direction he work,—a man of large affairs, an inventor, a statesman, an orator, a poet, a painter,—if you talk sincerely with him, considers his work, however much admired, as far short of what it should be.
People only see what they are prepared to see. You have just dined, and however scrupulously the slaughterhouse is concealed in the graceful distance of miles, there is complicity. I chide society, I embrace solitude, and yet I am not so ungrateful as not to see the wise, the lovely and the noble-minded, as from time to time they pass my gate. The reason why the world lacks unity, and lies broken and in heaps, is, because man is disunited with himself.
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We are reformers in spring and summer; in autumn and winter, we stand by the old; reformers in the morning, conservers at night. Can anybody remember when the times were not hard and money not scarce? Masses are rude, lame, unmade, pernicious in their demands and influence, and need not to be flattered, but to be schooled.
Part 2. Spiritual Quotes That Are…
I wish not to concede anything to them, but to tame, drill, divide, and break them up, and draw individuals out of them. Be as beneficent as the sun or the sea, but if your rights as a rational being are trenched on, die on the first inch of your territory. Our life is an apprenticeship to the truth that around every circle another can be drawn; that there is no end in nature, but every end is a beginning, and under every deep a lower deep opens.
Most of the shadows of this life are caused by our standing in our own sunshine. Conversation is a game of circles. In conversation we pluck up the termini which bound the common of silence on every side. Public opinion, I am sorry to say, will bear a great deal of nonsense. There is scarcely any absurdity so gross, whether in religion, politics, science or manners, which it will not bear.
No matter how you seem to fatten on a crime, there can never be good for the bee which is bad for the hive. We aim above the mark to hit the mark. Let me never fall into the vulgar mistake of dreaming that I am persecuted whenever I am contradicted. As to methods, there may be a million and then some. But principles are few.
The man who grasps principles can successfully select his own methods. If you would lift me you must be on higher ground. If you would liberate me you must be free. If you would correct my false view of facts, — hold up to me the same facts in the true order of thought, and I cannot go back from the new conviction. Society and Solitude. Every excess causes a defect; every defect an excess.
Every sweet hath its sour; every evil its good.
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Compensation, Essay. The good are befriended even by weakness and defect. As no man had ever a point of pride that was not injurious to him, so no man had ever a defect that was not somewhere made useful to him. Every man in his lifetime needs to thank his faults. No man thoroughly understands a truth until he has contended against it, so no man has a thorough acquaintance with the hindrances or talents of men, until he has suffered from the one, and seen the triumph of the other over his own want of the same.
He who has put forth his total strength in fit actions, has the richest return of wisdom. The American Scholar. It is the duty of men to judge men only by their actions. Our faculties furnish us with no means of arriving at the motive, the character, the secret self. We call the tree good from its fruits, and the man, from his works. The invariable mark of wisdom is to see the miraculous in the common. For every thing you have missed, you have gained something else; and for everything you gain, you lose something else.
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Essays: Second Series. Want is a growing giant whom the coat of Have was never large enough to cover. The Conduct of Life. To fill the hour — that is happiness. Life is a train of moods like a string of beads; and as we pass through them they prove to be many colored lenses, which paint the world their aint the world their own hue, and each shows us only what lies in its own focus. A man is relieved and gay when he has put his heart into his work and done his best; but what he has said or done otherwise, shall give him no peace. I no longer wish to meet a good I do not earn, for example, to find a pot of buried gold, knowing that it brings with it new burdens.
I do not wish more external goods, — neither possessions, nor honors, nor powers, nor persons. The gain is apparent; the tax is certain. Explore, and explore, and explore. Be neither chided nor flattered out of your position of perpetual inquiry. Why should you renounce your right to traverse the star-lit deserts of truth, for the premature comforts of an acre, house, and barn? Truth also has its roof, and bed, and board.
But man postpones or remembers; he does not live in the present, but with reverted eye laments the past, or, heedless of the riches that surround him, stands on tiptoe to foresee the future. All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better. Do not be too timid and squeamish about your reactions. Cultivate the habit of being grateful for every good thing that comes to you, and to give thanks continuously. And because all things have contributed to your advancement, you should include all things in your gratitude.
There is no beautifier of complexion, or form, or behavior, like the wish to scatter joy and not pain around us. Be not the slave of your own past — plunge into the sublime seas, dive deep, and swim far, so you shall come back with new self-respect, with new power, and with an advanced experience that shall explain and overlook the old. Love and you shall be loved. There can never be deep peace between two spirits, never mutual respect until, in their dialogue, each stands for the whole world.
Peace cannot be achieved through violence, it can only be attained through understanding. Is not marriage an open question, when it is alleged, from the beginning of the world, that such as are in the institution wish to get out, and such as are out wish to get in? He who is in love is wise and is becoming wiser, sees newly every time he looks at the object beloved, drawing from it with his eyes and his mind those virtues which it possesses.
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I must be myself. I cannot break myself any longer for you, or you. If you can love me for what I am, we shall be the happier. If you cannot, I will still seek to deserve that you should. If you are true, but not in the same truth with me, cleave to your companions; I will seek my own. I do this not selfishly, but humbly and truly. There can be no excess to love; none to knowledge; none to beauty, when these attributes are considered in the purest sense.
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