Thursday, October 31, 2013

#1223 The quiet voice

Clothes make a statement.  Costumes tell a story.  ~ Mason Cooley

Halloween is huge at my house and we really get into the "spirits" of things.  ~ Dee Snider

Where there is no imagination there is no horror.  ~ Arthur Conan Doyle

Tis the night—the night
Of the grave's delight,
And the warlocks are at their play;
Ye think that without,
The wild winds shout,
But no, it is they—it is they.  ~ Arthur Cleveland Coxe

Halloween wraps fear in innocence,
As though it were a slightly sour sweet.
Let terror, then, be turned into a treat...   Nicholas Gordon

Quotes about Halloween

- What costume have you worn with a vivid story?
- When have you enjoyed some horror in entertainment?
- Why does Halloween engage the imagination so vividly?

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

#1222 Generous consent

The road to success is always under construction.  ~ Lily Tomlin

I couldn't wait for success, so I went on without it.  ~ Jonathan Winters

I've had great success being a total idiot.  ~ Jerry Lewis

Eighty percent of success is showing up.  ~ Woody Allen

You are forgiven for your happiness and your successes only if you generously consent to share them.  ~ Albert Camus

Quotes about success

- What is your current construction project?
- How can you share your successes?

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

#1221 The quiet voice

Let perseverance be your engine and hope your fuel.   ~H. Jackson Brown

The man who is swimming against the stream knows the strength of it.   ~Woodrow Wilson

Even in the mud and scum of things, something always, always sings.  ~ Ralph Waldo Emerson

Courage doesn't always roar, sometimes it's the quiet voice at the end of the day whispering 'I will try again tomorrow.   ~ Mary Anne Radmacher

Life keeps throwing me curve balls and I don't even own a bat. At least my dodging skills are improving.  ~ Jayleigh Cape

Quotes about perseverance, resilience

- What stream are you swimming against?
- What gives you the strength to carry on?
- How do you cope?

Monday, October 28, 2013

#1220 Should make you jump up

Ideas are like rabbits.  You get a couple and learn how to handle them, and pretty soon you have a dozen.  ~ John Steinbeck

I refuse to accept other people's ideas of happiness for me.  As if there's 'a one size fits all' standard for happiness.  ~ Kanye West

I can't understand why people are frightened of new ideas.  I'm frightened of the old ones.  ~  John Cage

You can have brilliant ideas, but if you can't get them across, your ideas won't get you anywhere.  ~ Lee Iacocca

Getting an idea should be like sitting down on a pin; it should make you jump up and do something.  ~ E. L. Simpson

Quotes about ideas

-  What idea have you acted upon?
-  Why fear some old ideas?
-  What is your idea for personal happiness?

Saturday, October 26, 2013

#1219 A lovely light

Look at how a single candle can both defy and define the darkness.  ~ Anne Frank

To light a candle is to cast a shadow.  ~ Ursula K. Le Guin

There are two ways of spreading light: to be the candle or the mirror that reflects it. ~ Edith Wharton

How far that little candle throws its beams.  So shines a good deed in a naughty world.  ~William Shakespeare

My candle burns at both ends;
It will not last the night;
But ah, my foes, and oh, my friends—
It gives a lovely light!  ~ Edna St. Vincent Millay

Quotes about candles and light 

- In what sense can a candle defy the darkness?
- What challenging quality about candles does Le Guin suggest? 
- In what ways can you emanate light?

Friday, October 25, 2013

#1218 The burden of responsibility

Say what you say plainly, and then take responsibility for it.

A small act is worth a million thoughts.

A nation that has no music and no fairy tales is a tragedy. 

If my art has nothing to do with people's pain and sorrow, what is 'art' for?

The world is not changing if you don’t shoulder the burden of responsibility.

Quotes by Ai Weiwei, Chinese artist, curator, architectural designer, cultural and social commentator and activist

- For what have you taken responsibility?
- What small but significant acts have you witnessed?
- In what ways can you act?

