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Ponder Points

A Ponder Point is a significant, outstanding, or effective idea, argument or suggestion that needs to be weighed in the mind with thoroughness and care.

Sunday, January 29, 2006

Points To Ponder By Confucius

The superior man, when resting in safety, does not forget that danger may come. When in a state of security he does not forget the possibility of ruin. When all is orderly, he does not forget that disorder may come. Thus his person is not endangered, and his States and all their clans are preserved.

Everything has its beauty but not everyone sees it.

I hear and I forget. I see and I remember. I do and I understand.

It does not matter how slowly you go so long as you do not stop.

Men's natures are alike, it is their habits that carry them far apart.

To be able under all circumstances to practice five things constitutes perfect virtue; these five things are gravity, generosity of soul, sincerity, earnestness and kindness.

He who speaks without modesty will find it difficult to make his words good.

I am not one who was born in the possession of knowledge; I am one who is fond of antiquity, and earnest in seeking it there.

The superior man...does not set his mind either for anything, or against anything; what is right he will follow.

Wednesday, January 25, 2006

Pondering Our Destiny

For rarely man escapes his destiny.
~Ludovico Ariosto~

Destiny is not a matter of chance, it is a matter of choice; it is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
~William Jennings Bryan~

There are certain events which to each man's life are as comets to the earth, seemingly strange and erratic portents; distinct from the ordinary lights which guide our course and mark our seasons, yet true to their own laws, potent in their own influences.
~Edward George Earle Lytton Bulwer-Lytton, 1st Baron Lytton~

Thoughts lead on to purpose, purpose leads on to actions, actions form habits, habits decide character, and character fixes our destiny.
~Tryon Edwards~

Do not seek to have events happen as you want them to, but instead want them to happen as they do happen, and your life will go well.

No trumpets sound when the important decisions of our life are made. Destiny is made known silently.

Be what nature intended you for, and you will succeed; be anything else and you will be ten thousand times worse than nothing.
~Sydney Smith~

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Man's Duty

I think a man's duty is to find out where the truth is, or if he cannot, at least to take the best possible human doctrine and the hardest to disprove, and to ride on this like a raft over the waters of life.

Duty is the most sublime word in our language. Do your duty in all things. You cannot do more. You should never wish to do less.
~Robert E. Lee~

Duty is ours; results are God's.
~John Quincy Adams~

The first duty of society is to give each of its members the possibility of fulfilling his destiny. When it becomes incapable of performing this duty it must be transformed.
~Alexis Carrel~

Ultimately, we have just one moral duty: to reclaim large areas of peace in ourselves, more and more peace, and to reflect it towards others. And the more peace there is in us, the more peace there will be in our troubled world.
~Etty Hilsum~

The one predominant duty is to find one's work and do it.
~Charlotte Perkins Gilman~

Our blunders mostly come from letting our wishes interpret our duties.
~Alexander MacLaren~

Saturday, January 21, 2006

Points For The Discriminating Ponderer

From the viewpoint of absolute truth, what we feel and experience in our ordinary daily life is all delusion. Of all the various delusions, the sense of discrimination between oneself and others is the worst form, as it creates nothing but unpleasant.
~Dalai Lama~

As long as there are entrenched social and political distinctions between sexes, races, or classes, there will be forms of science whose main function is to rationalize and legitimize these distinctions.
~Elizabeth Fee~

Prejudice, not being founded on reason, cannot be removed by argument.
~Samuel Johnson~

Preconceived notions are the locks on the door to wisdom.
~Merry Browne~

If we were to wake up some morning and find that everyone was the same race, creed and color, we would find some other causes for prejudice by noon.
~George Aiken~

One day our descendants will think it incredible that we paid so much attention to things like the amount of melanin in our skin or the shape of our eyes or our gender instead of the unique identities of each of us as complex human beings.
~Franklin Thomas~

No man has ever been born a Negro hater, a Jew hater, or any other kind of hater. Nature refuses to be involved in such suicidal practices.
~Harry Bridges~

Our thoughts are unseen hands shaping the people we meet. Whatever we truly think them to be, that's what they'll become for us.
~Richard Cowper~

Thursday, January 19, 2006

Pondering Wealth And Riches

A little house well fill'd, a little land well till'd, and a little wife well will'd, are great riches.

Wealth unused might as well not exist.

