Category Archives: VIRTUES

He uses statistics as a drunken man uses lampposts, for support rather than illumination. – Andrew Lang, a gentle needle

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When asked why he went about with a lamp in broad daylight, Diogenes confessed, “I am looking for an honest man.” Seeing a young man blush, he remarked that it was the complexion of virtue.

Every life is a march from innocence, through temptation, to virtue or vice. ~Lyman Abbott



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“Over the years, I have come to realize that the greatest trap in our life is not success, popularity, or power, but self-rejection. Success, popularity, and power can indeed present a great temptation, but their seductive quality often comes from the way they are part of the much larger temptation to self-rejection. When we have come to believe in the voices that call us worthless and unlovable, then success, popularity, and power are easily perceived as attractive solutions. The real trap, however, is self-rejection. As soon as someone accuses me or criticizes me, as soon as I am rejected, left alone, or abandoned, I find myself thinking, “Well, that proves once again that I am a nobody.” … [My dark side says,] I am no good… I deserve to be pushed aside, forgotten, rejected, and abandoned. Self-rejection is the greatest enemy of the spiritual life because it contradicts the sacred voice that calls us the “Beloved.” Being the Beloved constitutes the core truth of our existence.”

― Henri J.M. Nouwen

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Seven the things that tempt us,
Nine the time of day,
Two the distance between us
And there is one way.

Green the thought love rests in,
White the thought that parts,
Black the shadow tests us
With our destroying arts.

A sign is enough to live by,
A shape we make in air;
A long line of time we follow.
Does it lead us anywhere?



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The day is for working, the night is for resting.

Gwakia kwarama, gwatuka gwakundeera

There is a time to wink as well as to see.

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“Sometimes it’s important to work for that pot of gold. But other times it’s essential to take time off and to make sure that your most important decision in the day simply consists of choosing which colour to slide down on the rainbow.”

Douglas Pagels

“I’ve learned that from a war ignited by revenge, nothing can be born, but sorrow.

– Aladdin” ― Shinobu Ohtaka

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To see an enemy humiliated gives a certain contentment, but this is jejune compared with the highly bent satisfaction of seeing him humiliated by your benevolent action or concession on his behalf. That is the sort of revenge which falls into the scale of virtue.

GEORGE ELIOT, The Mill on the Floss

I was deaf and dumb and blind to all but me, myself and I.”

Loretta Young

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“Fix reason firmly in her seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of a God; because, if there be one, he must more approve of the homage of reason, than that of blindfolded fear … Do not be frightened from this inquiry by any fear of its consequences. If it end in a belief that there is no God, you will find incitements to virtue on the comfort and pleasantness you feel in its exercise and in the love of others which it will procure for you.”

― Thomas Jefferson

But better to be hurt by the truth than comforted with a lie. Khaled Hosseini


“Envy is the religion of the mediocre. It comforts them, it soothes their worries, and finally it rots their souls, allowing them to justify their meanness and their greed until they believe these to be virtues. Such people are convinced that the doors of heaven will be opened only to poor wretches like themselves who go through life without leaving any trace but their threadbare attempts to belittle others and to exclude – and destroy if possible – those who, by the simple fact of their existence, show up their own poorness of spirit, mind, and guts. Blessed be the one at whom the fools bark, because his soul will never belong to them.”

Carlos Ruiz Zafón, The Angel’s Game

Tamuh — Is it proper to tame a parrot and give it into the claws of a cat ?

"Eastern Proverbs and Emblems Illustrating Old Truths"


Birds move to their trees and I think of private talk

on the edge of winter, your voice soft, hurried
by the wind; swept-leaves in the bush-hut hours;
parrots like the sound of children sleeping out at dusk.


Judith Beveridge

foto- baby king parrot at raleigh 2010

It is difficult to know at what moment love begins; it is less difficult to know that it has begun.


Hasty and adventurous schemes are at first view flattering, in execution difficult, and in the issue disastrous.

"The Cyclopaedia of Practical Quotations, English and Latin: With an Appendix Containing Proverbs …"

foto – izzy foreal with a box of vegies at murwillumbah 2008

A man cannot walk among thorns and not be pierced ; neither can he lead an impious life and die happy. Downey’s Proverbs.


Gail Lumet Buckley
Family faces are magic mirrors. Looking at people who belong to us, we see the past, present and future.



foto- ulmarra nov 09 60 years

Three silences that are better than speech: silence during instruction, silence during music, silence during preaching.

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‘I had not yet fully wakened from my material sleep of ignorance, and was but dreaming of the dawn of early wisdom, when I heard the intuitive voice of my soul cry out from the tavern of inner silence: O little thoughts of awakening wisdom, rouse yourselves, fill the cup of consciousness with Divine Joy, ere life’s vitality vanish from the bodily cup’

thanks to

foto – kerry reilly at wide river cafe nov 2009.

The udder of a neighbour’s cow is always bigger. Croatian Proverb.


Cows are amongst the gentlest of breathing creatures; none show more passionate tenderness to their young when deprived of them; and, in short, I am not ashamed to profess a deep love for these quiet creatures.  Thomas de Quincey.


foto – cows in coldstream street paddock 09

Health is better than wealth.

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The Old Black Billy and Me

by Louis Esson

The sheep are yarded, an’ I sit

Beside the fire an’ poke at it.

Far from talk an’ booze o’ men

Glad, I’m glad I’m back agen

On the station, wi’ me traps

An’ fencin’ wire, an’ tanks an’ taps,

Back to salt-bush plains, an’ flocks,

An’ old bark hut be the apple-box.

I turn the slipjack, make the tea,

All’s as still as still can be –

An’ the old black billy winks at me.

Old Australian Food Recipes


foto – jacaranda day 2009 in grafton nsw.