Thursday, October 24, 2013

#1217 The circle of the moon

The best things in life are nearest: Breath in your nostrils,light in your eyes,flowers at your feet, duties at your hand, the path of right just before you. Then do not grasp at the stars, but do life's plain, common work as it comes, certain that daily duties and daily bread are the sweetest things in life.  ~ Robert Louis Stevenson

The art of being happy lies in the power of extracting happiness from common things.~ Henry Ward Beecher

When you can do the common things of life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.  ~George Washington Carver

Many ingenious lovely things are gone
That seemed sheer miracle to the multitude,
protected from the circle of the moon
that pitches common things about.~  William Butler Yeats

Quotes about common things

- To what extent do you engage in wishful thinking?
- What common things bring you happiness?
- What common things can you do well?

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

#1216 The eyes only see

To exist is to change, to change is to mature, to mature is to go on creating oneself.

Homo sapiens, the only creature endowed with reason, is also the only creature to pin its existence on things unreasonable.

Genius is that which forces the inertia of humanity to learn.

Intuition is a method of feeling one's way intellectually into the inner heart of a thing to locate what is unique and inexpressible in it.

The eyes only see what the mind is prepared to comprehend.

Quotes  by Henri Bergson, French philosopher and Nobel laureate, 1927

- In what respects are you maturing?
- What geniuses come to your mind which have opened horizons?
- What have you intuitively felt?
- What are you prepared to comprehend?  

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

#1215 Abandon the urge

We must not allow the clock and the calendar to blind us to the fact that each moment of life is a miracle and mystery.  ~ H. G. Wells

Do not all charms fly at the mere touch of cold philosophy?  There was an awful rainbow once in heaven: we know her woof, her texture; she is given in the dull catalogue of common things.  Philosophy will clip an angel's wings, conquer all mysteries by rule and line, empty the haunted air, and unweave a rainbow.
  ~ John Keats

Abandon the urge to simplify everything, to look for formulas and easy answers, and to begin to think multidimensionally, to glory in the mystery and paradoxes of life, not to be dismayed by the multitude of causes and consequences that are inherent in each experience -- to appreciate the fact that life is complex.  ~ M. Scott Peck

Quotes about life's miracles and mysteries

- To what extent does your calendar dominate your thoughts and actions?
- What mysteries have been reduced by 'cold philosophy',  by modern analytical thinking?
- Where could you begin thinking more multidimensionally?

Monday, October 21, 2013

#1214 Begin at once

In doing what we ought we deserve no praise, because it is our duty.  ~ Joseph Addison

But what is your duty? What the day demands.  ~ Johann Wolfgang von Goethe

How can we know ourselves? Never by reflection, but only through action. Begin at once to do your duty and immediately you will know what is inside you.  ~ Goethe

Non nobis solum nati sumus. (Not for ourselves alone are we born.)  ~ Cicero

Life is made up, not of great sacrifices or duties, but of little things, in which smiles, and kindnesses, and small obligations, given habitually, are what win and preserve the heart and secure comfort.  ~ Humphrey Davy 

Quotes about duty

- What are the demands of your day?
- What should you be doing?

Saturday, October 19, 2013

#1213 Five genetic needs

Today was good.  Today was fun.  Tomorrow is another one.   ~Dr. Seuss

Life is more fun if you play games.   ~Roald Dahl

I never did a day's work in my life.  It was all fun.   ~Thomas Edison

I have fun with ideas.  I play with them.  ~ Ray Bradbury

We are driven by five genetic needs: survival, love and belonging, power, freedom, and fun.   ~William Glasser

Quotes about fun

- How do you have fun?
- How comprehensive is Glasser's five genetic needs?  Could you add one or two? 

