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.
John Steinbeck

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.
Thomas Paine

The line separating good and evil
passes not through states,
nor between political parties either –
but right through every human heart.
Alexander Solzhenitsyn




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.
John Ruskin

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.
Tim Keller

True humility is contentment.
Henri Frederic Amiel

The Blessing of Autumn

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.

Kate Mcllhagga

…and thinking how the first scent of autumn
is like coming across a lost album
of childhood photographs.
Jonathan Hull

Six o’clock feeling

Gauguin – Landscape with Dog 1903

You ever feel
dat 6 o’clock feeling
6 o’clock shadow falling
wrapping you up
mekkin you stop
and tink
bout all dese tings
God doin
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
Kamal Singh

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.
Peter Matthiessen

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.
Mahatma Gandhi

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.
Mark Twain

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.
Forget yourself.
Henry Miller

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.
John Steinbeck

Unafraid to be free

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.
Mark Twain

It is my conviction that killing under the cloak of war is nothing but an act of murder.
Albert Einstein

War remains the decisive human failure.
John Galbraith

In any war, the first casualty is common sense, and the second is free and open discussion.
James Reston

There was never a good war or a bad peace.
Benjamin Franklin

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