Pierre-Auguste Renoir – Woman with a Parasol in a Garden, 1875
Those who contemplate the beauty of the earth
find reserves of strength that will endure as long as life lasts.
There is something infinitely healing in the repeated refrains of nature –
the assurance that dawn comes after night, and spring after winter.
We know that God is everywhere;
but certainly we feel His presence most
when His works are on the grandest scale spread before us;
and it is in the unclouded night-sky,
where His worlds wheel their silent course,
that we read clearest His infinitude,
His omnipotence, His omnipresence.
We need the tonic of wildness…
At the same time that we are earnest to explore and learn all things,
we require that all things be mysterious and unexplorable,
that land and sea be indefinitely wild,
unsurveyed and unfathomed by us because unfathomable.
We can never have enough of nature.
Henry David Thoreau
The lover of nature is he whose inward and outward senses
are still truly adjusted to each other;
who has retained the spirit of infancy even into the era of manhood.
His intercourse with heaven and earth,
becomes part of his daily food.
In the presence of nature,
a wild delight runs through the man,
in spite of real sorrows…
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
Theodore Gerard – The Collectors Studio
Time after time,
history demonstrates that when people
don’t want to believe something,
they have enormous skills of ignoring it altogether.
History shows that there is nothing so easy to enslave and
nothing so hard to emancipate as ignorance,
hence it becomes the double enemy of civilization.
By its servility it is the prey of tyranny,
and by its credulity it is the foe of enlightenment.
Lemuel K. Washburn
No matter how big the lie;
repeat it often enough and
the masses will regard it as the truth.
John F. Kennedy
Nothing in the world is more dangerous
than sincere ignorance and conscientious stupidity.
Martin Luther King Jr.
Ignorance is ultimately
the worst enemy of a people who want to be free.
He who stands for nothing will fall for anything.
Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
George William Watts – Hope
It has always seemed strange to me…
the things we admire in men,
kindness and generosity, openness, honesty,
understanding and feeling,
are the concomitants of failure in our system.
And those traits we detest,
sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness,
egotism and self-interest,
are the traits of success.
And while men admire the quality of the first
they love the produce of the second.
It is impossible to calculate the moral mischief,
if I may so express it,
that mental lying has produced in society.
When a man has so far corrupted and prostituted
the chastity of his mind
as to subscribe his professional belief to things
he does not believe
he has prepared himself for the commission of every other crime.
The line separating good and evil
passes not through states,
nor between political parties either -
but right through every human heart.
William Bouguereau – Le Passage du gue
Be careful not to mistake insecurity and inadequacy for humility!
Humility has nothing to do with the insecure and inadequate!
Just like arrogance has nothing to do with greatness!
C. JoyBell C.
Humility has nothing to do with depreciating ourselves and our gifts
in ways we know to be untrue.
Even “humble” attitudes can be masks of pride.
Humility is that freedom from our self which enables us
to be in positions in which we have neither recognition nor importance,
neither power nor visibility,
and even experience deprivation,
and yet have joy and delight.
It is the freedom of knowing that we are not in the center of the universe,
not even in the center of our own private universe.
David F. Wells
I believe that the first test of a great man is his humility.
I don’t mean by humility, doubt of his power.
But really great men have a curious feeling
that the greatness is not of them, but through them.
And they see something divine in every other man and
are endlessly, foolishly, incredibly merciful.
To become truly great, one has to stand with people, not above them.
Charles de Montesquieu
True humility is not thinking less of yourself;
it is thinking of yourself less.
True humility is contentment.
Henri Frederic Amiel
Van Gogh – Landscape with House and Ploughman 1889
As autumn flames across park and field
as smoke curls from ditch and garden,
as birds sing their farewell song,
as frost begins to touch the ground
and our hearts are warmed
by the scent, sound and touch of it;
now is the time to throw away
the heavy stones of anger, regret and fear,
which harden our hearts.
Now is the time to gather stones of praise
to build a cairn
of thankfulness to our God
for all the blessings of our autumn life.
…and thinking how the first scent of autumn
is like coming across a lost album
of childhood photographs.
Gauguin – Landscape with Dog 1903
You ever feel
dat 6 o’clock feeling
6 o’clock shadow falling
wrapping you up
mekkin you stop
bout all dese tings
6 o’clock bee calling
all dem tree
tekking strange, strange shape
and stan up
sharp! sharp! gainst dat sky
you know dem 6 o’clock colour
pink an orange an blue an purple an black
dat 6 o’clock feeling
mekkin you feel like touchin
mekkin you feel so small
you could cry
or fall down pun your knee
and thank God
you could still
see de 6 o’clock sky
If I can put one touch of rosy sunset
into the life of any man or woman,
I shall feel that I have worked with God.
Robert Williams Shellseekers
Soon the child’s clear eye is clouded over by ideas and opinions,
preconceptions and abstractions.
Simple free being becomes encrusted with the burdensome armour of the ego.
Not until years later does an instinct come
that a vital sense of mystery has been withdrawn.
The sun glints through the pines,
and the heart is pierced in a moment of beauty and strange pain,
like a memory of paradise.
After that day, we become seekers.
Grown-ups never understand anything by themselves,
and it is tiresome for children
to be always and forever
explaining things to them.
Antoine de Saint-Exupéry