Quotations about   words and deeds

Note that not all quotations have been tagged, so the Search function may find additional quotations on this topic.



That to suffer the civil magistrate to intrude his powers into the field of opinion and to restrain the profession or propagation of principles, on the supposition of their ill tendency, is a dangerous fallacy, which at once destroys all religious liberty, because he being of course judge of that tendency, will make his opinions the rule of judgment, and approve or condemn the sentiments of others only as they shall square with or differ from his own; that it is time enough for the rightful purposes of civil government, for its officers to interfere when principles break out into overt acts against peace and good order.

Thomas Jefferson (1743-1826) American political philosopher, polymath, statesman, US President (1801-09)
Virginia Statute for Religious Freedom (1786)
    (Source)
Added on 14-Mar-22 | Last updated 14-Mar-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Jefferson, Thomas

Don’t be a man of “Intentions.” The world gives a man credit only for his deeds and, often, not even for them.

No picture available
Minna Antrim (1861-1950) American epigrammatist, writer
Don’ts for Bachelors and Old Maids (1908)
    (Source)
Added on 10-Dec-21 | Last updated 10-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Antrim, Minna

O prince, in early youth divinely wise,
Born, the Ulysses of thy age to rise
If to the son the father’s worth descends,
O’er the wide wave success thy ways attends
To tread the walks of death he stood prepared;
And what he greatly thought, he nobly dared.

[Τηλέμαχ᾽, οὐδ᾽ ὄπιθεν κακὸς ἔσσεαι οὐδ᾽ ἀνοήμων,
εἰ δή τοι σοῦ πατρὸς ἐνέστακται μένος ἠύ,
οἷος κεῖνος ἔην τελέσαι ἔργον τε ἔπος τε:
οὔ τοι ἔπειθ᾽ ἁλίη ὁδὸς ἔσσεται οὐδ᾽ ἀτέλεστος.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Odyssey [Ὀδύσσεια], Book 2, l. 271ff (2.271) (c. 700 BC) [tr. Pope (1725)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

Those Wooers well might know, Telemachus,
Thou wilt not ever weak and childish be,
If to thee be instill’d the faculty
Of mind and body that thy father grac’d;
And if, like him, there be in thee enchac’d
Virtue to give words works, and works their end.
This voyage, that to them thou didst commend,
Shall not so quickly, as they idly ween,
Be vain, or giv’n up, for their opposite spleen.
[tr. Chapman (1616)]

If in you you retain the spirit brave
Your father had, to make his word his deed,
Then also the assurance I shall have,
To tell you in your voyage you shall speed.
[tr. Hobbes (1675), l. 257ff]

Telemachus! thou shalt hereafter prove
Nor base, nor poor in talents. If, in truth,
Thou have received from heav’n thy father’s force
Instill’d into thee, and resemblest him
In promptness both of action and of speech,
Thy voyage shall not useless be, or vain.
[tr. Cowper (1792), l. 355ff]

Not base and foolish after all is done
Shalt thou be counted, if the brave old blood
hath from the sire descended to the son.
If thou like him both word and deed make good,
Then were thy journey all in vain withstood.
[tr. Worsley (1861), st. 37]

Tel'mac'! no craven wilt thou be nor dullard;
If but one drop of they sire's good blood be in thee,
Such as he was in feats of deed or word:
So will not be thy journey vain nor bootless!
[tr. Bigge-Wither (1869)]

Telemachus, even hereafter thou shalt not be craven or witless, if indeed thou hast a drop of thy father’s blood and a portion of his spirit; such an one was he to fulfil both word and work. Nor, if this be so, shall thy voyage be vain or unfulfilled.
[tr. Butcher/Lang (1879)]

Telemachus, now shalt thou be no foolish faintheart thing.
If of they father's good-heart in thee hath sprung the seed,
Such a man for the word well-spoken, and fulfilment of the deed,
Not in vain shall be thy faring, nor thy going forth be undone.
[tr. Morris (1887)]

Telemachus, henceforth you shall not be a base man nor a foolish, if in you stirs the brave soul of your father, and you like him can give effect to deed and word. Then shall this voyage not be vain and ineffective.
[tr. Palmer (1891)]

Telemachus, if you are made of the same stuff as your father you will be neither fool nor coward henceforward, for Ulysses never broke his word nor left his work half done. If, then, you take after him, your voyage will not be fruitless.
[tr. Butler (1898)]

Telemachus, neither hereafter shalt thou be a base man or a witless, if aught of thy father's goodly spirit has been instilled into thee, such a man was he to fulfil both deed and word. So then shall this journey of thine be neither vain nor unfulfilled.
[tr. Murray (1919)]

Telemachus, let not your courage and resource fail you now. In your father deed and word notably marched together to their deliberate end. If your body holds a trace of his temper it will suffice to make this effort of yours neither bootless nor aimless.
[tr. Lawrence (1932)]

Today has proved you, Telemachus, neither a coward nor a fool, nor destined to be such, if we are right in thinking that your father’s manly vigour has descended to his son -- and what a man he was in action and debate! No fear, then, that this journey of yours will end in farce or failure.
[tr. Rieu (1946)]

