To do an evil act is base. To do a good one without incurring danger, is common enough. But it is the part of a good man to do great and noble deeds though he risks everything in doing them.
Topics: Integrity, Risk, Action
Someone praising a man for his foolhardy bravery, Cato, the elder, said, “There is a wide difference between true courage and a mere contempt of life.”
A word or a nod from the good, has more weight than the eloquent speeches of others.
He made the city Athens, great as it was when he took it, the greatest and richest of all cities, and grew to be superior in power to kings and tyrants. Some of these actually appointed him guardian of their sons, but he did not make his estate a single drachma greater than it was when his father left it to him.
It was a shrewd saying, whoever said it, “That the man who first brought ruin on the Roman people was he who pampered them by largesses and amusements.”
Lycurgus being asked why he, who in other respects appeared to be so zealous for the equal rights of men, did not make his government democratic rather than an oligarchy, replied, “Go you, and try a democracy in your own house.”
When Demosthenes was asked what were the three most important aspects of oratory, he answered, “Action, Action, Action.”
When Anaxagoras was told of the death of his son, he only said, “I knew he was mortal.” So we in all casualties of life should say, “I knew my riches were uncertain, that my friend was but a man.” Such considerations would soon pacify us, because all our troubles proceed from their being unexpected.
A traveller at Sparta, standing long upon one leg, said to a Lacedaemonian, “I do not believe you can do as much.” “True,” said he, “but every goose can.
Epaminondas, finding himself lifted up in the day of his public triumph, the next day went drooping and hanging down his head; and being asked what was the reason of his so great dejection, made answer: “Yesterday I felt myself transported with vainglory, therefore I chastise myself for it today.”
It is the admirer of himself, and not the admirer of virtue, that thinks himself superior to others.
I don’t need a friend who changes when I change and who nods when I nod; my shadow does that much better.
Where two discourse, if the anger of one rises, he is the wise man who lets the contest fall.
All men whilst they are awake are in one common world: but each of them, when he is asleep, is in a world of his own.
It is an observation no less just than common, that there is no stronger test of a man’s real character than power and authority, exciting as they do every passion, and discovering every latent vice.
Good fortune will elevate even petty minds, and give them the appearance of a certain greatness and stateliness, as from their high place they look down upon the world; but the truly noble and resolved spirit raises itself, and becomes more conspicuous in times of disaster and ill fortune.
He that is fond of building will soon ruin himself without the help of enemies.
The talkative listen to no one, for they are ever speaking.—And the first evil that attends those who know not how to be silent, is, that they hear nothing.
Time is the soul of this world.
Topics: Time Management
In human life there is constant change of fortune; and it is unreasonable to expect an exemption from the common fate. Life itself decays, and all things are daily changing.
The richest soil, if uncultivated, produces the rankest weeds.
The greater part of mankind are more sensitive to contemptuous language, than to unjust acts; they can less easily bear insult than wrong.
Let us carefully observe those good qualities wherein our enemies excel us; and endeavor to excel them, by avoiding what is faulty, and imitating what is excellent in them.
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- Plato Ancient Greek Philosopher
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