Wisdom

August Friedrich Siegert – The Small Connoisseur

It is easier to be wise for others than for ourselves.
François de La Rochefoucauld

Knowing yourself is the beginning of all wisdom.
Aristotle

Honesty is the first chapter of the book wisdom.
Thomas Jefferson

Wisdom cannot be imparted.
Wisdom that a wise man attempts to impart
always sounds like foolishness to someone else.
Knowledge can be communicated, but not wisdom.
One can find it, live it, do wonders through it,
but one cannot communicate and teach it.
Hermann Hesse

We don’t receive wisdom;
we must discover it for ourselves after a journey
that no one can take for us or spare us.
Marcel Proust

The fool doth think he is wise,
but the wise man knows himself to be a fool.
William Shakespeare

People who know little are usually great talkers,
while men who know much say little.
Jean-Jacques Rousseau

The more I read, the more I acquire,
the more certain I am that I know nothing.
Voltaire

It is unwise to be too sure of one’s own wisdom.
It is healthy to be reminded
that the strongest might weaken and the wisest might err.
Mahatma Gandhi

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Easter Poetry

Lent

Lent is a tree without blossom, without leaf,
Better than blackthorn in its winter sleep,
All unadorned. Unlike Christmas which decrees
The setting-up, the dressing-up of trees.

Lent is a taking down, a stripping bare,
A starkness after all has been withdrawn
Of surplus and superfluous,
Leaving no hiding place, only emptiness
Between black branches, a most precious space
Before the leaf, before the time of flowers;
Lest we should see only the leaf, the flower,
Lest we should miss the stars.
Jean M.Watt

Sightseers into Pilgrims

I used to think –
loving life so greatly –
that to die would be
like leaving a party
before the end.

Now I know that the party
is really happening
somewhere else;
that the light and the music –
escaping in snatches
to make the pulse beat
and the tempo quicken –
come from a long way away.

And I know too
that when I get there
the music will never end.
Evangeline Paterson

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Solitude

Ships that pass in the night, and speak each other in passing.
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness:
So on the ocean of life, we pass and speak one another.
Only a look and a voice, then darkness again and a silence.
Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

Many people suffer from the fear of finding oneself alone,
and so they don’t find themselves at all.
Rollo May

We live, in fact, in a world starved for solitude, silence, and private:
and therefore starved for meditation and true friendship.
C.S. Lewis

What a commentary on civilization,
when being alone is being suspect;
when one has to apologize for it, make excuses,
hide the fact that one practices it –
like a secret vice.
Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Each of us is alone in the world.
It takes great courage to meet the full force of your aloneness.
When you face your aloneness, something begins to happen.
Gradually, the sense of bleakness changes into a sense of true belonging.
This is a slow and open-ended transition
but it is utterly vital in order
to come into rhythm with your own individuality.
John O’Donohue

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Compassion

Walter Langley –  Never morning wore to evening but some heart did break 1894

Guard well within yourself that treasure, kindness.
Know how to give without hesitation,
how to lose without regret,
how to acquire without meanness.
George Sand

Tenderness and kindness are not signs of weakness and despair,
but manifestations of strength and resolution.
Kahlil Gibran

The thought manifests the word;
The word manifests the deed;
The deed develops into habit;
And habit hardens into character;
So watch the thought and its ways with care,
And let them spring forth from love
Born out of compassion for all beings.
As the shadow follows the body,
as we think, so we become.
Juan Mascaro

Compassion is the sometimes fatal capacity for feeling
what it is like to live inside somebody else’s skin.
It’s the knowledge that there can never really be any
peace and joy for me until there is
peace and joy finally for you too.
Frederick Buechner

There is nothing so rewarding as to make people realize
that they are worthwhile in this world.
Bob Anderson

Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things,
man will not himself find peace.
Albert Schweitzer

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Music 2

It is only by introducing the young to great literature,
drama and music,
and to the excitement of great science
that we open to them the possibilities
that lie within the human spirit —
enable them to see visions and dream dreams.
Eric Anderson

When griping grief the heart doth wound,
and doleful dumps the mind opresses,
then music, with her silver sound,
with speedy help doth lend redress.
William Shakespeare

Alas for those that never sing,
But die with all their music in them!
Oliver Wendell Holmes

I think I should have no other mortal wants,
if I could always have plenty of music.
It seems to infuse strength into my limbs
and ideas into my brain.
Life seems to go on without effort,
when I am filled with music.
George Eliot

