Goodness 2    

Quotes for
the Journey:


Waste no more time arguing what
a good person should be. Be one.

Marcus Aurelius


Goodwill to others. . . helps build you up. It is good for your body.  It makes your blood purer, your muscles stronger, and your whole form more symmetrical in shape.  It is the real elixir of life.      -Prentice Mulford

To me, one of the proofs that there is a moral governance in the universe is the fact that when people and governments work intelligently and far-sightedly for the good of others, they achieve their own prosperity, too.      -Barbara Ward

Above all, let us never forget that an act of goodness is in itself an act of happiness.  It is the flower of a long inner life of joy and contentment; it tells of peaceful hours and days on the sunniest heights of our soul.       -Maurice Maeterlinck


Morality has been conceived up to the present in a very narrow spirit, as obedience to a law, as inner struggle between opposite laws.  As for me, I declare that when I do good I obey no one, I fight no battle and win no victory.  The cultivated person has only to follow the delicious incline of his or her inner impulses.  Be beautiful and then do at each moment whatever your heart may inspire you to do. This is the whole of morality.       -Ernest Renan

Sow good services; sweet remembrances will grow from them.       -Madame de Stael
Goodwill is the mightiest practical force in the universe.      -Charles F. Dole

All that is good, all that is true, all that is beautiful, all that is beneficent, be it great or small, be it perfect or fragmentary, natural as well as supernatural, moral as well as material, comes from God.       -John Henry Newman


Those who wait to do a great deal of good at once will never do anything.  Life is made up of little things.  True greatness consists in being great in the little things.       -Samuel Johnson


If you have not often felt the joy
of doing a kind act, you have
neglected much, and most of all yourself.

A. Neilen

Do things for others and you'll
find you self-consciousness
evaporating like morning dew.

Dale Carnegie

That best portion of good people's lives, Their little, nameless, unremembered acts Of kindness and of love.
-William Wordsworth

Know all the good that individuals find,
Or God and Nature meant to mere mankind.
Reason's whole pleasure, all the joys of sense,
Lie in these three words--Health, Peace, and Competence.

-Alexander Pope

She tended to be impatient with that sort of intellectual who, for all his brilliance, has never been able to arrive at the simple conclusion that to be reasonably happy you have to be reasonably good.       -Carolyn Kizer


Real joy comes not from ease or riches or from the praise of others, but from doing something worthwhile.
-Wilfred Grenfell


Live not as though there were a thousand years ahead of you.  Fate is at your elbow; make yourself good while life and power are still yours.       -Marcus Aurelius

Conviction is worthless unless it is converted into conduct.       -Thomas Carlyle

Goodness 2

Goodness Knows

Goodness knows that sometimes the greatest thing in the world is a smile from a child,
So Goodness laughs a lot.

Goodness knows that it's easier to break a child than to mend one,
So Goodness handles with care.

Goodness knows that everyone deserves a second chance,
And sometimes a third and fourth chance, too.

Goodness knows that we all need friends in this world,
So Goodness is determined to be friendly.

Goodness knows that only people count,
So Goodness never counts out people.

Goodness knows that life is sometimes lonely,
But we are never alone.

And when the sorrows of life are left unexplained, it's still not too much to bear,
For we can trust that Goodness knows.


Doing nothing for others is the undoing of one's self.  We must be purposely kind and generous, or we miss the best part of existence.  The heart that goes out of itself gets large and full of joy.  This is the great secret of the inner life.  We do ourselves the most good doing something for others.       -Horace Mann
I live for those who love me, for those who know me true; 
For the heaven that smiles above me, and awaits my spirit too.
For the cause that lacks assistance, for the wrong that needs resistance,
For the future in the distance, and the good that I can do.