You'll never be fainthearted or a fool,
Telémakhos, if you have your father's spirit;
he finished what he cared to say,
and what he took in hand he brought to pass.
The sea routes will yield their distances
to his true son, Penélopê's true son.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1961)]

Telemachos, you are to be no thoughtless man, no coward,
if truly the strong force of your father is instilled in you;
such a man he was for accomplishing word and action.
Your journey then will be no vain thing nor go unaccomplished.
[tr. Lattimore (1965)]

Telemachus,
you'll lack neither courage nor sense from this day on,
not if your father's spirit courses through your veins --
now there was a man, I'd say, in words and action both!
So how can your journey end in shipwreck or defeat?
[tr. Fagles (1996)]

You won't turn out to be a fool or a coward,
Telemachus, not if any of Odysseus' spirit
Has been instilled in you. Now there was a man
Who made sure of his words and deeds! Don't worry,
You'll make this journey, and it won't be in vain.
[tr. Lombardo (2000), l. 293ff]

Telemachus, you will not in future prove cowardly or foolish if you have truly inherited your father's strong vigor -- and what a man he was for carrying out his word and deed -- and so your journey will surely not be unfulfilled or in vain.
[tr. Verity (2016)]

Telemachus, you will be brave and thoughtful, if your won father's forcefulness runs through you. How capable he was, in word and deed! Your journey will succeed, if you are his.
[tr. Wilson (2017)]

Telemachus,
in future days you will not be worthless
or a stupid man, if you have in you now
something of your father’s noble spirit.
He’s the sort of man who, in word and deed,
saw things to their conclusion. So for you
this trip will not be in vain or pointless.
[tr. Johnston (2019), l. 364ff]

Added on 17-Nov-21 | Last updated 1-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Homer

But the many do not act upon this rule; they rather betake themselves to mere talk about what is right, deluding themselves into the belief that they are philosophers, and are consequently upon the high road to virtue; but, in reality, acting not unlike a sick man who listens attentively to his physicians, and then carries out none of their advice.

[ἀλλ᾽ οἱ πολλοὶ ταῦτα μὲν οὐ πράττουσιν, ἐπὶ δὲ τὸν λόγον καταφεύγοντες οἴονται φιλοσοφεῖν καὶ οὕτως ἔσεσθαι σπουδαῖοι, ὅμοιόν τι ποιοῦντες τοῖς κάμνουσιν, οἳ τῶν ἰατρῶν ἀκούουσι μὲν ἐπιμελῶς, ποιοῦσι δ᾽ οὐδὲν τῶν προσταττομένων. ὥσπερ οὖν οὐδ᾽ ἐκεῖνοι εὖ ἕξουσι τὸ σῶμα οὕτω θεραπευόμενοι, οὐδ᾽ οὗτοι τὴν ψυχὴν οὕτω φιλοσοφοῦντες.]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Nicomachean Ethics [Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια], Book 2, ch. 4 (2.4, 1105b.12) (c. 325 BC) [tr. Williams (1869)]
    (Source)

On practicing virtuous acts to become virtuous. (Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

Yet people in general do not perform these actions, but taking refuge in talk they flatter themselves they are philosophising, and that they will so be good men: acting in truth very like those sick people who listen to the doctor with great attention but do nothing that he tells them.
[tr. Chase (1847), ch. 3]

But most people, instead of doing such actions, take refuge in theorizing; they imagine that they are philosophers and that philosophy will make them virtuous; in fact they behave like people who listen attentively to their doctors but never do anything that their doctors tell them.
[tr. Welldon (1892)]

But most men, instead of doing thus, fly to theories, and fancy that they are philosophizing and that this will make them good, like a sick man who listens attentively to what the doctor says and then disobeys all his orders.
[tr. Peters (1893)]

But most people do not do these, but take refuge in theory and think they are being philosophers and will become good in this way, behaving somewhat like patients who listen attentively to their doctors, but do none of the things they are ordered to do.
[tr. Ross (1908)]

But the mass of mankind, instead of doing virtuous acts, have recourse to discussing virtue, and fancy that they are pursuing philosophy and that this will make them good men. In so doing they act like invalids who listen carefully to what the doctor says, but entirely neglect to carry out his prescriptions.
[tr. Rackham (1934), ch. 4, sec. 6]

Ordinary people, however, do not do these actions but, taking refuge in argument, think that they are doing philosophy and that this is the way to become excellent -- thus behaving a bit like sick people who listen carefully to their doctors but do none of the things that are prescribed.
[tr. Reeve (1948)]

Yet most men do not do these; instead, they resort to merely talking about them and think that they are philosophizing and that by so doing they will become virtuous, thus behaving somewhat like patients who listen to their doctors attentively but do none of the things they are ordered to do.
[tr. Apostle (1975)]

This is not, however, the course that moes people follow: they have recourse to their principle, and imagine that they are being philosophical and that in this way they will become serious-minded -- behaving rather like invalids who listen carefully to their doctor, but carry out none of his instruction.
[tr. Thomson/Tredennick (1976)]

