Character

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+ 409 I hate shows, personally, where people stand around tossing stuff at each other, and any character can say any line, because you don't believe any of these characters care for each other. I used to fight with my friends who wrote on 'Seinfeld,' because they had such great pride in saying it was a show about nothing. Bill Lawrence


+ 315 Knowledge will give you power, but character respect. Bruce Lee


+ 320 Character may almost be called the most effective means of persuasion. Aristotle


+ 358 What the statesman is most anxious to produce is a certain moral character in his fellow citizens, namely a disposition to virtue and the performance of virtuous actions. Aristotle


+ 270 Good character is not formed in a week or a month. It is created little by little, day by day. Protracted and patient effort is needed to develop good character. Heraclitus


+ 223 A man's character is his fate. Heraclitus


+ 230 Character is destiny. Heraclitus


+ 289 A man's character is his guardian divinity. Heraclitus


+ 383 The man who makes everything that leads to happiness depends upon himself, and not upon other men, has adopted the very best plan for living happily. This is the man of moderation, the man of manly character and of wisdom. Plato


+ 357 I hope I shall possess firmness and virtue enough to maintain what I consider the most enviable of all titles, the character of an honest man. George Washington


+ 321 The foolish and wicked practice of profane cursing and swearing is a vice so mean and low that every person of sense and character detests and despises it. George Washington


+ 307 Because power corrupts, society's demands for moral authority and character increase as the importance of the position increases. John Adams


+ 358 A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun therefore be your constant companion of your walks. Thomas Jefferson


+ 310 Foreign powers do not seem to appreciate the true character of our Government. James K. Polk


+ 322 Character is like a tree and reputation like a shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing. Abraham Lincoln


+ 335 Whatever may have been the opinion of the President at one time as to "good faith requiring the security of the freemen in their liberty and their property," it is now manifest from the character of his objections to this bill that he will approve no measures that will accomplish the object. Lyman Trumbull


+ 478 It has been the boast of our government that it seeks to do justice in all things without regard to the strength or weakness of those with whom it deals. I mistake the American people if they favor the odious doctrine that there is no such thing as international morality; that there is one law for a strong nation and another for a weak one, and that even by indirection a strong power may with impunity despoil a weak one of its territory. By an act of war, committed with the participation of a diplomatic representative of the United States and without authority of Congress, the government of a feeble but friendly and confiding people has been overthrown. A substantial wrong has thus been done which a due regard for our national character as well as the rights of the injured people requires we should endeavor to repair. The Provisional Government has not assumed a republican or other constitutional form, but has remained a mere executive council or oligarchy, set up without the assent of the people. It has not sought to find a permanent basis of popular support and has given no evidence of an intention to do so. Indeed, the representatives of that government assert that the people of Hawaii are unfit for popular government and frankly avow that they can be best ruled by arbitrary or despotic power. The law of nations is founded upon reason and justice, and the rules of conduct governing individual relations between citizens or subjects of a civilized state are equally applicable as between enlightened nations. The considerations that international law is without a court for its enforcement and that obedience to its commands practically depends upon good faith instead of upon the mandate of a superior tribunal only give additional sanction to the law itself and brand any deliberate infraction of it not merely as a wrong but as a disgrace. A man of true honor protects the unwritten word which binds his conscience more scrupulously, if possible, than he does the bond a breach of which subjects him to legal liabilities, and the United States, in aiming to maintain itself as one of the most enlightened nations, would do its citizens gross injustice if it applied to its international relations any other than a high standard of honor and morality. On that ground the United States cannot properly be put in the position of countenancing a wrong after its commission any more than in that of consenting to it in advance. On that ground it cannot allow itself to refuse to redress an injury inflicted through an abuse of power by officers clothed with its authority and wearing its uniform; and on the same ground, if a feeble but friendly state is in danger of being robbed of its independence and its sovereignty by a misuse of the name and power of the United States, the United States cannot fail to vindicate its honor and its sense of justice by an earnest effort to make all possible reparation. Grover Cleveland


+ 286 A sound body is good; a sound mind is better; but a strong and clean character is better than either. Theodore Roosevelt


+ 432 I believe that material wealth is an exceedingly valuable servant, and a particularly abhorrent master, in our National life. I think one end of government should be to achieve prosperity; but it should follow this end chiefly to serve an even higher and more important end - that of promoting the character and welfare of the average man. In the long run, and inevitably, the actual control of the government will be determined by the chief end which the government subserves. If the end and aim of government action is merely to accumulate general material prosperity, treating such prosperity as an end in itself and not as a means, then it is inevitable that material wealth and the masters of that wealth will dominate and control the course of national action. If, on the other hand, the achievement of material wealth is treated, not as an end of government, but as a thing of great value, it is true — so valuable as to be indispensable — but of value only in connection with the achievement of other ends, then we are free to seek throughour government, and through the supervision of our individual activities, the realization of a true democracy. Then we are free to seek not only the heaping up of material wealth, but a wise and generous distribution of such wealth so as to diminish grinding poverty, and, so far as may be, to equalize social and economic no less than political opportunity. Theodore Roosevelt