Seek not proud wealth; but such as thou mayest get justly, use soberly, distribute cheerfully, and love contentedly.
~Francis Bacon~

I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker. The example of great and pure individuals is the only thing that can lead us to noble thoughts and deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and irresistibly invites abuse. Can anyone imagine M anyone imagine Moses, Jesus or Gandhi armed with the money-bags of Carnegie?
~Albert Einstein~

Without the rich heart, wealth is an ugly beggar.
~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

Wealth is the product of man's capacity to think.
~Ayn Rand~

To suppose, as we all suppose, that we could be rich and not behave as the rich behave, is like supposing that we could drink all day and keep absolutely sober.
~Logan Pearsall Smith~

You can have money piled to the ceiling, but the size of your funeral is still going to depend on the weather.
~Chuck Tanner~

Tuesday, January 17, 2006

Historical Ponder Points

History is a string full of knots, the best you can do is admire it, and maybe tie it up a bit more. History is a hammock for swinging and a game for playing.
~Jeannette Winterson~

We get our ethics from our history and judge our history by our ethics.
~Ernst Troeltsch~

We learn from history that man can never learn anything from history.
~Hegel (1770-1831) German philosopher~

We should always be aware that what now lies in the past once lay in the future.
~F.W. Maitland~

Historical sense and poetic sense should not, in the end, be contradictory, for if poetry is the little myth we make, history is the big myth we live, and in our living constantly remake.
~Robert Warren~

History never repeats itself, man always does.
~Voltaire (1694-1778) French philosopher and historian~

It is a reproach of historians that they have too often turned history into a mere record of the butchery of men by their fellow men.
~J. R. Green~

Until the lion has a historian of his own, the tale of the hunt will always glorify the hunter.
~African Proverb~

Monday, January 16, 2006

Which Wolf Do You Feed?

There was grandfather, and his little grandson, who often came in the evenings to sit at his grandfather's knee and ask the many questions that children ask. One day the grandson came to his grandfather with a look of anger on his face. Grandfather said, "Come, sit, and tell me what has happened today." The child sat and leaned his chin on his Grandfather's knee. Looking up into the wrinkled, nut brown face and the kind dark eyes: the child's anger turned to quiet tears.
The Boy said, "I went to the town today, with my father, to trade the furs he has collected over the past several months. I was happy to go, because father said that since I had helped him with the trapping, I could get something for me. Something that I wanted. I was so excited to be in the trading post as I had not been there before. I looked at many things and finally found a metal knife! It was small, but a good size for me, so father got it for me." Here the boy laid his head against his grandfather's knee and became silent. The Grandfather, softly placed his hand on the boy's raven hair and said, "and then what happened?" Without lifting his head, the boy said, "I went outside to wait for father, and to admire my new knife in the sunlight. Some town boys came by and saw me, they got all around me and started saying bad things. They called me dirty and stupid and said that I should not have such a fine knife. The largest of these boys pushed me back and I fell over one of the other boys. I dropped my knife and one of them snatched it up and they all ran away laughing." Here the boy's anger returned, "I hate them, I hate them all!" The Grandfather, with eyes that had seen too much, lifted his grandson's face so his eyes looked into the boy's. Grandfather said, "let me tell you a story. I too, at times, have felt a great hate for those that have taken so much, with no sorrow for what they do. But hate wears you down, and does not hurt your enemy. It is like taking poison and wishing your enemy would die. I have struggled with these feelings many times. It is as if there are two wolves inside me, one is White and one is Black. The White Wolf is good and does no harm. He lives in harmony with all around him and does not take offense when no offense was intended. But will only fight when it is right to do so, and in the right way. But, the Black Wolf, is full of anger. The littlest thing will set him into a fit of temper. He fights everyone, all the time, for no reason. He cannot think because his anger and hate are so great. It is helpless anger, for his anger will change nothing. Sometimes it is hard to live with these two wolves inside me, for both of them try to dominate my spirit." The boy, looked intently into his Grandfathers eyes, and asked, "Which one wins Grandfather?" The Grandfather, smiled and said, "The one I feed."

Sunday, January 15, 2006

In Pursuit Of Harmony

Harmony with land is like harmony with a friend; you cannot cherish his right hand and chop off his left.
~Aldo Leopold~

Embody the three harmonies: within; with others; and with nature.
~Robert Gilman~

If you don’t need to prove that you are right or that someone else’s behavior should be punished, you can better see your way to achieving harmony in any given situation.
~Catherine Ingram~

Begrudging others leads to disharmony. Without harmony there can be no happiness. Therefore, let go of grudges and restore harmony. In a harmonious world, happiness is possible.
~Arthur Dobrin~

When one reaches this state of harmony between things and one's self, one reaches a state of perfect freedom and peace--which makes everything possible and right. Life becomes perpetual revelation.
~Georges Braque~

You don't get harmony when everybody sings the same note.
~Doug Floyd~

From discord, find harmony.
~Albert Einstein~

Tuesday, January 10, 2006

The American Family

American families have always shown remarkable resiliency, or flexible adjustment to natural, economic, and social challenges. Their strengths resemble the elasticity of a spider web, a gull's skillful flow with the wind, the regenerating power of perennial grasses, the cooperation of an ant colony, and the persistence of a stream carving canyon rocks. These are not the strengths of fixed monuments but living organisms. This resilience is not measured by wealth, muscle or efficiency but by creativity, unity, and hope. Cultivating these family strengths is critical to a thriving human community.