The many, however, do not do these actions but take refuge in arguments, thinking that they are doing philosophy, and that this is the way to become excellent people. In this they are like a sick person who listens attentively to the doctor, but acts on none of his instructions.
[tr. Irwin/Fine (1995)]

But the masses do not do them. They take refuge in argument, thinking that they are being philosophers and that this is the way to be good. they are rather like patients who listen carefully to their doctors, but do not do what they are told.
[tr. Crisp (2000)]

Yet most people [or the many] do not do them; and, seeking refuge in argument, they suppose that they are philosophizing and that they will in this way be serious, thereby doing something similar to the sick who listen attentively to their physicians but do nothing prescribed.
[tr. Bartlett/Collins (2011)]

Added on 9-Nov-21 | Last updated 14-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Aristotle

As in the Olympic Games it is not the most attractive and the strongest who are crowned, but those who compete (since it is from this group that winners come), so in life it is those who act rightly who will attain what is noble and good.

[ὥσπερ δ᾽ Ὀλυμπίασιν οὐχ οἱ κάλλιστοι καὶ ἰσχυρότατοι στεφανοῦνται ἀλλ᾽ οἱ ἀγωνιζόμενοι (τούτων γάρ τινες νικῶσιν), οὕτω καὶ τῶν ἐν τῷ βίῳ καλῶν κἀγαθῶν οἱ πράττοντες ὀρθῶς ἐπήβολοι γίνονται.]

Aristotle (384-322 BC) Greek philosopher
Nicomachean Ethics [Ἠθικὰ Νικομάχεια], Book 1, ch. 9 (1.9, 1099a.4) (c. 325 BC) [tr. Crisp (2000)]
    (Source)

(Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

And as at the Olympic games it is not the finest and strongest men who are crowned, but they who enter the lists, for out of these the prize-men are selected; so too in life, of the honourable and the good, it is they who act who rightly win the prizes.
[tr. Chase (1847), ch. 6]

For as at the Olympic games it is not the fairest and the strongest who are crowned, but they that run -- for some of these it is that win the victory -- so too, among the noble and good in life, it is they that act rightly who become masters of life's prize.
[tr. Williams (1869)]

As in the Olympian games it is not the most beautiful and strongest persons who receive the crown, but they who actually enter the lists as combatants -- for it is some of these who become victors -- so it is they who act rightly that attain what is noble and good in life.
[tr. Welldon (1892), ch. 9]

And as at the Olympic games it is not the fairest and strongest who receive the crown, but those who contend (for among these are the victors), so in life, too, the winners are those who not only have all the excellences, but manifest these in deed.
[tr. Peters (1893)]

And as in the Olympic Games it is not the most beautiful and the strongest that are crowned but those who compete (for it is some of these that are victorious), so those who act win, and rightly win, the noble and good things in life.
[tr. Ross (1908)]

And just as at the Olympic games the wreaths of victory are not bestowed upon the handsomest and strongest persons present, but on men who enter for the competitions -- since it is among these that the winners are found, -- so it is those who act rightly who carry off the prizes and good things of life.
[tr. Rackham (1934), ch. 8, sec. 9]

And just as in the Olympic Games it is not the noblest and strongest who get the victory crown but the competitors (since it is among these that the ones who win are found), so also among the noble and good aspects of life it is those who act correctly who win the prizes.
[tr. Reeve (1948)]

And as at the Olympic Games it is not the most beautiful or the strongest who are crowned but those who compete (for it is some of these who become victors), so in life it is those who act rightly who become the winners of good and noble things.
[tr. Apostle (1975), ch. 9]

Just as at the Olympic Games it is not the best-looking or the strongest men present that are crowned with wreaths, but the competitors (because it is from them that the winners come), so it is those who act that rightly win the honors and rewards in life.
[tr. Thomson/Tredennick (1976)]

For just as it is not the noblest and strongest who are crowned with the victory wreath at the Olympic Games but rather the competitors (for it is certain of these who win), so also it is those who act correctly who attain the noble and good things in life.
[tr. Bartlett/Collins (2011)]

Added on 26-Oct-21 | Last updated 14-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Aristotle

I know that the Bible is a special kind of book, but I find it as seductive as any other. If I am not careful, I can begin to mistake the words on the page for the realities they describe. I can begin to love the dried ink marks on the page more than I love the encounters that gave rise to them. If I am not careful, I can decide that I am really much happier reading my Bible than I am entering into what God is doing in my own time and place, since shutting the book to go outside will involve the very great risk of taking part in stories that are still taking shape. Neither I nor anyone else knows how these stories will turn out, since at this point they involve more blood than ink. The whole purpose of the Bible, it seems to me, is to convince people to set the written word down in order to become living words in the world for God’s sake. For me, this willing conversion of ink back to blood is the full substance of faith.