+ 283 In the last analysis, with the nation as with the individual, it is private character that counts for most. Theodore Roosevelt


+ 302 In the last analysis, with the nation as with the individual, it is private character that counts for most. Theodore Roosevelt


+ 290 It is not the enactment, but the observance of laws, that creates the character of a nation. Calvin Coolidge


+ 353 While the crash only took place six months ago, I am convinced we have now passed the worst and with continued unity of effort we shall rapidly recover. There is one certainty of the future of a people of the resources, intelligence and character of the people of the United States—that is, prosperity. Herbert Hoover


+ 356 It is energy - the central element of which is will - that produces the miracle that is enthusiasm in all ages. Everywhere it is what is called force of character and the sustaining power of all great action. Samuel Smiles


+ 254 You can’t judge a man’s character by his looks


+ 469 The theory of relativity is a beautiful example of the basic character of the modern development of theory. That is to say, the hypotheses from which one starts become ever more abstract and more remote from experience. But in return one comes closer to the preeminent goal of science, that of encompassing a maximum of empirical contents through logical deduction with a minimum of hypotheses or axioms. The intellectual path from the axioms to the empirical contents or to the testable consequences becomes, thereby, ever longer and more subtle. The theoretician is forced, ever more, to allow himself to be directed by purely mathematical, formal points of view in the search for theories, because the physical experience of the experimenter is not capable of leading us up to the regions of the highest abstraction. Tentative deduction takes the place of the predominantly inductive methods appropriate to the youthful state of science. Such a theoretical structure must be quite thoroughly elaborated in order for it to lead to consequences that can be compared with experience. It is certainly the case that here, as well, the empirical fact is the all-powerful judge. But its judgment can be handed down only on the basis of great and difficult intellectual effort that first bridges the wide space between the axioms and the testable consequences. The theorist must accomplish this Herculean task with the clear understanding that this effort may only be destined to prepare the way for a death sentence for his theory. One should not reproach the theorist who undertakes such a task by calling him a fantast; instead, one must allow him his fantasizing, since for him there is no other way to his goal whatsoever. Indeed, it is no planless fantasizing, but rather a search for the logically simplest possibilities and their consequences. Albert Einstein


+ 280 I would not say that women have no character, they simply have a different character every day. Heinrich Heine


+ 255 Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain but it takes character and self control to be understanding and forgiving. Dale Carnegie Quote


+ 252 Ability may get you to the top, but it takes character to keep you there. John Wooden


+ 309 So many things to think about, so many words to say. So many deeds to be done, so many habits to create. So much character to show, so much love to give. In all of this there is transformation and in all of this I live. Kristiana Evans


+ 337 Exercise the writing muscle every day, even if it is only a letter, notes, a title list, a character sketch, a journal entry. Writers are like dancers, like athletes. Without that exercise, the muscles seize up. Jane Yolen


+ 320 If you do not have an alert and curious interest in character and dramatic situation, if you have no visual imagination and are unable to distinguish between honest emotional reactions and sentimental approaches to life, you will never write a competent short story. Edward J. O'Brien


+ 289 The last time anybody made a list of the top hundred character attributes of New Yorkers, common sense snuck in at number 79. Douglas Adams


+ 247 It is in the character of very few men to honor without envy a friend who has prospered. Aeschylus, Agamemnon


+ 239 Without an acquaintance with the rules of propriety, it is impossible for the character to be established. Confucius, The Confucian Analects


+ 293 The secret of success as a Jew is taking whatever is naturally easy for you in your character and developing it further.


+ 245 Start with your best character trait and polish it, refine it, improve it.


+ 365 There are four types of people: One who says, "What is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine" is a boor. One who says "What is mine is mine, and what is yours is yours" - this is a median characteristic; others say that this is the character of Sodom. One who says, "What is mine is yours, and what is yours is yours" is a chassid [pious person]. And one who says "What is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine" is wicked. Pirkei Avot 5:10


+ 386 There are four types of people: One who says, "What is mine is yours, and what is yours is mine" is a boor. One who says "What is mine is mine, and what is yours is yours" - this is a median characteristic; others say that this is the character of a Sodomite. One who says, "What is mine is yours, and what is yours is yours" is a chassid (pious person). And one who says "What is mine is mine, and what is yours is mine" is wicked. Pirkei Avot 5:10


+ 286 I never come back home with the same moral character I went out with; something or other becomes unsettled where I had achieved internal peace; some one or other of the things I had put to flight reappears on the scene. Lucius Annaeus Seneca


+ 284 Kami may, at its root, simply mean "spirit", or an aspect of spirituality. It is written with the kanji, Sino-Japanese reading shin or jin; in Chinese, the character is used to refer to various nature spirits of traditional Chinese religion, but not to the Taoist deities or the Supreme Being.


