Exaggerated respect for athletics, an excess of coarse impressions brought about by the technical discoveries of recent years, the increased severity of the struggle for existence due to the economic crisis, the brutalization of political life: all these factors are hostile to the ripening of the character and the desire for real culture, and stamp our age as barbarous, materialistic and superficial.
I am absolutely convinced that no wealth in the world can help humanity forward, even in the hands of the most devoted worker in this cause. The example of great and pure personages is the only thing that can lead us to fine ideas and noble deeds. Money only appeals to selfishness and always irresistibly tempts its owners to abuse it.
I have great admiration for power, a great terror of weakness, especially in my own sex, yet feel that my love is for those who overcome the mental and moral suffering and temptation through excess of tenderness rather than through excess of strength.
Be yourself. Cultivate desirable qualities. Be alert. Look for opportunities to express yourself. Be positive. Determine your goal and the route to it. Be systematic. Take one step at a time. Be persistent. Hold to your course. Be a worker. Work your brain more than your body. Be a student. Know your job. Be fair. Treat the other man as you would be treated. Be temperate. Avoid excess in anything. Be confident. Have faith that cannot be weakened.
Men in excess of happiness or misery are equally inclined to severity. Witness conquerors and monks! It is mediocrity alone, and a mixture of prosperous and adverse fortune that inspire us with lenity and pity.
Experience constantly proves that every man who has power is impelled to abuse it; he goes on till he is pulled up by some limits. Who would say; it! virtue even has need of limits.
Brisk talkers are usually slow thinkers. There is, indeed, no wild beast more to be dreaded than a communicative man having nothing to communicate. If you are civil to the voluble they will abuse your patience; if brusque, your character.
When any person of really eminent virtue becomes the object of envy, the clamor and abuse by which he is assailed is but the sign and accompaniment of his success in doing service to the public. And if he is truly a wise man, he will take no more notice of it than the moon does of the howling of the dogs. Her only answer to them is to shine on.