Barbara Brown Taylor (b. 1951) American minister, academic, author
Leaving Church: A Memoir of Faith, Part 1 (2006)
    (Source)
Added on 22-Oct-21 | Last updated 22-Oct-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Taylor, Barbara Brown

If the desire to write is not accompanied by actual writing, then the desire must be not to write.

Hugh Prather (1938-2010) American minister, writer, counselor
Notes to Myself (1970)
    (Source)
Added on 17-Sep-21 | Last updated 17-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Prather, Hugh

Many perform the foulest deeds and rehearse the fairest words.

[Πολλοὶ δρῶντες τὰ αἴσχιστα λόγους ἀρίστους ἀσκέουσιν.]

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 53a (Diels) [tr. Barnes (1987)]
    (Source)

Diels citation "53a. (122 b N.) DEMOKRATES. 19.2. (Stob. II, 15, 33)" Bakewell lists this under "The Golden Sayings of Democritus." Freeman notes this as one of the Gnômae, from a collection called "Maxims of Democratês," but because Stobaeus quotes many of these as "Maxims of Democritus," they are generally attributed to the latter.

Alternate translations:

  • "Many who do the basest deeds can make most learned speeches." [tr. Bakewell (1907)]
  • "Many whose actions are most disgraceful practise the best utterances." [tr. Freeman (1948)].
  • "Many who do the worst things prepare the best speeches." [@sentantiq (2020), fr. 54]
Added on 9-Mar-21 | Last updated 9-Mar-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Democritus

One should emulate works and deeds of virtue, not arguments about it.

[Ἔργα καὶ πρήξιας ἀρετῆς, οὐ λόγους, ζηλοῦν χρειών.]

Democritus (c. 460 BC - c. 370 BC) Greek philosopher
Frag. 55 (Diels) [tr. Bakewell (1907)]
    (Source)

Cited in Diels as "55. (121 N.) DEMOKRATES. 21"; collected in Joannes Stobaeus (Stobaios) Anthologium II, 15, 36. Bakewell lists this under "The Golden Sayings of Democritus." Freeman notes this as one of the Gnômae, from a collection called "Maxims of Democratês," but because Stobaeus quotes many of these as "Maxims of Democritus," they are generally attributed to the latter.

Alternate translations:

  • "One should emulate the deeds and actions of virtue, not the words." [tr. Freeman (1948)]
  • "One must emulate the deeds and actions fo virtue, not the words." [tr. Barnes (1987)]
  • "It is necessary to envy the deeds of the work of virtue not the words." [tr. @sententiq (2018)]
  • "Envy the deeds and actions of virtue, not the words." [Source]
Added on 23-Feb-21 | Last updated 23-Feb-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Democritus

Just about everything in this world is easier said than done, with the exception of “systematically assisting Sisyphus’s stealthy, Syst-susceptible sister,” which is easier done than said.

Lemony Snicket (b. 1970) American author, screenwriter, musician (pseud. for Daniel Handler)
The Vile Village (2001)
Added on 27-Jan-21 | Last updated 27-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , ,
More quotes by Snicket, Lemony

Be both a speaker of words and a doer of deeds.

[Μύθων τε ῥητῆρ’ ἔμεναι πρηκτῆρά τε ἔργων.]

Homer (fl. 7th-8th C. BC) Greek author
The Iliad [Ἰλιάς], Book 9, l. 442 (9.442) (c. 750 BC) [tr. Leaf/Lang/Myers (1891)]
    (Source)

Phoenix, on what he was sent to teach Achilles as a child to become. (Source (Greek)). Alternate translations:

That thou might'st speak, when speech was fit, and do, when deeds were done,
Not sit as dumb, for want of words, idle, for skill to move.
[tr. Chapman (1611)]

To shine in councils and in camps to dare.
[tr. Pope (1715-20)]

Both elocution and address in arms.
[tr. Cowper (1791)]

An orator in words and a performer in deeds.
[tr. Buckley (1860)]

Be both a speaker of words and a doer of deeds.
[tr. Murray (1924)]

A speaker of words and one accomplished in action.
[tr. Lattimore (1951)]

A man of eloquence and action.
[tr. Fitzgerald (1974)]

A man of words, and a man of action, too.
[tr. Fagles (1990), l. 538]

To be both a speaker of words and a doer of actions.
[tr. Merrill (2007)]

To be a speaker of words and a doer of deeds.
[tr. @Sentantiq (2016)]

Added on 24-Nov-20 | Last updated 8-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Homer

Our responsibility is not discharged by an announcement of virtuous ends. Our responsibility is to achieve these objectives with social invention, with political skill, and executive vigor. I believe for these reasons, that liberalism is our best and our only hope in the world today.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Speech, Liberal Party Nomination, New York (14 Sep 1960)
    (Source)
Added on 4-Nov-20 | Last updated 4-Nov-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Kennedy, John F.

The worship of God is a Duty; the hearing and reading of Sermons may be useful; but, if Men rest in Hearing and Praying, as too many do, it is as if a Tree should Value itself on being water’d and putting forth Leaves, tho’ it never produc’d any Fruit.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Letter to Joseph Huey (6 Jun 1753)
    (Source)
Added on 22-Oct-20 | Last updated 22-Oct-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Franklin, Benjamin

Sometimes it’s better to light a flamethrower than to curse the darkness.

