Quotes for
the Journey:

Goodness 2

Nature does not bestow
virtue; to be good is an art.



When you have done a good deed that another has had the benefit of, why do you need a third reward--as fools do--praise for having done well or looking for a favor in return.       -Marcus Aurelius

Give in to goodness now and then.  I don't mean masochistic self-sacrifice.  I mean the deliberate performance of an act that has ethical value:  helping someone in need, righting a wrong, forgiving an enemy.  For best results, the act should be one that can't possibly benefit you. . . . if we give in to goodness once in a while, we gain strength.  If we consistently refuse, we're at cross-purposes with everything, including our deepest nature.  People not only have the capacity for ethical behavior, they have a built-in need for it.  If you give in to goodness reasonably often, you won't have to seek self-renewal.  It will come to you.       -anonymous, quoted by Arthur Gordon
You'll always have to deal with bastards, being lied to, deceived, slandered and ridiculed, but that's to be expected and you must thank heaven when you meet the exception.       -Gustave Flaubert
In his collection of Bengali poems, Gitanjali, Rabindranath Tagore writes that the song he wanted to sing has never happened because he spent his days "stringing and unstringing" his instrument.  Whenever I read these lines a certain sadness enters my soul. . . . I get so preoccupied with the details and pressure of my schedule, with the hurry and worry of life, that I miss the song of goodness which is waiting to be sung through me.       -Joyce Rupp
Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good; try to use ordinary situations.       -Jean Paul Richter

Nothing is rarer than real goodness.       -La Rochefoucauld
If you see good in people, you radiate a harmonious loving energy which uplifts those who are around you.  If you can maintain this habit, this energy will turn into a steady flow of love.     -Annamalai Swami
Every good that you do, every good that you say, every good thought you think, vibrates on and on and never ceases.  The evil remains only until it is overcome by good, but the good remains forever.     -Peace Pilgrim
It is a grand mistake to think of being great without goodness; and I pronounce it as certain that there was never yet a truly great person who was not at the same time truly virtuous.     -Benjamin Franklin, "The Busy-Body Papers"
This is a moral universe, which means that despite all the evidence that seems to be to the contrary, there is no way that evil and injustice and oppression and lies can have the last word. . . that is what has upheld the morale of our people, to know that in the end good will prevail.     -Desmond Tutu, Believe
And when we come to think of it, goodness is uneventful.  It does not flash, it glows. It is deep, quiet, and very simple.  It passes not with oratory, it is commonly foreign to riches, nor does it often sit in the places of the mighty:  but may be felt in the touch of a friendly hand or the look of a kindly eye.        -David Grayson


Conquer a person who never gives by gifts; Subdue untruthful people by truthfulness; Vanquish an angry person by gentleness; And overcome the evil person by goodness.        -Ancient India

The refuge from pessimism is the good men and women at any time existing in the world, --they keep faith and happiness alive.      -Charles E. Norton
Do all the good you can,
By all the means you can,
In all the ways you can,
In all the places you can,
At all the times you can,
To all the people you can,
As long as ever you can.

John Wesley
We ought to do good to others as simply and as naturally as a horse runs, or a bee makes honey, or a vine bears grapes season after season without thinking of the grapes it has borne.       -Marcus Aurelius
Those who bring sunshine to the lives of others cannot keep it from themselves.       -J.M. Barrie
The greatest pleasure I know is to do a good action by stealth and to have it found out by accident.       -Charles Lamb
Good actions are the invisible hinges on the doors of heaven.       -Victor Hugo
Goodness consists not in the outward things we do, but in the inward thing we are.  --To be good is the great thing.       -Edwin Hubbell Chapin
I did and still do find a serious error in the emphasis of spiritual masters and hagiographers of all faiths on self-denial and austerity as an end in itself, instead of a means.  L'art pour l'art.  We must do the good because it is good, not because it is difficult.       -Ada Bathune
Good will is a power that can be used every day of the year and every hour of the day.  It is instantly available.  By continuously practicing good will we cultivate a deep subconscious habit of good will.  It becomes a pattern of our response in all situations.  Good will works as silently as the sun and with as much power.  It thaws the ice and snow of resistance and indifference.  It warms and wins human hearts.  It draws forth the best in others as flowers are drawn from the soil.  It stimulates growth.       -Wilferd A. Peterson
Imagine how differently American business would function were our faith in the power of goodness to replace our faith in the power of money.  Huge industries would no longer make billions of dollars on activities that diminish the well-being and safety of our children, our health, and our environment, on the pretext that it's "just business."  To put money before goodness is idolatry, and the laws of the universe ensure that in the end all idols will fall.
-Marianne Williamson
In goodness there are all kinds of wisdom.       -Euripides
While I crawl upon this planet I think myself obliged to do what good I can, in my narrow domestic spheres, to my fellow creatures, and to wish them all the good I cannot do.       -Lord Chesterfield
If one is to do good one must do it in the minute particulars.  General good is the plea of the hypocrite, the flatterer and the scoundrel.       -William Blake

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