Life 2    

Quotes for
the Journey:


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

Søren Kierkegaard


I would like to live. . . open to time and death painlessly, noticing everything, remembering nothing, choosing the given with a fierce and pointed will.
-Annie Dillard


Life is difficult.  This is a great truth, one of the greatest truths.  It is a great truth because once we truly see this truth, we transcend it.  Once we truly know that life is difficult--once we truly understand and accept it--then life is no longer difficult.  Because once it is accepted, the fact that life is difficult no longer matters.         -M. Scott Peck

If our lives shall be such that we shall receive the glad welcome of "Well done, good and faithful servant," we shall then know that we have not lived in vain.         -Peter Cooper

Time is a flowing river.  Happy those who allow themselves to be carried, unresisting, with the current.  They float through easy days.  They live, unquestioning, in the moment.        -Christopher Morley

If you have known how to compose your life, you have done a great deal more than the person who knows how to compose a book.  You have done more than the one who has taken cities and empires.        -Michel de Montaigne
Listen to your life.  See it for the fathomless mystery that it is.  In the boredom and pain of it no less than in the excitement and gladness:  touch, taste, smell your way to the holy and hidden heart of it because in the last analysis all moments are key moments, and life itself is grace.        -Frederick Buechner

How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.         -Annie Dillard
Life is either a daring adventure or nothing.  To keep our faces toward change and behave like free spirits in the presence of fate is strength undefeatable.        -Helen Keller
I wish you humor and a twinkle in the eye.  
I wish you glory and the strength to bear its burdens.
I wish you sunshine on your path and storms to season your journey.
I wish you peace--in the world in which you live and in the smallest corner
   of the heart where truth is kept.
I wish you faith--to help define your living and your life.
More I cannot wish you--except perhaps love--to make all the rest worthwhile.         -Robert A. Ward
You don't get to choose how you're going to die, or when.  You can only decide how you're going to live.  Now!
-Joan Baez


Here is the test to find whether
your mission on earth is finished:
If you're alive, it isn't.

Richard Bach

Life is a great big canvas,
and you should throw all
the paint on it you can.

Danny Kaye

A tree has both straight and crooked branches; the symmetry of the tree, however, is perfect.  Life is balanced like a tree.  When you consider the struggles, difficulties, and sorrows as a part of it, then you see it as beautiful and perfect.         -George M. Lamsa
O beautiful human life!  Tears come to my eyes as I think of it.  So beautiful, so inexpressibly beautiful!  The song should never be silent, the dance never still, the laugh should sound like water which runs forever.         -Richard Jeffries
There are loyal hearts, there are spirits brave,
There are souls that are pure and true;
Then give to the world the best you have,
And the best will come back to you.

Madeleine Bridges

To live is like to love--all reason is against it, and all healthy instinct is for it.        -Samuel Butler
Don't let life discourage you; everyone who got where they are had to begin where they were.        -Richard L. Evans


what shall i tell a child if she asks me what is life?
will i recount the pain and hurt and focus on the strife?
or shall i paint a picture of the beauty that is found
in sailing ships and chocolate chips and bugs beneath the ground?

i'd like to think i'd give her hope of all that is to come
but if she reads some poems of mine, her hope shall be undone
i cannot bear to think that i may dim a child's eyes
present to her a world of just confusion, pain, and lies

for if i am to tell her early on of mountain streams
and help her build the pillars that will hold up all her dreams
i'd paint the birds that fill the trees with beauty and with song
a sanctuary in her mind to help when things go wrong

and in that place in her mind's eye the flowers would grow free
in meadows under blue skies by the mighty loving sea
she'd have a place for comfort, have a place to be alone
amidst tomorrow's challenges, no matter how she's grown

i pray to learn my lessons from the children whom i meet
i dream of sowing sunshine on a crowded city street
i pray my words shall never hurt the child here inside
i pray that never shall i fear the child in me has died

i must reject some words of mine if i'm to feel i'm free
embracing hope, i must hold on to how good life can be
that i may treat the children with respect that they deserve
for i shan't live for self alone--i give my life to serve



Be not afraid of life.  Believe that life is worth living and your belief will help create the fact.       -William James
As a doctor, I studied survivors--people who got sick but exceeded expectations.  Many of those exceptional patients had been given little time to live, yet they were some of the happiest people I'd ever met. They knew, or they discovered through their illness, which became their teacher, that if you want to be happy, you must answer some key questions.  What are you here for? And how do you want to spend your limited time?  If your answer is that you are here to love, to serve others and not to be served, then you already have everything you need to be happy.  If you wake up in the morning, that's enough; you are grateful for life and the opportunity to contribute in your way.       -Bernie Siegel

