Motives

Marriage is not a finished affair. No matter to what age you live, love must be continuously consolidated. Being considerate, thoughtful and respectful without ulterior motives is the key to a satisfactory marriage.

The more horrible a depersonalized scientific mass war becomes, the more necessary it is to find universal ideal motives to justify it.

Keep clear of personalities in conversation. Talk of things, objects, thoughts. The smallest minds occupy themselves with persons. Do not needlessly report ill of others. As far as possible, dwell on the good side of human beings. There are family boards where a constant process of depreciating, assigning motives, and cutting up character goes forward. They are not pleasant places. One who is healthy does not wish to dine at a dissecting table. There is evil enough in man, God knows. But it is not the mission of every young man and woman to detail and report it all. Keep the atmosphere as pure as possible, and fragrant with gentleness and charity.

Jewish ethics, with its emphasis on the motives of the heart and its concern for the actions of men, has shown itself able to preserve the tension between the inner and the outer.

Given a man full of faith, you will have a man tenacious in purpose, absorbed in one grand object, simple in his motives, in whom selfishness has been driven out by the power of a mightier love, and indolence stirred into unwearied energy.

One of the greatest failures of our contemporary training of teachers is that they become mere technicians... They do not learn the beliefs and motives and values for the sake of which the classroom exists.

People do not always understand the motives of sublime conduct, and when they are astonished they are very apt to think they ought to be alarmed. The truth is none are fit judges of greatness but those who are capable of it.

The only treaties that ought to count are those which would effect a settlement between ulterior motives.

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.

Transactional leaders approach followers with an eye to exchanging one thing for another: jobs for votes, or subsidies for campaign contributions… The transforming leader looks for potential motives in followers, seeks to satisfy higher needs, and engages the full person of the follower. The result of transforming leadership is a relationship of mutual stimulation and elevation that converts followers into leaders and may convert leaders into moral agents.

Prayer is not a vain attempt to change God’s will: it is a filial desire to learn God’s will and share it. Prayer is not a substitute for work: it is the secret spring and indispensable ally of all true work – the clarifying of work’s goal, the purifying of its motives, and the renewing of its zeal.

It is not enough to teach a man a specialty. Through it he may become a kind of useful machine but not a harmoniously developed personality. It is essential that the student acquire an understanding of and a lively feeling for values. He must acquire a vivid sense of the beautiful and the morally good. Otherwise, he – with his specialized knowledge – more closely resembles a well-trained dog than a harmoniously developed person. He must learn to understand the motives of human beings, their illusions, and their sufferings in order to acquire a proper relationship to individual fellow-men and to the community.

The principle of competition appears to be nothing more than a partially conventionalized embodiment of primeval selfishness... the supremacy of the motive of self-interest... The Christian conscience can be satisfied with nothing less than the complete substitution of motives of mutual helpfulness and goodwill for the motive of private gain.

Our society has progressed largely because of our creativity and inquisitiveness – and because we’re competitive. We’re driven by the desire to develop products and services which are more ingenious than what others have put forth. Competition is inherently good, but when it is tainted with excess greed or negative motives, there can be harmful results. How we compete is very important to our Souls.

There’s a moment when the choice to act moves beyond a discussion of motives, for even an awareness of our own motives can become a form of necessity that lets our responsibility off the hook. And the moment of faith is a moment when no part of us is excused. With no ifs, no buts, no conditions, no escape clauses, all we are is challenged to rise to the choice and shoulder the responsibility for our answer.

A man is free in proportion as his perceptions and his actions express his personality in spite of the variety of forms which perceptions and motives take.

Our whole universe is a universe of perceived phenomena in which all that is perceived embodies part of what is ourselves. A person and all his perceived world, thought, motives, and acts, are active manifestations of personality… personality represents a constant struggle to realize itself. This is why for personality there is always a now’ entering into the meaning of the past and the nature of the future.

In spiritual work, there is no tangible worldly gain to be acquired, but there is instead an inner reward of pleasure, satisfaction, and even joy. Goals replace gains as motives. There is a greater freedom from living on the exciting knife edge of the moment than being a prisoner of the past or having expectations of the future.

The truly religious man is always more concerned about what God will do in him that what He will do to him; in this intense desire for purification of his motives he almost wishes that heaven and hell were blotted out, that he might serve God for Himself alone.

I believe in immortality of the soul because I have within me immortal longings. I believe that the state we enter after death is wrought of our own motives, thoughts, and deeds... I carry a magic light in my heart. Faith, the spiritual strong searchlight, illumines the way, and although sinister doubts lurk in the shadow, I walk unafraid towards the Enchanted Wood where the foliage is always green, where joy abides, where nightingales nest and sing, and where life and death are one in the Presence of the Lord.