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
The Roots of Violence:
Wealth without work,
Pleasure without conscience,
Knowledge without character,
Commerce without morality,
Science without humanity,
Worship without sacrifice,
Politics without principles.
If by a “Liberal” they mean someone who looks ahead and not behind,
someone who welcomes new ideas without rigid reactions,
someone who cares about the welfare of the people -
their health, their housing, their schools, their jobs,
their civil rights and their civil liberties -
someone who believes we can break through the stalemate and
suspicions that grip us in our policies abroad,
if that is what they mean by a “Liberal”,
then I’m proud to say I’m a “Liberal.”
John F. Kennedy
Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired
signifies in the final sense,
a theft from those who hunger and are not fed,
those who are cold and are not clothed.
This world in arms is not spending money alone.
It is spending the sweat of its laborers,
the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children.
This is not a way of life at all in any true sense.
Under the clouds of war, it is humanity hanging on a cross of iron.”
Dwight D. Eisenhower
Oleg Tchoubakov – Promenade
Twenty years from now you will be
more disappointed by the things
that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.
So throw off the bowlines.
Sail away from the safe harbour.
Catch the trade winds in your sails.
Explore. Dream. Discover.
Develop interest in life as you see it;
in people, things, literature, music
– the world is so rich,
simply throbbing with rich treasures,
beautiful souls and interesting people.
And this I believe:
that the free, exploring mind of the individual human
is the most valuable thing in the world.
And this I would fight for:
the freedom of the mind to take any direction it wishes, undirected.
And this I must fight against:
any idea, religion, or government which limits or destroys the individual.
This is what I am and what I am about.
Finally unafraid to be free,
Ready to surrender all the illusions of
recognition and external securities,
Living off the sky and earth like soaring
eagles and braying burros,
Trusting in a Power even beyond Dow Jones
and hoarded retirement.
Finally ready to live like the noble animal that I am-
Without masters or servants, with dignity dependent on no one,
Content to know that I am God’s child, and
only good has been prepared for me.
When I am not afraid to release all that my life
and culture taught me to prize.
To abandon fears once and for all, to discard the
anxieties of a lifetime like a suit that no longer fits,
To be afraid of no one, beholden to no one,
dependent on no one
Save the few who know and love me as I am,
and the God Who alone gives meaning and joy
to the madness of my life.
James Kavanaugh, There are men too gentle to live among wolves
The loud little handful will shout for war.
The pulpit will warily and cautiously protest at first…
The great mass of the nation will rub its sleepy eyes,
and will try to make out why there should be a war,
and they will say earnestly and indignantly:
“It is unjust and dishonorable and there is no need for war.”
Then the few will shout even louder…
Before long you will see a curious thing:
anti-war speakers will be stoned from the platform,
and free speech will be strangled by hordes of furious men
who still agree with the speakers but dare not admit it …
Next, statesmen will invent cheap lies,
putting blame upon the nation that is attacked,
and every man will be glad of those conscience-soothing falsities,
and will diligently study them,
and refuse to examine any refutations of them;
and thus he will by and by convince himself that the war is just,
and will thank God for the better sleep he enjoys after this process of grotesque self-deception.
It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.
War remains the decisive human failure.
In any war, the first casualty is common sense, and the second is free and open discussion.
There was never a good war or a bad peace.
May God bless you with discomfort
At easy answers, half truths, and superficial relationships,
So that you may live deep within your heart.
May God bless you with anger
At injustice, oppression, and exploitation of people,
So that you may work for justice, freedom, and peace.
May God bless you with tears
To shed for those who suffer pain, rejection, hunger, and war,
So that you may reach out your hand to comfort them and
to turn their pain to joy.
And may God bless you with enough foolishness
To believe that you can make a difference in the world,
So that you can do what others claim cannot be done,
To bring justice and kindness to all our children and the poor.
I am one of the searchers.
There are, I believe, millions of us.
We are not unhappy, but neither are we really content.
We continue to explore life, hoping to uncover its ultimate secret.
We continue to explore ourselves, hoping to understand.
We like to walk along the beach, we are drawn by the ocean, taken by its power, its unceasing motion, its mystery and unspeakable beauty.
We like forests and mountains, deserts and hidden rivers, and the lonely cities as well.
Our sadness is as much a part of our lives as is our laughter.
To share our sadness with one we love is perhaps as great a joy as we can know -
unless it be to share our laughter.
We searchers are ambitious only for life itself, for everything beautiful it can provide.
Most of all we love and want to be loved.
We want to live in a relationship that will not impede our wandering, nor prevent our search, nor lock us in prison walls;
that will take us for what little we have to give.
We do not want to prove ourselves to another or compete for love.
For wanderers, dreamers, and lovers, for lonely men and women who dare to ask of life everything good and beautiful.
It is for those who are too gentle to live among wolves.
James Kavanaugh, There are men too gentle to live among wolves