By their nature, quotations are small vignettes which are not to be taken too literally. This is one of those situations. Words, after all, need to be defined, and in defining integrity you automatically create rules for it. As applied to a person it is the quality of being honest, and having strong moral principles,… Continue reading Integrity


Keeping up with the Jones’s has never seemed to me to be much like flattery. Should I repeat lies just because an important person who I might otherwise look up to tells them? I could give many other such rhetorical questions. Personally, I would rather be my own man. But listening to somebody, and I… Continue reading Listening


This is one of many witty and amusing quotes from this author. I’ve always known that mincing my words means that I am speaking vaguely, or indirectly. The phrase is more commonly used in a negative context, as in not mincing one’s words so that you are speaking directly, and don’t care if the person… Continue reading Words


I know most of my quotes do not directly relate to family. But since this site is about family history, here is one now. And what can be more important than family? Back to Inspirational Thoughts and Ideas

Do Something

The thought expressed here is blindingly obvious. If we fail to do something that is within our power we are betraying ourselves. When Mother Teresa started to help the poor and needy in India I am sure she thought she was doing a small thing. I am reminded of the boy who threw starfish back… Continue reading Do Something


Courage takes many forms, but many times it emerges in ways we do not easily recognize. Courage to stand up and speak is a form we easily identify, but to sit down and listen? It all depends on the situation, of course, and what is courageous to one person may not be courageous to another.… Continue reading Courage


Failure is inevitable. Not in all things, of course, but inevitable nonetheless. What baby has ever walked perfectly the first time, for example? As a pianist, I know first-hand how important it is to practice regularly. Not that I was ever likely to be a concert pianist, mind you, but the more I practiced, the… Continue reading Failure


I don’t know about you, but it is not uncommon for me to look back at my life and think “I could have done so much more than I have done.” But much more important than what I have done, I think is how I have done it. Maybe I am not one of those… Continue reading Attitude

Speak Up

This is very similar to the quote often attributed, probably incorrectly, to Edmund Burke (1729-1797): “All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.” Either way, just standing back and doing nothing (or very little) is how the Nazis gained control in Germany in the 1930’s. And I can… Continue reading Speak Up