January 20

MAN is no star, but a quick coal
Of mortal fire;
Who blows it not, nor doth control
A faint desire,
Lets his own ashes choke his soul.
George Herbert

THE kingdom of God belongs not to the most enlightened but to the best; and the best man is the most unselfish man. Humble, constant, voluntary self-sacrifice,—this is what constitutes the true dignity of man. And therefore it is written, “The last shall be first.” Society rests upon conscience and not upon science. Civilization is first and foremost a moral thing. Without honesty, without respect for law, without the worship of duty, without the love of one’s neighbour,—in a word, without virtue,—the whole is menaced and falls into decay, and neither letters nor art, neither luxury nor industry, nor rhetoric, nor the policeman, nor the custom-house officer, can maintain erect and whole an edifice of which the foundations are unsound.
Henri F. Amiel

SEE that no day passes in which you do not make yourself a somewhat better creature; and in order to do that, find out, first, what you are now.
John Ruskin


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