Life 2   

The value of life lies not in the length of days, but in the use we make of them; a person may live long yet live very little.       -Michel de Montaigne
Lord, make me an instrument of Your peace.  Where there is hatred let me sow love; where there is injury, pardon; where there is doubt, faith; where there is despair, hope; where there is darkness, light; and where there is sadness, joy.
   O divine Master, grant that I may not so much seek to be consoled as to console; to be understood as to understand; to be loved as to love.  For it is in giving that we receive; it is in pardoning that we are pardoned; and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.       -St. Francis of Assissi (attributed)
At end of Love, at end of Life,
At end of Hope, at end of Strife'
At end of all we cling to so--
The sun is setting--we must go.
At dawn of Love, at dawn of Life,
At dawn of Peace that follows Strife,
At dawn of all we long for so--
The sun is rising--let us go.

Louise Chandler Moulton
I wish there were a book I could read each day to tell me exactly what to do to live consciously from my heart and soul.  But part of the mystery and magic, part of the reason I'm here, is to try to stumble through and hear what the soul has to say about what it needs at each moment--whether it is to work through an emotional block, discover what the next lesson is, meet the next soul mate (my children are soul mates; my best friends are soul mates), or finish my business with the one I'm with now. Ultimately, for most of us, the journey comes down to the same issue:  learning to love freely.  First ourselves, then other people.        -Melody Beattie
The people whom I have seen succeed best in life have always been cheerful and hopeful, who went about their business with a smile on their faces, and took the changes and chances of this mortal life with strength, facing rough and smooth alike as it came.       -Charles Kingsley
Look at an animal, a cat, a dog, or a bird, or one of those beautiful great beasts in the zoo, a puma or a giraffe.  You can't help seeing that all of them are right.  They're never in any embarrassment.  They always know what to do and how to behave themselves.  They don't flatter and they don't intrude.  They don't pretend.  They are as they are, like stones or flowers or stars in the sky.       -Herman Hesse
We live in deeds, not years; in thoughts, not breaths;
In feelings, not in figures on a dial.
We should count time by heart-throbs.
    They most live
Who think most, feel the noblest, act the best.

-Philip James Bailey

What is this thing called life, and why do we have so many problems trying to get through it? Why do so many people hate it so much, while others love it and live it fully until they die? Part of the goal of this series of pages is to examine life from different perspectives, looking at different aspects of who we are. Maybe we're feeling badly about ourselves because of how we're treating one particular aspect of ourselves, and if we can focus on that, we can start living more. I know that I want to reach my death and look back and say that even though I didn't do everything right, even though I ended up hurting people, even though I made many mistakes, I still did the best that I could, and I still got the most I could out of each moment. 

I try to do so, for I know I could die tomorrow. So could you--sorry, but it's true. And even if I live to be eighty, eighty years isn't enough to experience everything that's available to us in this world. Live life, don't just walk through it. This isn't a dress rehearsal--this is the real thing. Take advantage of it. As Maude says, "Get hurt even." You belong here just as much as any other one of God's creations, and God wants you to thrive, to live. He's not going to hand life to you on a platter, though--you've got to go out and get it.

Sometimes I think we make it more difficult on ourselves by viewing life in very general terms.  We look at "life"--this vast, all-encompassing term--rather than at "my life," a much more specific term that we actually can get a grip on if we try hard enough.  My life is made up of my experiences and how I react to the experiences of others, and my life is quite a fascinating thing.  My life is lovable and livable, and I can live it only in the way that I choose to live it.

We also tend to see life in the way that others see it for us.  Other people seem to think that they know better how we should live our lives, and we cave in and obey them far too often.  There's a huge difference between doing what others tell us to do and learning from others and putting the lessons into practice.  If we do the former, we lose our sense of self, our sense of who we are, and it's difficult to be satisfied with ourselves.  If we do the latter, we keep our integrity (what an important word!), and our lives truly are our lives.

Life is a beautiful experience.  Accept that reality, and live as if it were true, and you'll be amazed at how beautiful life actually is.  We're not here to fight, but to cooperate, and when we put that principle into practice, we start to find the peace our hearts yearn for.

tom walsh


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Life 2   

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the seasons of life
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Dale Carnegie - Albert Einstein - Ralph Waldo Emerson - Anne Morrow Lindbergh
Elisabeth Kuebler-Ross - Helen Keller - Mother Teresa - Eleanor Roosevelt
Orison Swett Marden - Albert Schweitzer - Aristotle - Mohandas Gandhi - Wilferd A. Peterson