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Bits & Pieces I

Back II III IV



On History
History repeats itself, which is good because most people don't pay attention the first time anyway. Charles A. Beard, the historian, was once asked if he could summarize the lessons of history. Beard replied that he could do it with four simple observations: 1. Whom the gods would destroy they first make mad with power. 2. The mills of the gods grind slowly, but they grind exceedingly fine. 3. The bee fertilizes the flower it robs. 4. When it is dark enough, you can see the stars.
On Courage
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear ~ Mark Twain Courage...is nothing less than the power to overcome danger, misfortune, fear, injustice, while continuing to affirm inwardly that life with all its sorrows is good; that everything is meaningful even if in a sense beyond our understanding; and that there is always tomorrow. Dorothy Thompson (1894 1961) Journalist
On Gratitude
It's not good to say "thank you" and not mean it, but it's even worse to mean it and not say it. I look back upon my youth and realize how so many people gave me help, understanding, courage very important things to me and they never knew it. They entered into my life and became powers within me. All of us live spiritually by what others have given us, often unwittingly, in the significant hours of our life. At the time these significant hours may not even be perceived. We may not recognize them until years later when we look back, as one remembers some long-ago music or a boyhood landscape. We all owe to others much of the gentleness and wisdom that we have made our own; and we may well ask ourselves what will others owe to us. Albert Schweitzer (1875 1965) French medical missionary
On Change
Every change is not an improvement, but every improvement is by change.
On Human Nature
It's easy to be an angel when nobody ruffles your feathers. Some of us are like wheelbarrows only useful when pushed, and very easily upset. ~ Jack Herbert
On Obstacles
To become you have to overcome. What set [Thomas] Edison apart was that, with all his boundless exaggeration, he conveyed the feeling that he would succeed. No matter what the obstacles, he would pound away until they were demolished. Robert Conot Writer
On Words
Words to live by are just words, unless you live by them. You have to walk the talk. Handle them carefully, for words have more power than atom bombs.
On Ideas
The problem is never how to get new, innovative thoughts into your mind, but how to get old ones out. Dee Hock Founder, Visa
On Responsibility
The most ability is responsibility. Nothing happens until someone steps forward and says, "You can count on me." John Maxwell Speaker and writer The celebrated historian Barbara Tuchman called our times, "The Age of Disruption, a period when we've lost belief in certain kinds of moral understanding of good and bad." A reporter for The Indianapolis Star once asked the two-time Pulitzer Prize winner what she thought was most needed in the next century. "Probably personal responsibility," she replied, explaining that this means "taking responsibility for your behavior and your expenditures and your actions, and not forever supposing that society must forgive you because it's not your fault."
On Potential
The most delightful surprise in life is to suddenly recognize your own worth. Maxwell Maltz (1899 1975) Surgeon and writer In the long run you hit only what you aim at. Therefore, though you should fail immediately, you had better aim at something high. Henry David Thoreau (1817 1862) Philosopher and writer
On Thinking
My problem is I say what I'm thinking before I think what I'm saying. Laurence J. Peter Educator and writer There are two kinds of people: Those who stop to think and Those who stop thinking.
On Courage
It's a rare person who wants to hear what he doesn't want to hear. Dick Cavett Television personality To dream anything that you want to dream that is the beauty of the human mind. To do anything you want to do that is the strength of the human will. To trust yourself to test your limits that is the courage to succeed.
On Wisdom
To acquire knowledge, one must study; but to acquire wisdom, one must observe. Marilyn Vos Savant Writer Much wisdom can be crowded into but four words: In God we trust. This too shall pass. Live and let live. Still waters run deep. Bad news travels fast. Love laughs at locksmiths. Nothing succeeds like success. Charity begins at home. Politics make strange bedfellows. Nothing ventured, nothing gained. Man proposes, God disposes. Let sleeping dogs lie.
On Giving
Life is the first gift, love is the second, and understanding is the third. Marge Piercy Writer You get more than you give when you give more than you get.
On Happiness
Happiness makes up in height for what it lacks in length. Robert Frost We act as though comfort and luxury were the chief requirements of life, when all that we need to make us really happy is something to be enthusiastic about. Charles Kingsley (1819 1875) Writer
On Choice
People always have two reasons for the things they do: 1) The logical reason, and 2) The real reason. The greatest power we have is the power of choice. It's an actual fact that if you've been moping in unhappiness, you can choose to be joyous instead and, by effort, lift yourself into joy. If you tend to be fearful, you can overcome that misery by choosing to have courage. Even in darkest grief you have a choice. The whole trend and quality of anyone's life is determined in the long run by the choices that are made. Norman Vincent Peale (1898 - 1993) Clergyman
On Achievement
The three great essentials to achieve anything worthwhile are first, hard work; second, stick-to-itiveness; and third, common sense. Thomas Edison (1847 - 1931) Inventor Bite off more than you can chew, then chew it. Plan more than you can do, then do it. Point your arrow at a star, take your aim, and there you are. Arrange more time than you can spare, then spare it. Take on more than you can bear, then bear it. Plan your castle in the air, then build a ship to take you there.
On Lighter Side
If I like it, I say it's mine. If I don't, I say it's a fake. Pablo Picasso (1881-1973) Artist STRANGE BUT TRUE...the other line moves faster. This applies to all lines - bank, supermarket, tollbooth, customs, and so on. And don't try to change lines. The Other Line - the one you were in originally - will then move faster. Barbara Ettore