G.L. Banks

Goodness is the only investment that never fails.        -Henry David Thoreau
The answer to helplessness is not so very complicated.  A person can do something for peace without having to jump into politics.  Each person has inside a basic decency and goodness.  If we listen to it and act on it, we are giving a great deal of what the world needs most.  It is not complicated but it takes courage.  It takes courage for a person to listen to his or her own goodness and act on it.  Do we dare to be ourselves?  This is the question that counts.
-Pau Casals
The smallest good deed is better than the grandest good intention.       -Duguet
Until they extend the circle of their compassion to all living things, people will not themselves find peace.       -Albert Schweitzer
The work of an unknown good person is like a vein of water flowing hidden underground, secretly making the ground greener.       -Thomas Carlyle
Goodness has to come from the heart, that's one thing I know for sure.  I also know for sure that not everything that comes from my heart is goodness, and that's something I'm working on.  Goodness has to be pure in intention, and I know that my good acts aren't always intended solely for the good of the recipients.  I'm working on that, too.  When I truly do good, there's a very good chance that no one ever will notice it, and I'll never be recognized as someone who has done something good.  When I can live with that and be at peace with it, I know that I'll have reached a very high level of living.       -tom walsh
Like a lovely flower, full of color but lacking in fragrance, are the words of those who do not practice what they preach.  Like a lovely flower full of color and fragrance are the words of those who practice what they preach.  The scent of flowers or sandalwood cannot travel against the wind; but the fragrance of good spreads everywhere.  Neither sandalwood nor the tagara flower, neither lotus nor jasmine, can come near the fragrance of the good.
-from the Dhammapada
Because the divine goodness could not be adequately represented by one creature alone, God produced many and diverse creatures, that what was wanting in one in the representation of the divine goodness might be supplied by another.  For goodness, which in God is simple and uniform, in creatures is manifold and divided.  Thus the whole universe together participates in the divine goodness more perfectly and represents it better than any single creature.       -St. Thomas Aquinas
Dedication to goodness--dedication in response to an inner moral mandate rather than external restraint--was both the antidote to the pain and the source of great happiness.       -Sylvia Boorstein

What can one say about goodness? It's tempting to say that it's a dying character trait, that the world is suffering from a dearth of goodness these days, but I don't believe that for a second. We're so overwhelmed with the horrible things that the people involved in the news media consider to be news that we tend to forget just how much goodness is out there. Charles Kuralt said that the kindness found on the back roads more than makes up for the terrible things found in the headlines. My personal theory is that fewer than one percent of the population (politicians, criminals, entertainers, athletes) make up over 95% of the news we read. Perhaps the percentage is even higher, but I haven't had time to do the necessary research. 

The world is full of wonderful people--not just good--and if we're to keep our minds focused on the beauty and the good, we have to choose to do so. We have to choose what we're going to read, which movies we're going to see, which TV shows to watch, which people we're going to talk to. Focus on good things for a week, and see the effect of doing so on your own perspective--you'll be amazed at just how much good you see when you're looking for it! Perhaps you'll see enough to make you want to continue looking for it even after the week is over.

And while you're looking for goodness, you might want to spend some time spreading it, too.  It's free, and it's pretty easy.  A compliment here, a bit of encouragement there, a good deed for this person, a little favor for that one, and you'll be amazed at the effect you have on others.  The world would be a great place if everyone were focused on spreading goodness, and the spreading has to start somewhere--let's start it with us!



Let no person think lightly of good, saying in his or her heart, "it will not benefit me."  As by the falling of raindrops a jar of water is filled, so the wise person becomes full of good, even though he or she collects it little by little.
-Gautama Buddha
The argument has long been made that we humans are by nature compassionate and empathic despite the occasional streak of meanness, but torrents of bad news throughout history have contradicted that claim, and little sound science has backed it. But try this thought experiment. Imagine the number of opportunities people around the world today might have to commit an antisocial act, from rape or murder to simple rudeness and dishonesty. Make that number the bottom of a fraction. Now for the top value you put the number of such antisocial acts that will actually occur today.
   That ratio of potential to enacted meanness holds at close to zero any day of the year. And if for the top value you put the number of benevolent acts performed in a given day, the ratio of kindness to cruelty will always be positive. (The news, however, comes to us as though that ratio was reversed.)
   Harvard's Jerome Kagan proposes this mental exercise to make a simple point about human nature: the sum total of goodness vastly outweighs that of meanness. 'Although humans inherit a biological bias that permits them to feel anger, jealousy, selfishness and envy, and to be rude, aggressive or violent,' Kagan notes, 'they inherit an even stronger biological bias for kindness, compassion, cooperation, love and nurture especially toward those in need.' This inbuilt ethical sense, he adds, 'is a biological feature of our species.     -Daniel Goleman, Social Intelligence: The New Science of Human Relationships
The best people are like water.  Water is good; it benefits all things and does not compete with them.  It dwells in lowly places that all disdain.  That is why it is so near to Tao.     -Lao-tzu
Water indeed will flow indifferently to the east or west, but will it flow indifferently up or down?  The tendency of our nature to good is like the tendency of water to flow downwards.  There are none but have this tendency to good, just as all water flows downward.     -Mencius
I find good people good
And I find bad people good
If I am good enough.



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Goodness 2   

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