Category: Character Counts

  • Principle & Expediency, Values

    “A departure from principle in one instance becomes a precedent for a second; that second for a third; and so on, till the bulk of the society is reduced to be mere automatons of misery, to have no sensibilities left but for sin and suffering.” — Thomas Jefferson, 18th-century American Founding Father, early 19th-century U.S. president (letter to […]

  • Perseverance, Patience

    “I never failed once. It just happened to be a 2000-step process.” — Thomas Edison (19th/20th-century American inventor), responding to a reporter who asked how it felt to fail 2000 times before successfully inventing the light bulb “Be patient and calm — for no one can catch fish in anger.” — Herbert Hoover, 20th-century American […]

  • Passion, Enthusiasm

    “Reason alone is insufficient to make us enthusiastic in any matter.” — François duc de la Rochefoucauld, 17th-century French memoirist and philosopher “What a man accomplishes in a day depends upon the way in which he approaches his tasks. When we accept tough jobs as a challenge. . . and wade into them with joy […]

  • Obstacles, Adversity, Sadness, Suffering

    “Nothing is too much trouble.” — Edward Kirby Bonds “To perceive is to suffer.” — Aristotle, ancient Greek philosopher “He is a hard man who is only just, and a sad one who is only wise.” — Francois Marie Arouet de Voltaire, 18th-century French author, wit and philosopher “The gem cannot be polished without friction.” […]

  • Money, Business, Greed

    “Wealth consists not in having great possessions, but in having few wants.” — Epicurus, ancient Greek philosopher “You are not what you own.” — Fugazi, 20th/21st-century American rock band “I get so tired of listening to one million dollars here, one million dollars there. It’s so petty.” — Imelda Marcos, 20th-century Filipino First Lady (married to […]

  • Memory & The Past

    “A man’s memory may almost become the art of continually varying and misrepresenting his past, according to his interest in the present.” — George Santayana, 20th-century American philosopher, author “Men live by forgetting. Women live on memories.” — T.S. Eliot, Nobel Prize-winning 20th- century Anglo-American poet “The superiority of the distant over the present is […]

  • Loyalty, Friendship, Gratitude

    “New friends are silver, but old friends are gold.” — Unknown “When eating a fruit, think of the person who planted the tree.” — Vietnamese saying “Never esteem anything as of advantage to you that will make you break your word or lose your self-respect.” — Marcus Aurelius “Loyalty oaths increase the number of liars.” […]

  • Leadership, Politics, Governance

    [Because power corrupts] “Society’s demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases.” — John Adams, 18th-century American Founding Father, second U.S. president “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” — Unknown “The final test of a leader […]

  • Karma

    “We are here to awaken from the illusion of our separateness.” — Thich Nhat Hanh, 20th- century French-based Vietnamese Buddhist monk, peace activist and author “Such is the moral construction of the world that no national crime passes unpunished in the long run… Were present oppressors to reflect on the same truth, they would spare […]

  • Integrity, Hypocrisy, Identity

    “Everyone thinks of changing the world, but no one thinks of changing himself.” — Count Leo Tolstoy, 19th-century Nobel Prize-winning Russian novelist “Do what you want to do…. But want to do what you are doing. Be what you want to be…. But want to be what you are.” — Unknown “Speak what you feel, […]