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This is a collection of words of wisdom and other interesting quotations that I have run across over the years. 

Plumbing & Philosophy - what does Plumbing and Philosophy have in common. 
A Childs Wish - what every parent should keep in mind. 
Creed - Thomas Jefferson's view of "fitting in" and thinking for yourself. 
Leadership & Power - what is the difference between leadership and power. 
Marriage - good marriages are made of this. 
The Moon & Man - the words spoken when our species achieved the most monumental task of first setting foot on a world other than the one it originated on. 
Einstein's wonderment of the Universe. 
Self-discovery - the most important journey. 
Serenity Prayer - wisom and change. 
Pale Blue Dot - Calr Sagan putting into perspective how small our world really is. 
Spiderman's lesson - even comic books can teach you something. 
Personal prinicipals for success - Joe Weider's training philosophy. 
Thomas Jefferson's Decalogue - 10 guiding principles of life. 
Attitude - the one thing we truly can change. 
Thomas Jefferson on Ideas - intellectual property  and the ownership of ideas 
Assorted Annonymous Wisdom 
Understanding life and the universe 
Earth - a poem by John Hall Wheelock that I discovered when I was in Jr. High in the late 1970's. 
Two Wolves - Cherokee Wisdom 
Fight - What you fight for is the real test.
A Conservative View point - you cannot build buy tearing down.
Trail Wisdom - Thoughts and contemplations by those who have walked a long trail.
Delayed gratification
Life is indomitable
20 Years From Now - Mark Twain's thought on having no regrets
Motivation - action can create motivation
Photography - Ansel Adams thoughts
The universe - Eckart Tolle's perspective
Life - Michael de Montaigne
A free society - Stephen Pointer
Final Tweet of Leonard Numoy -  he passed away six days later
Balance between scrutiny and open mindedness - Carl Sagan
Freedom and equality - Milton Friedman
Take nobody's word for it (nullius in verba) - Brian Josephson
The nature of long term love - Louis de Bernières
The Seed and the Tree - Hazrat Inayat Khan


An excellent plumber is infinitely more admirable than an incompetent philosopher.  
The society that scorns excellence in plumbing because  plumbing is a humble activity, and tolerates shoddiness in philosophy because it is an exalted activity, will have neither good plumbing nor good philosophy.  
Neither its pipes nor its theories will hold water.   
-- John W. Gardner  


My hands are small.  I don't mean to spill my milk.  

My legs are short.  Please slowdown so I can keep up with you.  

Don't slap my hands when I touch something bright and pretty.  I don't understand.  

Please look at me when I talk to you.  It lets me know you are really listening.  

My feelings are tender.  Don't nag me all day.  Let me make mistakes without feeling stupid.  

Don't expect the bed I make or the picture I draw to be perfect.  Just love me for trying.  

Remember I am a child, not a small adult.  Sometimes I don't understand what you are saying.  

I love you so much.  Please love me just for being me.  Not just for the things I can do.  

-- Author Unknown 

I never submitted the whole system of my opinions to the creed of any party of men whatever, in religion, in philosophy, in politics or in anything else, where I was capable of thinking for myself.  Such an addiction is the last degradation of a free and moral agent.  If I could not go to heaven but with a [political] party, I would not go there at all. 

-- Thomas Jefferson  

Although leadership and the exercise of power are distinguishable activities, they overlap and interweave in important ways. Consider a corporate chief executive officer who has the gift for inspiring and motivating people, who has vision, who lifts the spirits of employees with a resulting rise in productivity and quality of product, and a drop in turnover and absenteeism. That is leadership. But evidence emerges that the company is falling behind in the technology race. One day with the stroke of a pen the CEO increases the funds available to the research division. That is the exercise of power. The stroke of a pen could have been made by an executive with none of the qualities one associates with leadership.  

-- John W. Gardner  

For Your Wedding  
The very best of marriages are made by best friends,  
who face together, hand in hand, the good and bad life sends.  

They aren't afraid to share the deepest feelings of the heart, 
and respect each other's need to spend some time apart.  

They support each other faithfully when troubles come their way,  
they don't blame in haste or anger, but show love in what they say.  

They make marriage, like true friendship, full of deeds that show they care, 
and find a world of happiness in all the love they share.  

-- Amanda Bradley  

That's one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind. 

-Neil Armstrong, On the first moonwalk, July 20, 1969  

It suddenly struck me that that tiny pea, pretty and blue, was the Earth. I put up my thumb and shut one eye, and my thumb blotted out the planet Earth. I didn't feel like a giant. I felt very, very small. 