+ 222 It was character that got us out of bed, commitment that moved us into action, and discipline that enabled us to follow through. Zig Ziglar


+ 191 Only men of character are trusted. Zig Ziglar


+ 183 Our character is our will; for what we will we are. Henry Edward Manning


+ 172 Character is what you are in the dark. Dwight L. Moody


+ 168 Just because you are a character doesn't mean you have character. Quentin Tarantino, Pulp Fiction


+ 190 Character is higher than intellect. A great soul will be strong to live, as well as to think. Ralph Waldo Emerson, American Scholar


+ 126 A person's true character lies somewhere until after you might have pressed the wrong button without knowing, then you'll realize that there are dogs in human form. Michael Bassey Johnson


+ 104 The Inner Character

The Torah literally makes the Jewish soul.

Wisdom in general, that which is outside the concepts of Torah, makes the human soul.

When we gaze at the character of the core of the human soul, we will find the spirit of Israel alive within it. In the inner character of all betterment and wisdom, we will find the light of Torah.

Orot Hatorah 12:4


+ 109 The Words of the Scribes

The oral Torah exists in the essential character of the Jewish people, which acquired its blessing with the revelation from heaven of the written Torah.

In its revealed state, the oral Torah is lower than the written Torah. The chief means of finding its path is the written Torah, which is the supernal relationship of the Jewish people with supernal divinity, with the goal of goals, with victory and splendor in the universes and higher than them all.

But in the inner form, is it not the case that the Torah is given to Israel for the sake of our inner, supernal unique being? It is this divine, hidden, unique being that caused the Torah to be revealed to us from heaven.

And so in its root the oral Torah is higher than the root of the hidden Torah.

“The words of the scribes are more beloved than the words of the Torah.”

Orot Hatorah 1:2


+ 116 Sustaining the World

by Avraham Shoar

In his youth, the writer, Avraham Shoar, was the chavruta (study partner) of Rav Kook in the beis medrash of Lutzin. He tells that young Avraham Yitzchak’s diligence was extraordinary. If a short amount of time passed without learning Torah, he felt real anguish: a actual physical pain:

One day (tells Avraham Shoar), he told me: “I have decided that two nights a week, we should learn mishmar (extended learning). Two nights a week, let us learn until dawn.”

I remember one such mishmar night, typical of the character of this extraordinary man. We were learning Chulin from the Talmud together. We were engaged in halachic dispute. I stood my ground, and we argued at length until we at last came to a shared understanding.

It was late. We were learning at the bimah. Around us was silence. In the adjoining dormitory, all the students were already asleep. Before us, burning above the holy ark, was the ner tamid—the eternal light. And we took a short rest from our toil and sat and conversed.

He said to me in a secretive voice: “Do you know, perhaps just the two of us are now sustaining the entire world. Perhaps the Holy One, blessed be He, is judging the world right now. And mankind’s sins are being considered, and they outweigh the good.

“Now the angel Michael, the one defender out of a thousand, picks up the words of our Torah learning and places them on the scale, and our words of Torah help outweigh the other side. If so, we have merited to sustain the entire world. And we are still just children. This is the first year that I am wearing tefillin, and as for you, you are not even bar mitzvah.”

As he spoke, I was lifted to the highest worlds. I could see, almost with my own eyes, the heavenly host: the fiery scale, the angels and cherubim. They were weighing the acts of humanity, and behold, they placed upon the scale the page of Chulin that we were learning, with the commentaries of Rashi, Tosafot and the Maharsha. And this page gave merit to the entire world.”

As I sat, submerged in my visions, Avraham Yitzchak’s voice continued. I heard him say with great simplicity: “A day will come when and I will be great in Torah. And then...” He touched me so that I would turn to him, and I saw his face burning, his eyes brilliant and sparkling like fiery coals set in milk. And he whispered: “I will go to the land of Israel, to the holy city of Jerusalem, and I will found a yeshiva there, like Kerem Beyavneh. And students from all over the world will gather there, and ‘from Jerusalem will come forth Torah.’”

These were the youthful dreams of Rav Kook.

These were his desires and yearnings when he had just become bar mitzvah.

Malachim Kivnei Adam, pp. 4-5