A man can do only what he can do. But if he does that each day he can sleep at night and do it again the next day.
—Albert Schweitzer (1875–1965) French Theologian, Musician, Philosopher, Physician
Wisdom is knowing what to do next; virtue is doing it.
—David Starr Jordan (1851–1931) American Zoologist, Educator, Peace Activist
You must question a code of ethics that never impedes your progress.
Every human being has, like Socrates, an attendant spirit; and wise are they who obey its signals. If it does not always tell us what to do, it always cautions us what not to do.
—Lydia Maria Child (1802–80) American Abolitionist, Writer
The reputation of a thousand years may be determined by the conduct of one hour.
Never allow the integrity of your own way of seeing things and saying things to be swamped by the influence of a master, however great.
—George Parsons Lathrop (1851–98) American Poet, Novelist, Newspaper Editor
You can’t learn too soon that the most useful thing about a principle is that it can always be sacrificed to expediency.
—W. Somerset Maugham (1874–1965) British Novelist, Short-Story Writer, Playwright
Live with integrity, respect the rights of other people, and follow your own bliss.
—Nathaniel Branden (1930–2014) American Psychotherapist
There is a difference between him who does no misdeeds because of his own conscience and him who is kept from wrongdoing because of the presence of others.
—The Talmud Sacred Text of the Jewish Faith
Nothing is at last sacred but the integrity of your own mind. Absolve you to yourself, and you shall have the suffrage of the world.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
The true perfection of man lies, not in what man has, but in what man is…. Nothing should be able to harm a man but himself. Nothing should be able to rob a man at all. What a man really has is what is in him. What is outside of him should be a matter of no importance.
—Oscar Wilde (1854–1900) Irish Poet, Playwright
Do the next thing.
—John Wanamaker (1838–1922) American Merchant, Civil Servant
A building has integrity just like a man. And just as seldom.
—Ayn Rand (1905–82) Russian-born American Novelist, Philosopher
A magazine editor recently asked me to sit down on my 40th birthday and write an article on the most important things I had learned in my first 40 years. I told him that the chief thing I had learned was that the copybook maxims are true, but that too many people forget this once they go out into the heat and hustle and bustle of the battle of life and only realize their truth once one foot is beginning to slip into the grave. The man who has won millions at the cost of his conscience is a failure.
—B. C. Forbes (1880–1954) Scottish-born American Journalist, Publisher
If humanity does not opt for integrity we are through completely. It is absolutely touch and go. Each one of us could make the difference.
—Buckminster Fuller (1895–1983) American Inventor, Philosopher
He that doth not as other men do, but endeavoureth that which ought to be done, shall thereby rather incur peril than preservation; for who so laboreth to be sincerely perfect and good shall necessarily perish, living among men that are generally evil.
—Walter Raleigh (1552–1618) English Courtier, Navigator, Poet
It’s more important to do the right thing than to do things right.
—Peter Drucker (1909–2005) Austrian-born Management Consultant
I have found some of the best reasons I ever had for remaining at the bottom simply by looking at the men at the top.
—Frank Moore Colby (1865–1925) American Encyclopedia Editor, Essayist
One does evil enough when one does nothing good.
Let us be grateful to the mirror for revealing to us our appearance only.
The trouble with most of us is that we would rather be ruined by praise than saved by criticism.
—Norman Vincent Peale (1898–1993) American Clergyman, Self-Help Author
The more things a man is ashamed of, the more respectable he is.
—George Bernard Shaw (1856–1950) Irish Playwright
Everyone complains of his lack of memory, but nobody of his want of judgement.
—Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613–80) French Writer
It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world, and moral courage so rare.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
There is an ongoing battle between conscience and self-interest in which, at some point, we have to take sides.
It takes less time to do a thing right, than it does to explain why you did it wrong.
—Henry Wadsworth Longfellow (1807–82) American Poet, Educator, Academic
The Lord doesn’t ask about your ability, only your availability; and, if you prove your dependability, the Lord will increase your capability.
Before I can live with other folks I’ve got to live with myself. The one thing that doesn’t abide by majority rule is a person’s conscience.
—Harper Lee (1926–2016) American Novelist
Men are not punished for their sins, but by them.
—Elbert Hubbard (1856–1915) American Writer, Publisher, Artist, Philosopher
In matters of principle, stand like a rock; in matters of taste, swim with the current.
—Thomas Jefferson (1743–1826) American Head of State, Lawyer