Friday, October 18, 2013

#1212 Fail to appreciate

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.  ~ Rumi

Cleverness is not wisdom.  ~ Euripides

Which would you rather be if you had the choice--divinely beautiful or dazzlingly clever or angelically good?  ~ L. M. Montgomery,  Anne of Green Gables

Too clever is dumb.  ~ Ogden Nash

If we fail to appreciate the soul that Easternism gives us, then what we have is a disconnected,  Greco-Roman, Western, egocentric,compartmentalized, reductionist, fragmented,linear thought process that counts on cleverness.  ~ Joel Salatin

Quotes about cleverness

- Why is cleverness often seen as a vice rather than a virtue?
- What might you consider changing about yourself?
- What can we appreciate about the Eastern perspective?

Thursday, October 17, 2013

#1211 The greatest sign

If you don't fail now and again, it's a sign you're playing it safe.   ~Woody Allen

The most manifest sign of wisdom is continued cheerfulness.   ~ Michel de Montaigne

The primary sign of a well-ordered mind is a man's ability to remain in one place and linger in his own company.   ~Seneca

Pretend that every single person you meet has a sign around his or her neck that says, ''Make me feel important.''  Not only will you succeed in sales, you will succeed in life.   ~Mary Kay Ash

The need to be right is the sign of a vulgar mind.   ~Albert Camus

The greatest sign of success for a teacher... is to be able to say, "The children are now working as if I did not exist."    ~Maria Montessori

Quotes about signs

- How safe are you playing your life?
- How cheerful are you?
- When did you feel empowered to learn?

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

#1210 The noblest pleasure

Life is the first gift, love is the second, and understanding the third.  ~ Marge Piercy

To understand the heart and mind of a person, look not at what he has already achieved, but at what he aspires to.  ~ Kahlil Gibran

If one is master of one thing and understands one thing well, one has at the same time, insight into and understanding of many things.  ~ Van Gogh

The noblest pleasure is the joy of understanding.  ~ Leonardo da Vinci

Seek first to understand, and then to be understood. ~ Stephen Covey

Can a man who's warm understand one who's freezing?  ~ Alexander Solzhenitsyn

Quotes about understanding

- Why is understanding such a valued gift?
- What do you understand quite well which helps you to understand more things?
-  How much can we truly understand the plight of another?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

#1209 The germ of happiness

To eat bread without hope is still slowly to starve to death.

Many people lose the small joys in the hope for the big happiness.

Inside myself is a place where I live all alone and that's where you renew your springs that never dry up.

Men and women should own the world as a mutual possession.

Growth itself contains the germ of happiness.

The truly creative mind in any field is no more than this: a human creature born abnormally, inhumanly sensitive.  He must create, must pour out creation. By some strange, unknown, inward urgency he is not really alive unless he is creating.

Quotes by Pearl S. Buck, Nobel prize winner of Literature 1938

- What sprinkles of hope lie within you?
- What small joys may you be missing?
- What growth and creativity seek expression?

Monday, October 14, 2013

#1208 Nothing is simple

The constant happiness is curiosity.

It's just life.  You can't beat life.

I can't play bridge. I don't play tennis. All those things that people learn, and I admire, there hasn't seemed time for. But what there is time for is looking out the window.

My head was a magpie's nest lined with such bright scraps of information.

In twenty years I've never had a day when I didn't have to think about someone else's needs.  And this means the writing has to be fitted around it. 

The complexity of things- the things within things- just seems to be endless.  I mean nothing is easy, nothing is simple.

Quotes by Alice Munro, Nobel prize winner 2013 for literature.

- What Nobel prize winner of literature have you enjoyed?
- How can you nurture your curiosity?
- What is so complex about many of life's experiences?

Saturday, October 12, 2013

#1207 It's not selfish

 No one is useless in this world who lightens the burdens of another.  ~Charles Dickens

 It's not how much we give but how much love we put into giving.  ~Mother Teresa

We make a living by what we get. We make a life by what we give.   ~Winston Churchill

 No one has ever become poor by giving.  ~Anne Frank

Giving yourself some loving attention is not selfish. It is sensible. If you feel loved and cherished--even if it is only by yourself--then you will have more love to give to others, too.   ~Penelope Quest

Quotes about giving

- When has your burdened been lightened?
- Who might need a lift around you?
- How much positive attention do you give yourself?

