Tuesday, August 7, 2007

To Thine Own Self Be True

When I was in sixth grade, my teacher had the quote: "To Thine Own Self Be True" over the blackboard in our classroom. A tall order for sixth graders, who did not have the first clue about their "own selves". It is a line from Hamlet (William Shakespeare), in which the character of Polonius prepares his son Laertes for travel abroad with a speech in which he directs the youth to commit a "few precepts to memory." That quote has stuck with me all these years. I knew that it was a statement of fact - you should be true to yourself in all things. Not an easy lesson to learn but definitely one to aspire to every day.

I love quotes. A great quote is able to sum up something that is true in a few words. The less words that you can use to say it, usually the better the quote. One of my favorite websites is www.thinkexist.com. You can look up quotes, subscribe to daily quotes, get a quote put on a t-shirt. It's awesome!

Here are a few of my favorite quotes - the short summation of a truth, a reminder of what we should be aspiring to everyday.

“We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.”
"All human actions have one or more of these seven causes: chance, nature, compulsions, habit, reason, passion and desire.”
“Those that know, do. Those that understand, teach.”

"The unexamined life is not worth living.”
“The only true wisdom is in knowing you know nothing.”
“Education is the kindling of a flame, not the filling of a vessel”
"To find yourself, think for yourself”

Albert Einstein:
“There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle; you can live as if everything is a miracle.”
“We can't solve problems by using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them.”
"Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough”
"The only real valuable thing is intuition.”
“The world is not dangerous because of those who do harm but because of those who look at it without doing anything”
“Anyone who doesn't take truth seriously in small matters cannot be trusted in large ones either.”

Mark Twain:
“It ain't what you don't know that gets you into trouble. It's what you know for sure that just ain't so.”
“Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.”
"There are basically two types of people. People who accomplish things, and people who claim to have accomplished things. The first group is less crowded.”
“A habit cannot be tossed out the window; it must be coaxed down the stairs a step at a time.”

Edgar Allan Poe:
“All religion, my friend, is simply evolved out of fraud, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry”
“Stupidity is a talent for misconception.”

Dr. Suess:
“Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don't matter and those who matter don't mind.”
“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.”

George Sheehan:
“Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be”

Bertrand Russell:
“The secret of happiness is this: let your interests be as wide as possible, and let your reactions to the things and persons that interest you be as far as possible friendly rather than hostile.”

Harriet Beecher Stowe:
“When you get into a tight place and everything goes against you, till it seems as though you could not hold on a minute longer, never give up then, for that is just the place and time that the tide will turn.”

Calvin Coolidge:
“Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful people with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent. The slogan "press on" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race”

Find your own precepts, write them down, memorize them, find a place to post them so you can be reminded every day. To Thine Own Self Be True.