Character Quotes. Being the person others think that you are. (April 2009)

Susan's Thursday morning note April 9, 2009 
Quotations on Character (Self-Respect, Reputation, Integrity, Inner/Out Being the same)

Good morning!  Have you given yourself the luxury of your favorite drink this morning?   With extra filler if it’s coffee?  I saw three little robins yesterday hauling around little sticks – that is the perfect filler for my coffee!  That sight itself somehow is making it taste even better!  I’ve spent time again at a site of quotations that I would like to encourage you to add to your shortcuts,  This is a site that I go to a lot, when I want to be encouraged, motivated, calmed, refreshed.  When I want to think about something worth thinking about, but don’t have the energy to pick up a book.  When I have five minutes to spare and don’t want to waste it on fruitless thoughts.  This is also a site that I have found many of the authors that I have read.  I will find a quote that I am impacted by, or that makes me think, and then I will look up the author of the quote….this will then lead me to books by this person.  The possibilities of who we could let affect us in the next years of our lives are endless – I love knowing that!  

This week I went to character and these are a few of the quotes that I have saved in an e-mail to myself.  I hope you find them encouraging to making the right decisions in your life this week.  I also read recently the phrase, Be the person others believe that you are.   That line has stuck with me ever since.  Who does Camden see me as?  Can I be that woman?  Strive to be that woman?  (Or, as I wrote a few weeks ago, that lady!)

Self-respect cannot be hunted. It cannot be purchased.  It is never for sale. It cannot be fabricated out of public relations.
It comes to us when we are alone, in quiet moments, in quiet places, when we suddenly realize that, knowing the good, we have done it; knowing the beautiful, we have served it; knowing the truth, we have spoken it.  (Whitney Griswold)

Don’t seek to gain anything for yourself that forces you to break your word or lose self-respect; to hate, suspect, or curse another; or to be insincere or to desire something that needs to remain secret.  Look to the people whose main desire is to nurture their minds and their inner spirits.  They do not fuss, complain, or crave either solitude or a crowd.  And, most important of all, they will live without either striving or avoiding, and will not care whether their lives are long or short.   If death comes for them at this very instant, they will go as easily as if they were doing any other act needing self-respect and calm, being careful of only this through their lives:  that their thoughts do not stray into paths incompatible with an intelligent and social being.  (Marcus Aurelius)

Reputation is what men and women think of us; character is what God and the angels know of us.  (Thomas Paine)

I care not what others think of what I do, but I care very much about what I think of what I do.  That is character.  (Theodore Roosevelt)

There is nothing more personal than your values.  What you will and won’t do to get ahead, the lines you will and won’t cross to win, whom you will and won’t step on for personal gain, are at the very core of your code of honor.  And your code of honor determines your character.  And your character is who you are.  Behind closed doors.  When nobody is watching.   (Patti LaBelle)

The final forming of a person’s character lies in their own hands.  (Anne Frank)

First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.  (Epictetus)

You don’t get old from living a particular number of years:  you get old because you have deserted your ideals.  Years wrinkle your skin, renouncing your ideals wrinkles your soul.  Worry, doubt, fear, and despair are the enemies which slowly bring us down to the ground and turn us to dust before we die.  (Douglas MacArthur)

I was given a used book of poetry this week by one of you (again! – grin!).  The wonderfully musty smelling little book is Aim for a Star by Helen Marshall.  This is her poem on the thought above, Be who others believe you to be.

Worthy of My Friends by Helen Marshall

If I could have but just one plea, 
I think that that one prayer would be,
With all that such a prayer portends - 
"Lord, make me worthy of my friends.

Help me to be the kind of man 
That loyal friends believe I am.
help me to be as true and fine
As they believe - these friends of mine.

Give me the courage under stress
That they expect me to possess;
And when they smile and look at me,
Oh, let me BE, Lord, what they see!

Help me all pretense to forego,
And simply, without pomp or show,
Repay with true sincerity
The loyal faith they have in me.

And if, sometimes, I may have erred,
In any thought or deed or word,
Then help me, Lord, to make amends-
Lord, make me worthy of my friends."

If you are reading these quotes & the above poem and are thinking of the ways you’ve let yourself down with choices, this is something else that I read in a short book that has just been reprinted from the early 1900’s, Don’t Let the Past Spoil Your Future by Orison Swett Marden.  “He could not keep himself in tune,” would be a good explanation of thousands of failures.  Many of these failures could have accomplished great things if they could only have kept themselves in harmony, if they could only have cut out of their lives the friction, the worry and the anxiety which whittled away their energy…The keynote of life’s harmony is cheerfulness.  Every muscle and every nerve must be tuned until it responds to that vibration.  As the piano tuner eliminates the least discord in sound, so the coming man will tune out the discordant notes of passion, of hatred, or jealousy and of worry, so that there shall be no in harmony in the instrument.  He will no more think of starting out in the morning to play on the most delicately constructed instrument ever made when it is out of tune, than a great master musician would think of playing in public on an instrument that was out of tune.  Gloom, despondency, worry about the future, and all discordant passion must be tuned out of this life instrument before it will express the exquisite melodies, the ravishing harmonies which the Creator intended it to express.

Let’s go continue to play our individual songs.  Regardless of which movement in our song we are now in (a beautiful, easy movement, or a harsh, minor movement)…our song will keep playing.  We must stay on our knees, asking God for the peace that he can give that will not be understood by anyone but the receiver….we must continue to look to the heavens….the promise of help in goals for who we can be is there….the Creator.  The tuner of the beautiful instrument he created…us.  Let him tune us.  Let us begin each day in tune – ready to be who he created us to be – regardless of the past.  Spring – just the word itself is beautiful.  I hope this week we all take the time to notice the beauty of everything beginning to pop….Stu and I saw our first daffodils this week – that is proof!!!!  Spring is sneaking up!!!  Have a great weekend – thank you so much for letting me in your world again this morning!  Go make yourself proud with decisions only you know you’re making.  Susan

Latin for this week:
Integritas vitae - character (literally, integrity of life).

Works Cited:
Marden, Orison Swett.  Don't Let Your Past Spoil Your Future.  2006.  Kessinger Publishing.  Whitefish, Montana.
Marshall, Helen Lowrie.  Aim for a Star.  1964.  Doubleday & Co.  New York.