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Learning from the astute observers of human behavior is too valuable to ignore.  Here are some of their contributions. 

  • Politeness is to human nature what warmth is to wax.
  • My basic principle is that you don’t make decisions because they are easy, because they are cheap, or because they are popular. You make them because they are right.  (Theodore Hesburgh, former president of Notre Dame)
  • Nature is neutral.  There is no evil in the atom; only in men’s souls. (Adlai Stevenson)
  • Our Physician brought from heaven remedies for every single moral fault.  The medical art cures fevers with cold compresses, and chills with heat.  Similarly Jesus prescribed qualities contrary to our sins:  self-restraint to the undisciplined, generosity to the stingy, gentleness to the irritable, and humility to the proud.  (Gregory the Great)
  • Never complain about what you permit. (Mike Murdock)
  • If you give the devil a ride, he will always want to drive
  • Pay attention.  You never know what disguise your next teacher will be wearing.
  • Silence – the only sure way of not being misquoted.
  • Perfection of means and confusion of ends seems to characterize our age.  (Albert Einstein)
  • Order without liberty and liberty without order are equally destructive. (Theodore Roosevelt)
  • Perhaps the most central characteristic of authentic leadership is the relinquishing of the impulse to dominate others. (David Cooper in Psychiatry and Anti-Psychiatry)
  • Sarcasm is costly humor.  It may cause you to lose your best friend.
  • No folly is more costly than intolerant idealism. (Winston Churchill)
  • No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another. (Charles Dickens)
  • Rearranging bad eggs will never make a good omelet.
  • No temporary gain by disloyalty to Christ is ever worth what we lose in this world or the next.
  • Of evils, we must choose the least.  (Aristotle)
  • If we set our foot upon the spiritual path, the way grows ever more narrow, until at last we can only do what we must. (Ursula Le Guin)
  • One doesn’t discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time. (Andre Gide)
  • Our capacity for good makes democracy possible, but our inclination to evil makes justice necessary. (Reinhold Niebuhr)
  • Pain — nature letting you know you’re still alive and need to do something.
  • Perseverance is not a long race; it is a short races one after another.
  • Politics is the rivalry of organized minorities; the voters are the bleachers who cheer and jeer, but do not otherwise contribute to the result. (Will Durant)
  • Power intoxicates.  When intoxicated by alcohol, one can recover; when intoxicated by power, one seldom recovers. (James Byrnes)
  • Referring to his French compatriots in revolutionary times, Alexis de Tocqueville observed, “Halfway down the stairs, they threw themselves out of the window to reach the ground more quickly.”

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