Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Indomitable Character

"If it's not right, don't do it: if it's not true, don't say it."
-Marcus Aurelius

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"Nobility"
by Alice Cary

True worth is in being, not seeming,—
In doing, each day that goes by,
Some little good — not in dreaming
Of great things to do by and by.
For whatever men say in their blindness,
And spite of the fancies of youth,
There's nothing so kingly as kindness,
And nothing so royal as truth.

We get back our mete as we measure—
We cannot do wrong and feel right,
Nor can we give pain and gain pleasure,
For justice avenges each slight.
The air for the wing of the sparrow,
The bush for the robin and wren,
But always the path that is narrow
And straight, for the children of men.

'Tis not in the pages of story
The heart of its ills to beguile,
Though he who makes courtship to glory
Gives all that he hath for her smile.
For when from her heights he has won her,
Alas! it is only to prove
That nothing's so sacred as honor,
And nothing so loyal as love!

We cannot make bargains for blisses,
Nor catch them like fishes in nets;
And sometimes the thing our life misses
Helps more than the thing which it gets.
For good lieth not in pursuing,
Nor gaining of great nor of small,
But just in the doing, and doing
As we would be done by, is all.

Through envy, through malice, through hating,
Against the world, early and late.
No jot of our courage abating
Our part is to work and to wait
And slight is the sting of his trouble
Whose winnings are less than his worth.
For he who is honest is noble
Whatever his fortunes or birth.

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"Wise men are free from doubts, moral men from anxiety, and brave men from fear."
-Confucius

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"If"
by Rudyard Kipling

If you can keep your head when all about you
Are losing theirs and blaming it on you,
If you can trust yourself when all men doubt you,
But make allowance for their doubting too;
If you can wait and not be tired by waiting,
Or being lied about, don't deal in lies,
Or being hated, don't give way to hating,
And yet don't look too good, nor talk too wise:
If you can dream - and not make dreams your master;
If you can think - and not make thoughts your aim;
If you can meet with Triumph and Disaster
And treat those two impostors just the same;
If you can bear to hear the truth you've spoken
Twisted by knaves to make a trap for fools,
Or watch the things you gave your life to, broken,
And stoop and build 'em up with worn-out tools:

If you can make one heap of all your winnings
And risk it on one turn of pitch-and-toss,
And lose, and start again at your beginnings
And never breathe a word about your loss;
If you can force your heart and nerve and sinew
To serve your turn long after they are gone,
And so hold on when there is nothing in you
Except the Will which says to them: 'Hold on!'

If you can talk with crowds and keep your virtue,
'Or walk with Kings - nor lose the common touch,
If neither foes nor loving friends can hurt you,
If all men count with you, but none too much;
If you can fill the unforgiving minute
With sixty seconds' worth of distance run,
Yours is the Earth and everything that's in it,
And - which is more - you'll be a Man, my son!

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"Don't seek to gain anything for yourself that forces you to break your word or lose self-respect; to hate, suspect or curse another; or to be insincere or to desire something that needs to remain secret."
-Marcus Aurelius

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"Invictus"
by William Ernest Henley

Out of the night that covers me,
Black as the Pit from pole to pole,
I thank whatever gods may be
For my unconquerable soul.

In the fell clutch of circumstance
I have not winced nor cried aloud.
Under the bludgeonings of chance
My head is bloody, but unbowed.

Beyond this place of wrath and tears
Looms but the Horror of the shade,
And yet the menace of the years
Finds, and shall find, me unafraid.

It matters not how strait the gate,
How charged with punishments the scroll,
I am the master of my fate:
I am the captain of my soul.

-

"If any man despises me, that is his problem. My only concern is not doing or saying anything deserving of contempt."
-Marcus Aurelius

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Reminders.

2 comments:

  1. I love the poem "If." Thank you for sharing this! Over the years I have met many people, including my father, who have used this poem as a guide to life, in their studies, in business, in sports, in their personal lives.


    I am involved with a group of "If" enthusiasts in creating a website that is devoted to this poem, and it will include other similar poems, articles and music, all inspired by "If." I thought that you and your readers may be interested in this. Please take a look: http://www.allthingsif.org

    Thank you and God bless and all the best for 2012


    Wishing you a happy new year and a great 2012!

    ReplyDelete
  2. Great site - it looks like a good start to a trove of inspirational writings. I like the term practicing idealists, since it really is a poem to live by.

    Happy new year to you as well.

    ReplyDelete