To thine own self be true. Do the right thing.
I believe it. I have always been my own severest critic. It is very important to me to be fair, to be satisfied with my actions, to do what I think is right….and when I do that I don’t really care what other people think of me.
If that sounds strong, so be it….because although I prefer not to lose any friendships over it, I definitely cannot afford to lose my friendship with myself.
Self-respect cannot be hunted. It cannot be purchased. It is never for sale. It comes to us when we are alone, in quiet moments, in quiet places, when we suddenly realize that:
knowing the good, we have done it;
knowing the beautiful, we have served it;
knowing the truth, we have spoken it.
What I must do, and not what people think, is all that concerns me.
Nothing is a greater impediment to being on good terms with others
….than being ill at ease with yourself.
Honore de Balzac
If you can keep your head when all about you are losing theirs and blaming it on you.
If you can trust yourself when all others doubt you, but make allowance for their doubting, too.
If you can wait and not be tired of waiting; or being lied about, don't deal in lies; or being hated,
don't give way to hating; and yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise.
If you can dream and not make dreams your master. If you can think and not make thoughts your aim.
If you can meet with triumph and disaster and treat those two impostors just the same.
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools; or watch
the things you gave your life to, broken, and stoop and build them up again with worn-out tools.
If you can make one heap of all your winnings and risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss, and lose,
and start again at your beginnings, and never breathe a word about your loss.
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew to serve your turn long after they are gone,
and so hold on when there is nothing in you except the will which says to them: “Hold on!”
If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue, or walk with kings, and not lose the common touch.
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you.
If all people count with you, but none too much.
If you can fill every unforgiving minute with sixty seconds worth of distance run,
yours is the Earth and everything that's in it.
And, which is more. . . you'll be a fine person, a really great one.
You have no enemies, you say? Alas, my friend, the boast is poor.
Those who have mingled in the fray of duty
that the brave endure, must have made foes!
If you have none, small is the work that you have done.
You've hit no traitor on the hip. You've dashed no cup from perjured lip.
You've never turned the wrong to right.
You've been a coward in the fight!
Before I give up my right to anger....
I want to be sure that there is something at least as powerful to replace it on the road to clarity.
Nothing which is morally wrong can ever be politically right.
There may be times when we are powerless to prevent injustice
….but there must never be a time when we fail to protest.
Remember always that you not only have the right to be an individual
….you have an obligation to be one.
Freedom rests, and always will, on individual responsibility, individual
integrity, individual effort, individual courage, and individual faith.
The great events of world history are, at bottom, profoundly unimportant. In the last analysis, the essential thing is the life of the individual. This alone makes history; here alone do the great transformations take place. In our most private and most subjective lives we are not only the passive witnesses of our age, and its sufferers, but also its makers.
I find the great thing in this world is not so much where we stand
….as in what direction we are moving.
Oliver Wendell Holmes
Why should we be in such desperate haste to succeed, and in such desperate enterprises? If someone does not keep pace with their companions, perhaps it is because that person hears a different drummer. Let them step to the music that they hear, however measured or far away.
Henry David Thoreau
Try not to become a person of success, but rather a person of value.
Be more concerned with your character than with your reputation.
Your character is what you really are while your reputation is merely what others think you are.
Be who you are and say what you feel and what you believe
.…because those who mind, don’t matter
….and those who matter, don’t mind.
Theodor Seuss Geisel
Rather fail with honor than succeed by fraud.
This is the beginning of a new day.
God has given me this day to use it as I will.
I can waste it or use it for good.
What I do is important because I'm exchanging a day of my life for it.
I want it to be:
Gain, not loss....
Good, not evil....
Success, not failure....
in order that I shall not regret the price that I paid for it.
Ideals are like stars. You will not succeed in touching them with your hands; but, like the seafarer, you choose them as your guides, and following them, you will reach your destiny.
The only life worth living is the adventurous life. Of such a life the dominant characteristic is that it is unafraid. It is unafraid of what other people think. It does not adapt either its pace or its objectives to the pace and objectives of its neighbors. It thinks its own thoughts, it reads its own books, it develops its own hobbies and it is governed by its own conscience.
Character is the sum total of all our everyday choices.
I have but one system of ethics for people and for nations. To be grateful, to be faithful to all engagements and under all circumstances, to be open and generous, promoting in the long run the interests of both parties.
People who always give way to others will end
in having no principles of their own.
There is no pillow so soft as a clear conscience.
I will not cut my conscience to fit this year's fashions.
Always vote for a principle, though you may vote alone
....and you will cherish the sweet reflection that your vote is never lost.
John Quincy Adams
Where is there dignity unless there is honesty?
For what is a person profited,
if they shall gain the whole world,
and lose their own soul?
The measure of a person’s real character is what they would do if they knew
they would never be found out.
There comes a time when one must take the position that is neither safe nor politic nor popular….
but you must do it because conscience tells you it is right.
Martin Luther King, Jr.
For when the One Great Scorer comes to write against your name….
it shall be marked not that you won or lost….
but how you played the game.