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Category: Ponderings
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Rather than just removing them, I've decided to list here the quotes which have made their appearance at the bottom of my home page. That means this article will get new items added each time I change that quote. So, here they are:

Whether you think you can or think you can't, you're right.

 Henry Ford

I first came to understand this idea when training people to use their computers. Of those who would swear they were "computer illiterate", some believed me when I told them it was just a matter of learning, and they were successful at gaining new skills. Others refused to learn. No matter how I presented the material, they'd respond with negative comments about their own abilities, giving up before they'd tried.

 

An ethical person ought to do more than he's required to do and less than he's allowed to do.

 Michael Josephson, quoted in "Bill Moyers' World of Ideas"

I have another quote like this that I'll put up eventually. The right thing is the right thing regardless of laws or the presence or absence of observers. An overabundance of laws tends to discourage understanding of this principle, discourage the best in people, and encourage the worst.

 

"It's never personal to others, Ashauer, but it's always personal to those it affects, and yet through the ages, men have persisted in insisting that actions adverse to others are not personal."

 L. E. Modesitt, Jr., Empress of Eternity

Next time you feel like you must do something despite knowing it will have a negative impact on someone (which "can't be helped"), think again. I'm convinced it's possible, though not natural or easy, to behave in a way which harms no one.

 

Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You'll find what you need to furnish it -- memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey. You'll never lack for a home -- unless you lose your head, of course...

 Tad Williams, The Dragonbone Chair

As someone who constantly makes up new universes, this spoke right to my heart. I don't understand the obsession so many have with the material world... (Even when I'm sometimes one of the many.)

 

All of humanity's problems stem from man's inability to sit quietly in a room alone.

 Blaise Pascal, Pensées

See above. The mind is its own entertainment center.

 

The hardest thing to explain is the glaringly evident which everybody has decided not to see.

 Ayn Rand, The Fountainhead

Ayn Rand may not have understood the truth, but she understood reason. Willful blindness or ignorance simply cannot do any good. (More quotes like this will come.)

 

Once when my lord the Archmage was here with me in the Grove, he said to me he had spent his life learning how to choose to do what he had no choice but to do.

 Ursula K. LeGuin, The Other Wind

Sometimes, we know what's right, and have sufficient responsibility and integrity to do it, but not always happily, willingly. Learning to choose to do what we know we must do has to be one of the keys to both success and happiness.

 

Freedom is a heavy load, a great and strange burden for the spirit to undertake. It is not easy. It is not a gift given, but a choice made, and the choice may be a hard one.

 Ursula K. LeGuin, The Tombs of Atuan

This is one of my favorite quotes ever. If everyone understood freedom in this way, the world would be a far better place.

 

It's a rare gift, to know where you need to be, before you've been to all the places you don't need to be.

 Ursula K. LeGuin, Tales from Earthsea, "The Bones of The Earth"

Nothing more needs to be said.

 

I often wish...that I could rid the world of the tyranny of facts. What are facts but compromises? A fact merely marks the point where we have agreed to let investigation cease.

 Bliss Carman, attributed

Truth is far more valuable than a fact ever dreamed of being, and facts often stop us from continuing on to discovery of the truth.

 

Plotinus taught that each star existed for the sake of the whole, to which it contributed its individuality. Each has its particular part to play; by being uniquely itself it can make a contribution of maximum value.

 Hugh Nibley, Old Testament and Related Studies

Many claim that membership in organized religion, particularly, and adherence to a group's standards, generally, destroy individuality. I contend that willing participation in a group offers a venue where your individuality can enhance the value of the whole in ways no one else's can, and that God wants nothing more than for you to be the best you possible.

 

Nothing doth more hurt in a state than that cunning men pass for wise.

 Francis Bacon, Essays

This seemed appropriate for an election year. Are we allowing cunning people to replace or push out the wise?