Circumstances

The policy of adapting one’s self to circumstances makes all ways smooth.

Character is built out of circumstances. From exactly the same materials one man builds palaces, while another builds hovels.

Instead of saying that man is the creature of circumstances, it would be nearer the mark to say man is the architect of circumstance. It is character which builds an existence out of circumstance.

Events of great consequence often spring from trifling circumstances.

Circumstances are the rulers of the weak; they are but the instruments of the wise.

Happiness has little to do with age, circumstances, health, wealth, learning or status. It follows as you become a part of life's solution rather than its problem.

There is nothing a man can less afford to leave at home than his conscience or his good habits; for it is not to be denied that travel is, in its immediate circumstances, unfavorable to habits of self-discipline, regulation of thought, sobriety of conduct, and dignity of character. Indeed, one of the great lessons of travel is the discovery how much our virtues owe to the support of constant occupation, to the influence of public opinion, and to the force of habit; a discovery very dangerous, if it proceed from an actual yielding to temptations resisted at home, and not from a consciousness of increased power put forth in withstanding them.

Learning, if rightly applied, makes a young man thinking, attentive, industrious, confident and wary; and an old man cheerful and useful. It is an ornament in prosperity, a refuge in adversity, an entertainment at all times; it cheers in solitude, and gives moderation and wisdom in all circumstances.

Make it a practice to judge persons and things in the most favorable light at all times and under all circumstances.

Do not wait for extraordinary circumstances to do good actions; try to use ordinary situations.

‘Rehearse death.’ To say this is to tell a person to rehearse his freedom. A person who has learned how to die has unlearned how to be a slave. He is above, or at any rate beyond the reach of, all political powers. What are prisons, warders, bars to him? He has an open door. There is but one chain holding us in fetters, and that is our love of life. There is no need to cast this love out altogether, but it does need to be lessened somewhat so that, in the event of circumstances ever demanding this, nothing may stand in the way of our being prepared to do at once what we must do at some time or other.

Growth is a never-ending process that can be accomplished under the most adverse circumstances. Growth can be achieved from one's attempts to... "Go for the perfect try."

How people think, relate and react to their circumstances, not what the circumstances are, is what determines their realities.

It is not easy to surround life with any circumstances in which youth will not be delightful; and I am afraid that, whether married or unmarried, we shall find the vesture of terrestrial existence more heavy and cumbrous the longer it is worn.

Maturity is a quality of personality made up of a number of elements. It is stick-to-itiveness, the ability to stick to a job, to work on it and to struggle through it until it is finished, or until one has given all one has in the endeavor. It is the quality or capacity of giving more than is asked or required in a given situation. It is this characteristic that enables others to count on one; thus it is reliability. Persistence is an aspect of maturity; persistence to carry out a a goal in the face of difficulties. Endurance enters into the concept of maturity; the endurance of difficulties, unpleasantness, discomfort, frustration, hardship. The ability to size things up, make one's own decisions, is a characteristic of maturity. This implies a considerable amount of independence. A mature person is not dependent unless ill. Maturity includes a determination, a will to succeed and achieve, a will to live. Of course, maturity represents the capacity to cooperate; to work with others; to work in an organization and under authority. The mature person is flexible, can defer to time, persons, circumstances. He can show tolerance. He can be patient, and, above all, he has qualities of adaptability and compromise. Basically, maturity represents a wholesome amalgamation of two things: 1) Dissatisfaction with the status quo, which calls forth aggressive, constructive effort, and 2) Social concern and devotion. Emotional maturity is the morale of the individual.

No man was ever endowed with a judgment so correct and judicious, in regulating his life, but that circumstances, time and experience would teach him something new, and apprise him that of those things with which he knew nothing; and that those ideas which in theory appeared the most advantageous were found, when brought into practice, to be altogether inapplicable.

Knowledge does not comprise all which is contained in the large term of education. The feelings are to be disciplined; the passions are to be restrained; true and worthy motives are to be inspired; a profound religious feeling is to be instilled, and pure morality inculcated under all circumstances. All this is comprised in education.

Look at our present life circumstances, whatever they may be, as the raw material of our learning... We must stop regarding ourselves as victims of circumstances, and start to acknowledge that we are not here purely by accident. The master within is trying to help us wake up by confronting us with our current life situation, which contains all the lessons we need to learn in order to grow into more fully developed human beings.

To say that people have a moral sense is not the same thing as saying that they are innately good. A moral sense must compete with other senses that are natural to humans - the desire to survive, acquire possessions, indulge in sex, or accumulate power - in short, with self-interest narrowly defined. How that struggle is resolved will differ depending on our character, our circumstances, and the cultural and political tendencies of the day. But saying that a moral sense exists is the same thing as saying that humans, by their nature, are potentially good.

Laws are not invented; they grow out of circumstances.