Friday, October 11, 2013

#1206 Broken the chains

I wear the chain I forged in life....I made it link by link, and yard by yard; I girded it on of my own free will, and of my own free will I wore it.   ~Charles Dickens

Man is born free, but is everywhere in chains.   ~Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The melting voice through mazes running,
untwisting all the chains that tie
the hidden soul of harmony.  ~ John Milton

Forgiveness is the key that unlocks the door of resentment and the handcuffs of hate. It is a power that breaks the chains of bitterness and the shackles of selfishness.    ~William Arthur Ward

Happy is the man who has broken the chains which hurt the mind, and has given up worrying once and for all.   ~ Ovid

Quotes about chains

- What chains have you gladly fashioned for yourself?
- From what chains do you seek release?

Thursday, October 10, 2013

#1205 To have succeeded

Success is liking yourself, liking what you do, and liking how you do it.  ~ Maya Angelou

As we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.  ~ Bill Gates

You may be disappointed if you fail, but you are doomed if you don’t try.  ~ Beverly Sills

If I cannot do great things,  I can do small things in a great way.  ~ Martin Luther King Jr.

To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived—this is to have succeeded.  ~ Bessie Anderson Stanley

Quotes about success

- When have you felt empowered?
- What small things can you do in a great way?
- What could you add to Stanley's list about the qualities of success?

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

#1204 A divine appointment

Allow children to be happy in their own way, for what better way will they find?  ~ Samuel Johnson

Children are great imitators. So give them something great to imitate.  ~ anonymous

A person's a person no matter how small.  ~ Dr. Seuss

Children are the living messages we send to a time we will not see.  ~ John W. Whitehead

Every child you encounter is a divine appointment.  ~ Wess Stafford

When a child is locked in the bathroom with water running and he says he's doing nothing but the dog is barking, call 911.  ~ Erma Bombeck

Quotes about children

- What observations can you make about your childhood?
- What is the best environment for a growing child?
- What positive impact could you provide for a child?

Tuesday, October 8, 2013

#1203 Our splendid failure

Every noble work is at first impossible.  ~Thomas Carlyle

It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.  ~Walt Disney

We are all faced with a series of great opportunities brilliantly disguised as impossible situations.  ~Charles R. Swindoll

I have learned to use the word “impossible” with the greatest of caution.  ~Wernher von Braun

"One can't believe impossible things," Alice said. "I daresay you haven't had much practice," said the Queen. When I was your age, I always did it for half an hour a day. Why, sometimes I've believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.   ~Lewis Carroll

All of us failed to match our dreams of perfection. So I rate us on the basis of our splendid failure to do the impossible.  ~William Faulkner

Quotes about the impossible 

- What startling technological advancements have occurred?
- What difficult challenges have you confronted?
- What is particularly insightful and comforting about Faulkner's quote?

Monday, October 7, 2013

#1202 Revolution of the heart

The heart has its reasons which reason knows not.  ~ Blaise Pascal

I think... if it is true that
there are as many minds as there
are heads, then there are as many
kinds of love as there are hearts.  ~ Leo Tolstoy

Be still, sad heart! and cease repining;
Behind the clouds is the sun still shining;
Thy fate is the common fate of all,
Into each life some rain must fall.  ~ Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

The greatest challenge of the day is: how to bring about a revolution of the heart, a revolution which has to start with each one of us?   ~Dorothy Day

Quotes about the heart 

- What is on your heart?
- How can you achieve more calmness and serenity?
- What steps can you take to cultivate a kind and generous heart?

