You commit a sin of omission if you do not utilize all the power that is within you. All men have claims on man, and to the man with special talents, this is a very special claim. It is required that a man take part in the actions and clashes of his time than the peril of being judged not to have lived at all.
I confess that altruistic and cynically selfish talk seem to me about equally unreal. With all humility, I think 'whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might,' infinitely more important than the vain attempt to love one's neighbour as one's self. If you want to hit a bird on the wing you must have all your will in focus, you must not be thinking about yourself, and equally, you must not be thinking about your neighbour; you must be living with your eye on that bird. Every achievement is a bird on the wing.
A man over ninety is a great comfort to all his elderly neighbours: he is a picket-guard at the extreme outpost: and the young folks of sixty and seventy feel that the enemy must get by him before he can come near their camp.
If I had a formula for bypassing trouble, I wouldn't pass it around. Wouldn't be doing anybody a favour. Trouble creates a capacity to handle it. I don't say embrace trouble. That's as bad as treating it as an enemy. But I do say, meet it as a friend, for you'll see a lot of it and had better be on speaking terms with it.
The most stringent protection of free speech would not protect a man in falsely shouting fire in a theatre and causing a panic... The question in every case is whether the words used are used in such circumstances and are of such a nature as to create a clear and present danger that they will bring about the substantive evils that Congress has a right to prevent.
So long as the body is affected through the mind, no audacious device, even of the most manifestly dishonest character, can fail of producing occasional good to those who yield to it an implicit or even a partial faith.
When I feel inclined to read poetry I take down my dictionary. The poetry of words is quite as beautiful as that of sentences. The author may arrange the gems effectively but their shape and lustre have been given by the attrition of ages.
A minister is coming down every generation nearer and nearer to the common level of the useful citizen - no oracle at all, but a man of more than average moral instincts, who if he knows anything, knows how little he knows.
If you want to hit a bird on the wing you must have all your will in focus, you must not be thinking about yourself and, equally, you must not be thinking about your neighbor: you must be living in your eye on that bird. Every achievement is a bird on the wing.
Take your needle, my child, and work at your pattern; it will come out a rose by and by. Life is like that; one stitch at a time taken patiently, and the pattern will come out all right, like embroidery.
For me, at least, there came moments when faith wavered. But there is the great lesson and the great triumph: keep the fire burning until, by and by, out of the mass of sordid details there comes some result.
The riders in a race do not stop short when they reach the goal. There is a little finishing canter before coming to a standstill. There is time to hear the kind voice of friends and to say to one's self: "The work is done."