Terry Pratchett (1948-2015) English author
Men at Arms (1993)
Added on 20-Oct-20 | Last updated 20-Oct-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Pratchett, Terry

The Faith you mention has doubtless its use in the World. I do not desire to see it diminished, nor would I endeavour to lessen it in any Man. But I wish it were more productive of good Works, than I have generally seen it: I mean real good Works, Works of Kindness, Charity, Mercy, and Publick Spirit; not Holiday-keeping, Sermon-Reading or Hearing; performing Church Ceremonies, or making long Prayers, filled with Flatteries and Compliments, despis’d even by wise Men, and much less capable of pleasing the Deity.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Letter to Joseph Huey (6 Jun 1753)
    (Source)
Added on 15-Oct-20 | Last updated 15-Oct-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Franklin, Benjamin

I think vital Religion has always suffer’d, when Orthodoxy is more regarded than Virtue. And the Scripture assures me, that at the last Day, we shall not be examin’d what we thought, but what we did; and our Recommendation will not be that we said Lord, Lord, but that we did GOOD to our Fellow Creatures.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Letter to his parents, Josiah and Abiah Franklin (13 Apr 1738)
    (Source)

Franklin cites Matt. 26 in the letter, but it should be Matt. 25:31-46.
Added on 1-Oct-20 | Last updated 8-Jul-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Franklin, Benjamin

You both seem concern’d lest I have imbib’d some erroneous Opinions. Doubtless I have my Share, and when the natural Weakness and Imperfection of Human Understanding is considered, with the unavoidable Influences of Education, Custom, Books and Company, upon our Ways of thinking, I imagine a Man must have a good deal of Vanity who believes, and a good deal of Boldness who affirms, that all the Doctrines he holds, are true; and all he rejects, are false. And perhaps the same may be justly said of every Sect, Church and Society of men when they assume to themselves that Infallibility which they deny to the Popes and Councils. I think Opinions should be judg’d of by their Influences and Effects; and if a Man holds none that tend to make him less Virtuous or more vicious, it may be concluded he holds none that are dangerous; which I hope is the Case with me.

Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790) American statesman, scientist, philosopher
Letter to Josiah and Abiah Franklin (13 Apr 1738)
    (Source)
Added on 15-Sep-20 | Last updated 15-Sep-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Franklin, Benjamin

We are too prone to judge ourselves by our ideals and other people by their acts. All of us are entitled to be judged by both. We must recognize the dignity of our neighbors and before we act must place ourselves in the place of our neighbor and judge our acts through his eyes.

Dwight Morrow (1873-1931) American businessman, diplomat, politician
Quoted in “Close Mexican Ties Urged by Morrow,” New York Times (17 May 1930)
    (Source)

The first sentence of this comment by Morrow was popularized in a biography of him, Harold Nicolson, Dwight Morrow (1935). Nicolson is, in turn, often erroneously credited with the quote.

Nicolson noted it was frequently used by Morrow ("'Remember,' he would often repeat, 'that we are all inclined to judge ourselves by our ideals; others by their acts.'"). He also recounts a variant, "All nations are prone to judge themselves by the loftiness of their own purposes, and to judge others nations by their failure to attain their high purposes."

More discussion of this quotation (and its predecessors) can be found here. Compare also to a related sentiment by Longfellow.
Added on 14-Sep-20 | Last updated 14-Sep-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Morrow, Dwight

Do you believe?
Belief will not save you.
Only actions
Guided and shaped
By belief and knowledge
Will save you.
Belief
Initiates and guides action —
Or it does nothing.

Octavia Butler (1947-2006) American writer
The Parable of the Talents, ch. 20, epigraph (1998)
    (Source)
Added on 9-Jun-20 | Last updated 9-Jun-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Butler, Octavia

Think not the faith by which the just shall live
Is a dead creed, a map correct of heaven,
Far less a feeling fond and fugitive,
A thoughtless gift, withdrawn as soon as given.
It is an affirmation and an act
That bids eternal truth be present fact.

Hartley Coleridge (1796-1849) English poet, biographer, essayist, teacher
“The Just Shall Live By Faith”
    (Source)
Added on 26-May-20 | Last updated 26-May-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Coleridge, Hartley

Ideas must work through the brains and the arms of good and brave men, or they are no better than dreams.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“American Civilization,” lecture, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC (31 Jan 1862)
    (Source)
Added on 12-May-20 | Last updated 12-May-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Today we give our thanks, most of all, for the ideals of honor and faith we inherit from our forefathers — for the decency of purpose, steadfastness of resolve and strength of will, for the courage and the humility, which they possessed and which we must seek every day to emulate. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them.

John F. Kennedy (1917-1963) US President (1961-63)
Thanksgiving Day Proclamation (4 Nov 1963)
    (Source)

The 1963 Proclamation was written, finalized, and distributed prior to Kennedy's assassination, six days before Thanksgiving.
Added on 24-Mar-20 | Last updated 24-Mar-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Kennedy, John F.

