Freedom

There is a lot of talk nowadays about rights and freedoms. Some seem to think that their perceived freedoms trump the freedoms of others. I rather like the idea that my freedom to swing my fist ends at the beginning of your nose. In reality, of course, that freedom ends long before I get close… Continue reading Freedom

Conscience

Although often attributed to Washington, this is another of the sayings he wrote down when he was about 12 years old. Conscience can be a tricky thing, but I often use it to decide whether a particular course of conduct is correct. Which one will allow me to sleep at night, and look others in… Continue reading Conscience

Hard Work

Hard workers are considered dependable people because they do not make excuses or procrastinate; they just get the job done. Hard work keeps you healthy, both physically and mentally. Hard work helps you build discipline, teaches you values, and gives you results. Hard work means consistency and doing it now, not putting it off until… Continue reading Hard Work

Borrowing

The literal meaning of this advice is that lending money brings risks with it. But is this something that should be taken seriously? Is this, perhaps, something to take with a pinch of salt? And would the advice, if given today, be the same as in Shakespeare’s day? It would be very difficult to live… Continue reading Borrowing

Temper

Temper does have its place in our lives, but it is going to be rare indeed that displaying that temper to others is likely to achieve a positive result. For example, temper may fuel righteous indignation, but letting that temper show indiscriminately is unlikely to bring about something of lasting worth. And even less likely… Continue reading Temper

Perfection

Perfection is an ideal rather than something we can really achieve. While it is certainly possible to know the alphabet, or the times tables perfectly, even there, we had to start somewhere. I am sure that I did not know the alphabet after hearing it just once. Equally, I know that, regardless of how well… Continue reading Perfection

Life’s Purpose

Of course, many would say that the whole purpose of life is to enjoy yourself, and not care about the difficulties of others. But lives lived in such a manner are empty indeed. Selfishness never was happiness. I do not suggest that everything we ever do or say should be selfless, but if we never… Continue reading Life’s Purpose

Seize the Day

To me, this isn’t about being nice, or saying kind things. I am reminded of the Latin phrase “carpe diem” which is loosely translated as “seize the day.” When Horace said this he was expressing the idea that one should enjoy life while one can. If you really want to live in the day, try… Continue reading Seize the Day

Integrity

This means, of course, to be true and honest to oneself, but also to others. It means to act authentically in accordance with your own beliefs and desires. In other words, integrity is important. Having said that, integrity sometimes means acting against our own interests. For example, suppose we are asked to do something in… Continue reading Integrity

Confidences

Here’s a question for you. Are you trustworthy? To put it another way, can you keep a confidence? Did you answer honestly? If you ever repeat what you may have been told in confidence, then you are unreliable, and sooner or later that will become clear, and impinge on your personal relationships. I know that… Continue reading Confidences