Saturday, October 5, 2013

#1201 Both ends of the spectrum

Every season has its peaks and valleys. What you have to try to do is eliminate the Grand Canyon   ~ Andy Van Slyke

One see great things from the valley, only small things from the peak.   ~ G. K. Chesterton

All of life is peaks and valleys. Don't let the peaks get too high and the valleys too low.   ~ John Wooden

Probably nor'east to sou'west winds varying to the southard and westard and eastard and points between; high and low barometer, sweeping round from place to place; probably areas of rain, snow, heat and drought, succeeded or preceded by earth quakes.   ~ Mark Twain

I've experienced the highest of highs and lowest of lows. I think to really appreciate anything you have to be at both ends of the spectrum.  ~ John Elway

Quotes about highs and lows

- How do you cope when times are difficult?
- What message is Twain conveying in his quote?
- Why is a balanced perspective about highs and lows a good one?

Friday, October 4, 2013

365 Quotes Quest: Volume 3

I enjoyed compiling a third volume of 365 Quote Quest where I provide quotes around a theme or author and ask questions to encourage reflection and enrichment.    These entries are a product of my regular posts here and at quoteflections. 

For example, entry #834 is entitled 'Stay Involved.'

The dedicated life is the life worth living.  ~ Annie Dillard

The resolved mind hath no cares.  ~ George Herbert

Without involvement there is no commitment.  Mark it down, asterisk it, circle it, underline it.  No involvement, no commitment.  ~ Stephen R. Covey

Stay committed to your decisions, but stay flexible in your approach.  ~ Tom Robbins

- How dedicated and resolved are you?
- How involved and flexible?
- What motivates you?

I consider each entry a meditation nugget.

You may see all three volumes available on my Author Central page at Amazon.  Volume 3 contains 264 pages, with multiple quotes for most entries.    The books are available at cost.

#1100 We are Butterflies

A power of Butterfly must be -
The Aptitude to fly
Meadows of Majesty concedes
And easy Sweeps of Sky.  ~Emily Dickinson

There is nothing in a caterpillar that tells you it's going to be a butterfly.   ~Margaret Fuller

The caterpillar does all the work, but the butterfly gets all the publicity.   ~George Carlin

Butterflies are self propelled flowers.   ~R. H. Heinlein

We are all butterflies. Earth is our chrysalis.   ~LeeAnn Taylor

The butterfly counts not months but moments, and has time enough.   ~Rabindranath Tagore

Quotes about butterfly

- When have you been struck by the beauty of the butterfly?
- In what ways are we all precious butterflies?

Thursday, October 3, 2013

#1099 The Primeval Soil

What we play is life. ~ Louis Armstrong

Play energizes us and enlivens us. It eases our burdens. It renews our natural sense of optimism and opens us up to new possibilities.  ~Stuart Brown

Almost all creativity involves purposeful play.  ~Abraham Maslow

Children at play are not playing about. Their games should be seen as their most serious minded activity.     ~Michel de Montaigne

Now in myth and ritual the great instinctive forces of civilized life have their origin: law and order, commerce and profit, craft and art, poetry, wisdom and science. All are rooted in the primeval soil of play.   ~Johan Huizinga

Quotes about play

- What engaging play do you enjoy?
- Where lies your creativity?
- How can you encourage a child's play?

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

#1098 Magic on this Planet

When the well is dry, we learn the worth of water.  ~ Benjamin Franklin

Thousands have lived without love, not one without water.  ~ W. H. Auden

 If there is magic on this planet, it is contained in water.  Loran Eisley

We need a new global culture that finds the existence of millions of thirsty people thoroughly and immediately unacceptable.  ~ Jean-Michel Cousteau

Water is critical for sustainable development, including environmental integrity and the alleviation of poverty and hunger, and is indispensable for human health and well-being.  ~ United Nations

Quotes about water

- When have you endured a drought?
- When have you experienced the magic of fresh water?
- How can you value water more?

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

#1097 A reality to be experienced

Life can only be understood backwards; but it must be lived forwards.

Don't forget to love yourself first.

The function of prayer is not to influence God, but rather to change the nature of the one who prays.

Life is not a problem to be solved, but a reality to be experienced.

What labels me, negates me.

Quotes by Soren Kierkegaard

- What do you understand about life by recalling your past?
- How much do you love yourself (without being narcissistic)?
- How could you be changed through prayer?
- How tempting is it for you to label others?