~Ben Silliman~

Sunday, January 08, 2006

Pondering Death

When it comes time to die, be not like those whose hearts are filled with the fear of death, so when their time comes they weep and pray for a little more time to live their lives over again in a different way. Sing your death song, and die like a hero going home.
~Chief Aupumut, Mohican. 1725 ~

When we die we take nothing with us that we have received, only that which we have given.
~Francis of Assisi, 1181-1226~

It is good to have a reminder of death before us, for it helps us to understand the impermanence of life on this earth, and this understanding may aid us in preparing for our own death.
~Black Elk, Oglala Sioux~

To live in this worldyou must be able to do three things:
To love what is mortal;to hold itagainst your bones knowingyour own life depends on it;
And when the time comes to letit go,to let it go.

~Mary Oliver~

Death is not a period but a comma in the story of life.

Friday, January 06, 2006

Pondering Patience

One moment of patience may ward off great disaster. One moment of impatience may ruin a whole life.
~Chinese Proverb~

Patience and perseverance have a magical effect before which difficulties disappear and obstacles vanish.
~John Quincy Adams~

We could never learn to be brave and patient if there were only joy in the world.
~Helen Keller~

Our real blessings often appear to us in the shape of pains, losses and disappointments; but let us have patience and we soon shall see them in their proper figures.
~Joseph Addison~

Patience with others is Love, Patience with self is Hope, Patience with God is Faith.
~Adel Bestavros~

The marvel of all history is the patience with which men and women submit to burdens unnecessarily laid upon them by their governments.
~William Edgar Borah~

We smile at the ignorance of the savage who cuts down the tree in order to reach its fruit; but the same blunder is made by every person who is over eager and impatient in the pursuit of pleasure.
~William Channing~

Patience is power; with time and patience the mulberry leaf becomes silk.
~Chinese Proverb~

Thursday, January 05, 2006

The Rules For Being Human

1. You will receive a body. You may like it or hate it, but it's the only thing you are sure to keep for the rest of your life.

2. You will learn lessons. You are enrolled in a full-time informal school called "Life on Planet Earth". Every person or incident is the Universal Teacher.

3. There are no mistakes, only lessons. Growth is a process of experimentation. "Failures" are as much a part of the process as "success."

4. A lesson is repeated until learned. It is presented to you in various forms until you learn it -- then you can go on to the next lesson.

5. If you don't learn easy lessons, they get harder. External problems are a precise reflection of your internal state. When you clear inner obstructions, your outside world changes. Pain is how the universe gets your attention.

6. You will know you've learned a lesson when your actions change. Wisdom is practice. A little of something is better than a lot of nothing.

7. "There" is no better than "here". When your "there" becomes a "here" you will simply obtain another "there" that again looks better than "here."

8. Others are only mirrors of you. You cannot love or hate something about another unless it reflects something you love or hate in yourself.

9. Your life is up to you. Life provides the canvas; you do the painting. Take charge of your life -- or someone else will.

10. You always get what you want. Your subconscious rightfully determines what energies, experiences, and people you attract -- therefore, the only foolproof way to know what you want is to see what you have. There are no victims, only students.

11. There is no right or wrong, but there are consequences. Moralizing doesn't help. Judgments only hold the patterns in place. Just do your best.

12. Your answers lie inside you. Children need guidance from others; as we mature, we trust our hearts, where the Laws of Spirit are written. You know more than you have heard or read or been told. All you need to do is to look, listen, and trust.

13. You will forget all this.

14. You can remember any time you wish.

(From the book "If Life is a Game, These are the Rules" by Cherie Carter-Scott)

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Secrets Of Health

The secret of health for both mind and body is not to mourn for the past, not to worry about the future, or not to anticipate troubles, but to live the present moment wisely and earnestly.

The health of the people is really the foundation upon which all their happiness and all their powers as a state depend.
~Benjamin Disraeli~

Times affect us just as places; we live equally in them both; we are surrounded by them, they touch us, fashion us, leave always some impression on us. Unhealthy places and decadent times infect us by their contagion.

Doing good to others is not a duty. It is a joy, for it increases your own health and happiness.

Wisdom is to the soul what health is to the body.

The greatest of follies is to sacrifice health for any other kind of happiness.
~Arthur Schopenhauer~

Cheerfulness is the very flower of health.
~Japanese Proverb~

The body is like a piano, and happiness is like music. It is needful to have the instrument in good order.

Monday, January 02, 2006

A Half Dozen Ponder Points On The New Year

An optimist stays up until midnight to see the new year in. A pessimist stays up to make sure the old year leaves.
~Bill Vaughn~

We will open the book. Its pages are blank. We are going to put words on them ourselves. The book is called Opportunity and its first chapter is New Year's Day.
~Edith Lovejoy Pierce~

For last year's words belong to last year's language and next year's words await another voice. And to make an end is to make a beginning.
~T.S. Eliot~

New Year's Day - Now is the accepted time to make your regular annual good resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.
~Mark Twain~

New Year's Day is every man's birthday.
~Charles Lamb~

Be always at war with your vices, at peace with your neighbors, and let each new year find you a better man.
~Benjamin Franklin~