It is a man’s own mind, not his enemy or foe, that lures him to evil ways.
To speak ill of others is a dishonest way of praising ourselves.
—William C. Durant (1861–1947) American Industrialist
Character is higher than intellect… a great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think.
—Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803–82) American Philosopher
Integrity is so perishable in the summer months of success.
—Vanessa Redgrave (b.1937) English Actress, Activist
To reach a great height a person needs to have great depth.
The slow man with integrity will ultimately catch the swift one who has none.
Integrity is the first step to true greatness. Men love to praise, but are slow to practice it. To maintain it in high places costs self-denial; in all places it is liable to opposition, but its end is glorious, and the universe will yet do it homage.
—Charles Simmons (1924–2017) American Editor, Novelist
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
There is only one way to achieve happiness on this terrestrial ball, and that is to have either a clear conscience, or none at all.
—Ogden Nash (1902–71) American Writer of Sophisticated Light Verse
In each human heart are a tiger, a pig, an ass and a nightingale. Diversity of character is due to their unequal activity.
—Ambrose Bierce (1842–1913) American Short-story Writer, Journalist
I will never again go to people under false pretenses even if it is to give them the Holy Bible. I will never again sell anything, even if I have to starve. I am going home now and I will sit down and really write about people.
—Henry Miller (1891–1980) American Novelist
I am not covetous for gold; but if it be a sin to covet honor, I am the most offending soul alive.
—William Shakespeare (1564–1616) British Playwright
A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
You know what you are actually in love with? Integrity. The impossible. The clean, consistent, reasonable, self-faithful, the all-of-one-style, like a work of art.
—Ayn Rand (1905–82) Russian-born American Novelist, Philosopher
Man is the only animal that blushes—or needs to.
—Mark Twain (1835–1910) American Humorist
The right to do something does not mean that doing it is right.
—William Safire (1929–2009) American Columnist, Journalist, Author, Speechwriter
It’s impossible to be loyal to your family, your friends, your country, and your principles, all at the same time.
—Mignon McLaughlin (1913–83) American Journalist, Author
How is one to live a moral and compassionate existence when one is fully aware of the blood, the horror inherent in life, when one finds darkness not only in one’s culture but within oneself? If there is a stage at which an individual life becomes truly adult, it must be when one grasps the irony in its unfolding and accepts responsibility for a life lived in the midst of such paradox. One must live in the middle of contradiction, because if all contradiction were eliminated at once life would collapse. There are simply no answers to some of the great pressing questions. You continue to live them out, making your life a worthy expression of leaning into the light.
—Barry Lopez (1945–2020) American Essayist, Fiction Writer
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
He who is upright in his way of life and free from sin.
—Horace (Quintus Horatius Flaccus) (65–8 BCE) Roman Poet
The soul is dyed the color of its thoughts. Think only on those things that are in line with your principles and can bear the light of day. The content of your character is your choice. Day by day, what you do is who you become. Your integrity is your destiny – it is the light that guides your way.
—Heraclitus (535BCE–475BCE) Ancient Greek Philosopher
Laws control the lesser man. Right conduct controls the greater one.
You must consider the bottom line, but make it integrity before profits.
—Denis Waitley (b.1933) American Motivational Speaker, Author
Let us be grateful to the mirror for revealing to us our appearance only.
Are right and wrong convertible terms, dependant upon popular opinion?
—William Lloyd Garrison (1805–79) American Journalist, Abolitionist
We should often have reason to be ashamed of our most brilliant actions if the world could see the motives from which they spring.
—Francois de La Rochefoucauld (1613–80) French Writer
The laboring man has not leisure for a true integrity day by day.
—Henry David Thoreau (1817–62) American Philosopher
Our words, our thoughts, and our feelings all contribute to the creation of our reality. Our word is a two-edged sword, it can create or it can destroy. To be impeccable is to create with conscious awareness and love. Ruiz also makes the point that our perceptions of others are merely reflections of ourselves. Therefore, to put another down or project negative words or energy towards another person, is to lash out at the other person because of our own insecurities. The human mind is fertile ground for the seeds that are our word. So plant the seeds of love, not fear. Judging, blaming, shaming, and especially gossiping create poison in ourselves and others. This agreement alone is enough to break all of your old agreements and change the dream of your life.
—Miguel Angel Ruiz (b.1952) Mexican Spiritualist Author
For the aims of my own career, I want to promote the increase of natural knowledge, and to forward the application of scientific methods of investigation to all the problems of life, in the conviction that there is no alleviation for the sufferings of mankind except veracity of thought and action, and the resolute facing of the world as it is, when the garment of make-believe is stripped off.
—Thomas Henry Huxley (1825–95) English Biologist
It is his nature, not his standing, that makes the good man.
—Publilius Syrus (fl.85–43 BCE) Syrian-born Roman Latin Writer