But whoso hath this world’s good, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of compassion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? My little children, let us not love in word, neither in tongue; but in deed and in truth.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
1 John 3:17-18 [KJV]
    (Source)

Alt. trans.:
  • [NRSV] "How does God’s love abide in anyone who has the world’s goods and sees a brother or sister in need and yet refuses help? Little children, let us love, not in word or speech, but in truth and action."
  • [NIV] "If anyone has material possessions and sees a brother or sister in need but has no pity on them, how can the love of God be in that person? Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth."
  • [GNT] "If we are rich and see others in need, yet close our hearts against them, how can we claim that we love God? My children, our love should not be just words and talk; it must be true love, which shows itself in action."
  • [TJB] "If a man who was rich enough in this world’s goods saw that one of his brothers was in need, but closed his heart to him, how could the love of God be living in him? My children, our love is not to be just words or mere talk, but something real and active."
Added on 24-Feb-20 | Last updated 24-Feb-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bible

If conversion to Christianity makes no improvements in a man’s outward actions — if he continues to be just as snobbish or spiteful or envious or ambitious as he was before — then I think we must suspect that his “conversion” was largely imaginary; and after one’s original conversion, every time one thinks one has made an advance, that is the test to apply. Fine feelings, new insights, greater interest in “religion” mean nothing unless they make our actual behavior better.

C.S. Lewis (1898-1963) English writer and scholar [Clive Staples Lewis]
Mere Christianity, ch. 10 “Nice People or New Men” (1952)
    (Source)
Added on 30-Oct-19 | Last updated 7-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Lewis, C.S.

Right actions for the future are the best apologies for wrong ones in the past — the best evidence of regret for them that we can offer, or the world receive.

Tryon Edwards (1809-1894) American theologian, writer, lexicographer
A Dictionary of Thoughts (1908)
    (Source)

Often wrongly quoted, "... best apologies for bad actions in the past."
Added on 9-Jun-19 | Last updated 9-Jun-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Edwards, Tryon

A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire. Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 7:18–20 (KJV)

    Alt. trans.:
  • "A healthy tree cannot bear bad fruit, and a poor tree cannot bear good fruit. And any tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown in the fire. So then, you will know the false prophets by what they do." (GNT)
  • "A good tree cannot bear bad fruit, nor can a bad tree bear good fruit. Every tree that does not bear good fruit is cut down and thrown into the fire. Thus you will know them by their fruits." (NRSV)
Added on 17-Aug-18 | Last updated 17-Aug-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bible

Marriage is not a noun, it’s a verb. It’s not something you have, like a house or a car. It is not a piece of paper that proves you are husband and wife. Marriage is a behavior. It is a choice you make over and over again, reflected in the way you treat your partner every day.

Barbara De Angelis (b. 1951) American relationship consultant, lecturer, author
Ask Barbara: The 100 Most-Asked Questions About Love, Sex, and Relationships (1997)
    (Source)
Added on 25-May-18 | Last updated 25-May-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by De Angelis, Barbara

Words and thoughts concerning compassionate action that are not put into practice are like beautiful flowers that are colorful but have no fragrance.

Thích Nhất Hạnh (b. 1926) Vietnamese Buddhist monk and peace activist
Creating True Peace, ch. 1 (2003)
    (Source)
Added on 7-May-18 | Last updated 7-May-18
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Thich Nhat Hanh

There is no more contemptible type of human character that that of the nerveless sentimentalist and dreamer, who spends his life in a weltering sea of sensibility and emotion, but who never does a manly concrete deed.

William James (1842-1910) American psychologist and philosopher
The Principles of Psychology, Vol. 1, ch. 4 “Habit” (1890)
    (Source)

This chapter originally published in Popular Science Monthly (Feb 1887).
Added on 23-Oct-17 | Last updated 23-Oct-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by James, William

No matter how full a reservoir of maxims one may possess, and no matter how good one’s sentiments may be, if one has not taken advantage of every concrete opportunity to act, one’s character may remain entirely unaffected for the better. With mere good intentions, hell is proverbially paved.

William James (1842-1910) American psychologist and philosopher
The Principles of Psychology, Vol. 1, ch. 4 “Habit” (1890)
    (Source)

This chapter originally published in Popular Science Monthly (Feb 1887).
Added on 16-Oct-17 | Last updated 3-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by James, William

A little knowledge that acts is worth infinitely more than much knowledge that is idle.

Kahlil Gibran (1883-1931) Lebanese-American poet, writer, painter [Gibran Khalil Gibran]
The Voice of the Master, Part 2, ch. 8 (1960)
    (Source)

See Pope.
Added on 2-Oct-17 | Last updated 6-Oct-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Gibran, Kahlil

A man’s action is only a picture-book of his creed.

Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882) American essayist, lecturer, poet
“Poetry and Imagination,” Letters and Social Aims (1876)
    (Source)
Added on 11-Sep-17 | Last updated 19-Feb-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Emerson, Ralph Waldo

Thought is sad without action, and action is sad without thought.

