All acts of charity or giving are valuable only inasmuch as they recognize the true dignity of those toward whom the contribution is directed. Any money or time given to another without recognizing their full equality, is as chaff in the wind, and serves only the mockery of the ego. Pity or sorrow is never a worthy reason for charity, for it only reinforces the bondage of the giver and the recipient. Real charity is never a giving, but always a sharing. He who gives as a giver remains half; he who shares, knows wholeness.
The greatest baseness of man is the pursuit of glory. But it is also the great mark of his excellence; for whatever possessions he may have on earth, whatever health and essential comfort, he is not satisfied if he has not the esteem of men.
Man is only a reed, the weakest in nature, but he is a thinking reed. There is no need for the whole universe to take up arms to crush him: a vapour, a drop of water is enough to kill him But even if the universe were to crush him, man would still be nobler than his slayer, because he knows that he is dying and the advantage the universe has over him. the universe knows none of this. Thus all our dignity consists in thought. It is on thought that we must depend for our recovery, not on space and time, which we could never fill. Let us then strive to think well; that is the basic principle of morality.
No race can prosper till it learns there is as much dignity in tilling a field as in writing a poem.
“True men”… are strong willed, have dignity in their demeanor, serenity in their expression. They are cool like autumn, warm like spring. Their passions arise like the four seasons, in harmony with the ten thousand creatures, and no one knows their limits.