Music is the harmonious voice of creation;
an echo of the invisible world.
Giuseppe Mazzini

When people hear good music,
it makes them homesick
for something they never had and never will have.
Edgar Watson Howe

Bach opens a vista to the universe.
After experiencing him,
people feel there is meaning to life after all.
Helmut Walcha

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Friendship

Frank Weston Benson – Summer

Piglet sidled up to Pooh from behind.
“Pooh!” he whispered.
“Yes, Piglet?”
“Nothing,” said Piglet, taking Pooh’s paw.
“I just wanted to be sure of you.”
A.A. Milne

You can’t stay in your corner of the Forest waiting for others to come to you.
You have to go to them sometimes.
A.A. Milne

Oh, the comfort – the inexpressible comfort of
feeling safe with a person –
having neither to weigh thoughts
nor measure words,
but pouring them all right out,
just as they are,
chaff and grain together;
certain that a faithful hand
will take and sift them,
keep what is worth keeping,
and then with the breath of kindness
blow the rest away.
Dinah Craik

Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another:
“What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
C.S. Lewis

The glory of friendship is not the outstretched hand,
not the kindly smile,
nor the joy of companionship;
it is the spiritual inspiration that comes to one
when you discover that someone else believes in you
and is willing to trust you with a friendship.
Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Slow Dance

Dennis Binda   – Japanese Cranes

Ever followed a butterfly’s erratic flight,
or gazed at the sun fading into the night?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Do you run through each day on the fly,
when you ask “How are you?”, do you hear the reply?
When the day is done, do you lie in your bed,
with the next hundred chores running through your head?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

Ever told your child, we’ll do it tomorrow,
and in your haste, not see his sorrow?
Ever lost touch, let a friendship die,
’cause you never had time to call and say hi?

You better slow down, don’t dance so fast,
time is short, the music won’t last.

When you run so fast to get somewhere,
you miss half the fun of getting there.
When you worry and hurry through your day,
it’s like an unopened gift thrown away.

Life isn’t a race, so take it slower,
hear the music before your song is over.

David L.Weatherford

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There are Men Too Gentle to Live Among Wolves

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who prey upon them with IBM eyes
And sell their hearts and guts for martinis at noon.
There are men too gentle for a savage world
Who dream instead of snow and children and Halloween
And wonder if the leaves will change their color soon.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who anoint them for burial with greedy claws
And murder then for a merchant’s profit and gain.
There are men too gentle for a corporate world
Who dream instead of candied apples and ferris wheels
And pause to hear the distant whistle of a train.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves.
Who devour them with eager appetite and search
For other men to prey upon and suck their childhood dry.
There are men too gentle for an accountant’s world
Who dream instead of Easter eggs and fragrant grass
And search for beauty in the mystery of the sky.

There are men too gentle to live among wolves
Who toss them like a lost and wounded dove.
Such gentle men are lonely in a merchant’s world.
Unless they have a gentle one to love.

James Kavanaugh

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Science

Even if there is only one possible unified theory,
it is just a set of rules and equations.
What is it that breathes fire into the equations and
makes a universe for them to describe?
The usual approach of science of constructing a mathematical model
cannot answer the questions
of why there should be a universe for the model to describe.
Why does the universe go to all the bother of existing?
Stephen Hawking

Science is not only compatible with spirituality;
it is a profound source of spirituality.
When we recognize our place in an immensity of light‐years
and in the passage of ages,
when we grasp the intricacy, beauty, and subtlety of life,
then that soaring feeling, that sense of elation and humility combined,
is surely spiritual.
So are our emotions in the presence of great art or music or literature,
or acts of exemplary selfless courage
such as those M. Gandhi or Martin Luther King, Jr.
The notion that science and spirituality are somehow mutually exclusive
does a disservice to both.
Carl Sagan

Science investigates; religion interprets.
Science gives man knowledge, which is power;
religion gives man wisdom, which is control.
Science deals mainly with facts;
religion deals mainly with values.
The two are not rivals.
Martin Luther King Jr.

It would be possible to describe everything scientifically,
but it would make no sense;
it would be without meaning,
as if you described a Beethoven symphony as a variation of wave pressure.
Albert Einstein

The saddest aspect of life right now is that science gathers knowledge faster
than society gathers wisdom.
Isaac Asimov

The most exciting phrase to hear in science,
the one that heralds the most discoveries,
is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but ‘That’s funny…’
Isaac Asimov

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