Henri-Frédéric Amiel (1821-1881) Swiss philosopher, poet, critic
Journal (2nd Ed.,1889)
    (Source)

Quoted in Cesare Lombroso, The Man of Genius (1896),
Added on 14-Aug-17 | Last updated 14-Aug-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Amiel, Henri-Frédéric

For action is indeed the sole medium of expression for ethics. We continually forget that the sphere of morals is the sphere of action, that speculation in regard to morality is but observation and must remain in the sphere of intellectual comment, that a situation does not really become moral until we are confronted with the question of what shall be done in a concrete case, and are obliged to act upon our theory.

Jane Addams (1860-1935) American reformer, suffragist, philosopher, author
Democracy and Social Ethics, ch. 7 “Political Reform” (1902)
    (Source)
Added on 7-Aug-17 | Last updated 7-Aug-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Addams, Jane

Sentiment without action is the ruin of the soul.

Edward Abbey (1927-1989) American anarchist, writer, environmentalist
A Voice Crying in the Wilderness, ch. 4, “Life and Death and All That” (1989)
    (Source)

Sometimes incorrectly quoted as "Belief without action is the ruin of the soul."
Added on 31-Jul-17 | Last updated 31-Jul-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Abbey, Edward

A golden rule: We must judge men, not by their opinions, but by what those opinions make of them.

Georg C. Lichtenberg (1742-1799) German physicist, writer
Aphorisms, Notebook J, #201, p. 966 (1789-93) [tr. Hollingdale (1990)]
    (Source)

Alternate translations:
  • "A golden rule: we must judge people, not by their opinions, but by what these opinions make of them." [tr. Tester (2012)]
  • It is a golden rule that one should not judge people according to their opinions, but according to what these opinions make of them.
  • "It is a golden rule not to judge men by their opinions but rather by what their opinions make of them."
  • "One must judge men not by their opinions, but by what their opinions have made of them."
  • "Don't judge a man by his opinions, but what his opinions have made of him."
Added on 30-May-17 | Last updated 7-Jul-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Lichtenberg, Georg C.

Talk doesn’t cook rice.

(Other Authors and Sources)
Chinese proverb

Also attributed to the Japanese.
Added on 3-May-17 | Last updated 3-May-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by ~Other

The most dangerous type of atheism is not theoretical atheism, but practical atheism — that’s the most dangerous type. And the world, even the church, is filled up with people who pay lip service to God and not life service. And there is always a danger that we will make it appear externally that we believe in God when internally we don’t. We say with our mouths that we believe in him, but we live with our lives like he never existed. That is the ever-present danger confronting religion. That’s a dangerous type of atheism.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“Rediscovering Lost Values,” sermon, Second Baptist Church, Detroit (28 Feb 1954)
    (Source)
Added on 3-Mar-17 | Last updated 20-Jan-19
Link to this post | 1 comment
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by King, Martin Luther

Men trust their ears less than their eyes.

Herodotus (c.484-c.420 BC) Greek historian
The Histories, Book 1, ch. 8
Added on 31-Aug-16 | Last updated 31-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Herodotus

Sympathy … is not an end in itself. … Not mere feeling, but action, will mitigate the world’s misery, society’s injustice, or the people’s alienation from God.

Abraham Joshua Heschel
Abraham Joshua Heschel (1907-1972) Polish-American rabbi, theologian, philosopher
The Prophets, 18 (1962)
Added on 24-Aug-16 | Last updated 24-Aug-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Heschel, Abraham

I will not deny but that the best apology against false accusers is silence and sufferance, and honest deeds set against dishonest words.

John Milton (1608-1674) English poet
An Apology for Smectymnuus (1642)
    (Source)
Added on 16-May-16 | Last updated 27-Jan-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Milton, John

Make the least ado about your greatest gifts. Be content to act, and leave the talking to others.

Baltasar Gracián y Morales (1601-1658) Spanish Jesuit priest, writer, philosopher
The Art of Worldly Wisdom [Oráculo Manual y Arte de Prudencia], § 295 (1647)

Alt. trans.: "The greater your exploits the less you need affect them: content yourself with doing, leave the talking to others." [tr. Jacobs (1892)]
Added on 2-Dec-15 | Last updated 4-Apr-22
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Gracián, Baltasar

When I had the strength, I did not have the patience. I have the patience today and I no longer have the power.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 11-Nov-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Joubert, Joseph

No man practises so well as he writes. I have, all my life long, been lying till noon; yet I tell all young men, and tell them with great sincerity, that nobody who does not rise early will ever do any good.

Samuel Johnson (1709-1784) English writer, lexicographer, critic
Comment (14 Sep 1773), in James Boswell, Journal of a Tour to the Hebrides (1785)
    (Source)
Added on 14-Jun-13 | Last updated 29-Dec-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Johnson, Samuel

Good impulses are naught, unless they become good actions.

