It's impossible to violate your nature. All the varied exploits of your will are rounded out by the law of your being as the irregularities of the Andes and the Himalayas are insignificant in the curvature of the earth.
It doesn't matter
how you measure or judge someone.
A person's character
is like a magic square or a palindromeó
read it forward, backward, or across,
and it still spells the same thing.
In my nice house in the woods, which God allows me, if keep a diary of my honest thoughts day by day, without thinking about the future or the past, I have no doubt it will turn out symmetrical even though I neither intend it nor notice it. My diary will smell of pines and hum with insects. The swallow over my windows will interweave the thread or straw he's carrying in his bill into my web too. We come across as what we are. Character teaches above our wills.
People think they only show their virtue or
by overt actions.
They don't see that virtue or vice
emits a breath every moment.
A pattern will emerge in whatever actions you take, as long as each is taken honestly and naturally in the moment. Born of one mind, the actions will be harmonious, however unlike they seem. Their variety disappears at a little distance, at a little height of thought. One tendency unites them all.
The voyage of the best ship
is a zigzag line of a hundred tacks.
See the line from far enough away and it straightens itself to the average tendency. Your genuine action will explain itself and will explain your other genuine actions. Your conformity explains nothing. Act singly, and what you have already done singly will justify you now.
Greatness appeals to the future. If I can be brave enough today to do something right and ignore raised eyebrows, I must have done enough things right before to defend myself now. Always ignore appearances and you'll always be able to. Character is cumulative. All your past days of virtue have worked you into shape to handle this.
What makes our sports heroes and our great statesmen so majestic as to inspire our dreams and imagination? It's the awareness of a long trail of great days and victories behind them. They focus a light forward, illuminating their advance. A visible escort of angels accompanies them. That's what throws thunder into Martin Luther King's voice, dignity into Gandhi's fast, and America into the eyes of our founding fathers.
We respect honor because it isn't fleeting.
Honor is always ancient virtue. We worship it today because it didn't just happen today. We love and admire it because it's not designed to capture our love and admiration, but it's independent, self-generated, and therefore has an old immaculate pedigree, even in a youngster.
Last Edited: May 03, 2000
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© 1997 Richard Brodie. All rights reserved.