Joseph Joubert (1754-1824) French moralist
Pensées (1838) [ed. Auster (1983)]
Added on 8-Apr-13 | Last updated 13-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Joubert, Joseph

He that gives good advice, builds with one hand; he that gives good counsel and example, builds with both; but he that gives good admonition and bad example, builds with one hand and pulls down with the other.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
(Attributed)

Quoted in The Millennial Harbinger, #8 (Aug 1860).
Added on 13-Mar-13 | Last updated 16-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Bacon, Francis

The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses’ seat. So you must be careful to do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. They tie up heavy, cumbersome loads and put them on other people’s shoulders, but they themselves are not willing to lift a finger to move them. Everything they do is done for people to see: They make their phylacteries wide and the tassels on their garments long; they love the place of honor at banquets and the most important seats in the synagogues; they love to be greeted with respect in the marketplaces and to be called ‘Rabbi’ by others.

The Bible (14th C BC - 2nd C AD) Christian sacred scripture
Matthew 23:2-7 (NIV)
    (Source)

Alt trans:
  • "The scribes and the Pharisees sit on Moses' seat; so practice and observe whatever they tell you, but not what they do; for they preach, but do not practice. They bind heavy burdens, hard to bear, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with their finger. They do all their deeds to be seen by men; for they make their phylacteries broad and their fringes long, and they love the place of honor at feasts and the best seats in the synagogues, and salutations in the market places, and being called rabbi by men." [NRSV]
  • "The scribes and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatsoever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not ye after their works: for they say, and do not. For they bind heavy burdens and grievous to be borne, and lay them on men's shoulders; but they themselves will not move them with one of their fingers. But all their works they do for to be seen of men: they make broad their phylacteries, and enlarge the borders of their garments, and love the uppermost rooms at feasts, and the chief seats in the synagogues, and greetings in the markets, and to be called of men, Rabbi, Rabbi." [KJV]
Added on 27-Nov-12 | Last updated 23-Apr-19
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Bible

Promises may get Friends, but ’tis Performances that keep them.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #3957 (1732)
    (Source)
Added on 23-Oct-12 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Fuller, Thomas (1654)

It iz a darned sight eazier tew find six men who kan tell exactly how a thing ought tew be did than tew find one who will do it.

[It is a darned sight easier to find six men who can tell exactly how a thing ought to be done than to find one who will do it.]

Josh Billings (1818-1885) American humorist [pseud. of Henry Wheeler Shaw]
Everybody’s Friend, Or; Josh Billing’s Encyclopedia and Proverbial Philosophy of Wit and Humor, “Puddin and Milk” (1874)
    (Source)
Added on 9-Jul-12 | Last updated 23-Jul-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Billings, Josh

An orator’s life is more convincing than his eloquence.

Publilius Syrus (d. 42 BC) Assyrian slave, writer, philosopher [less correctly Publius Syrus]
Sententiae [Moral Sayings], # 507 [tr. Lyman (1862)]
Added on 9-Jan-12 | Last updated 20-Feb-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , ,
More quotes by Publilius Syrus

Cato said the best way to keep good acts in memory was to refresh them with new.

Francis Bacon (1561-1626) English philosopher, scientist, author, statesman
Apothegms, #247 (1624)
Added on 24-Jun-10 | Last updated 16-May-16
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , ,
More quotes by Bacon, Francis

He does not believe, that does not live according to his Belief.

Thomas Fuller (1654-1734) English writer, physician
Gnomologia: Adages and Proverbs, #1838 (1732)
    (Source)
Added on 5-Jan-09 | Last updated 26-Jan-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by Fuller, Thomas (1654)

Atheism is the theory that there is no God. Now one kind is a theoretical kind, where someone just sits down and starts thinking about it, and they come to a conclusion that there is no God. The other kind is a practical atheism, and that kind goes out of living as if there is no God. And you know there are a lot of people who affirm the existence of God with their lips, and they deny his existence with their lives. You’ve seen these people who have a high blood pressure of creeds and an anemia of deeds.

Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968) American clergyman, civil rights leader, orator
“The Three Dimensions of a Complete Life,” sermon, New Covenant Baptist Church, Chicago (9 Apr 1967)
    (Source)

See also here.
Added on 11-Dec-08 | Last updated 20-Jan-20
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , ,
More quotes by King, Martin Luther

What a man believes may be ascertained, not from his creed, but from the assumptions on which habitually acts.

George Bernard Shaw (1856-1950) British playwright and critic
Man and Superman, “The Revolutionist’s Handbook,” “Religion” (1903)
    (Source)
Added on 9-Aug-07 | Last updated 7-Nov-17
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , , , ,
More quotes by Shaw, George Bernard

The gods help them that help themselves.

Aesop (620?-560? BC) Legendary Greek storyteller
Fables [Aesopica], “Hercules and the Wagoner” (6th C BC)
    (Source)

Alternate translation: "Heaven only aided those who endeavoured to help themselves. It is in vain to expect our prayers to be heard, if we do not strive as well as pray." [tr. James (1848)]
Added on 20-Jul-07 | Last updated 16-Sep-21
Link to this post | No comments
Topics: , , , , , ,
More quotes by Aesop