-Neil Armstrong  

The most incomprehensible thing about the world is that it is comprehensible.  

What I see in Nature is a magnificent structure that we can comprehend only very imperfectly, and that must fill a thinking person with a feeling of humility.

-- Albert Einstein (click here for more Einstein Quotes) 

Take every opportunity to explore the unknown and, more importantly, to explore yourself because the most interesting journey anyone can take is a journey of self-discovery. 

-- Pauk Pierpaoli, past president of the American Society of Health System Pharmacists 

God grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, Courage to change the things I can, and the Wisdom to know the difference. 
Reinhold Niebuhr's 'Serenity Prayer' 

War really is not about technology. That [technology] gives you some of the baseline tools. War is really about what one group of men does to another group of men, and which one of those two groups has -- not only the technology, the weapons -- but the will. And the will, the staying power, the endurance -- those are the things that determine the outcome of our wars. 

-- Dr. Kenneth Allard, Colonel, US Army (Ret.) 

"We make our world significant by the courage of our questions and by the depth of our answers."  

-- Carl Sagan 

In Carl Sagan's book, Pale Blue Dot, he eloquently explains how small our world really is in the grand scheme of things.  Click here to read an excerpt 

With great Power comes great Responsiblility. 

-- Spiderman, Marvel Comics 

"Strive for excellence, exceed yourself, love your friend, speak the truth, practice fidelity and honor your father and mother.  These principles will help you master yourself, make you strong, give you hope and put you on the path to greatness." 

-- Joe Weider, Trainer of Champions  

Thomas Jefferson's Decalogue of Canons for observation in practical life:  

  1. Never put off until tomorrow what you can do today.  
  2. Never trouble another for what you can do yourself.  
  3. Never spend your money before you have it. (Jefferson had a problem personally following this one) 
  4. Never buy what you do not want, because it is cheap; it will be dear to you.  
  5. Pride costs us more than hunger, thirst, and cold.  
  6. We never repent of having eaten too little.  
  7. Nothing is troublesome that we do willingly.  
  8. How much pain have cost us the evils which never have happened.  
  9. Take things always by their smooth handle.  
10. When angry, count ten, before you speak; if very angry, an hundred.  
      (letter to Thomas Jefferson Smith, 1825)


The longer we live, the more we see the impact of attitude on life.  Attitude is more important than facts.  It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people say or do. It is more important than appearance, talents or skill.  It will make or break a community, a home, a business army, ..... an individual.  Remarkably we have a beautiful choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.  We cannot change our past.........We cannot change the fact that people will still act in a certain way.  We cannot change the inevitable.  The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.  Life is 5% what happens to us and 95% how we react to it.  And so it is,,,,,,,we are always in charge of our attitudes. 

--Charles Swindoll  

Assorted Annonymous Wisdom 

The best way to get even is to forget...  
God wants spiritual fruit, not religious nuts...  
Some folks wear their halos much too tight...  
Sorrow looks back, worry looks around, and hope looks forward  
It isn't difficult to make a mountain out of a molehill, just add a little dirt.  
A successful marriage isn't finding the right person; it's being the right person.  
The mighty oak tree was once a little nut that held its ground.  
The tongue must be heavy, indeed, because so few people can hold it.  
To forgive is to set the prisoner free and then discover the prisoner was you.  
If the grass is greener on the other side of the fence, you can bet the water bill is higher.  
You are richer today if you have laughed, given, or forgiven!  

We have figured out fundamental laws of physics -- laws that govern how stars shine and light travels, laws that dictate how time elapses and space expands, laws that allow us to peer back to the briefest moment after the universe began.  

None of these scientific achievements have told us why we're here or given us the answer to life's meaning -- questions science may never address. But just as our experience playing baseball is enormously richer if we know the rules of the game, the better we understand the universe's rules -- the laws of physics -- the more deeply we can appreciate our lives within it.  

--Brian Greene  


"A planet doesn't explode of itself," said drily 
The Martian astronomer, gazing off into the air -- 
"That they were able to do it is proof that highly 
Intelligent beings must have been living there." 

 -- John Hall Wheelock 

Cherokee Wisdom -- Two Wolves  

One evening an old Cherokee told his grandson about a battle that goes on inside people. He said, "My son, the battle is between two "wolves" inside us all.  

One is Evil. It is anger, envy, jealousy, sorrow, regret, greed, arrogance, self-pity, guilt, resentment, inferiority, lies, false pride, superiority, and ego.  

The other is Good. It is joy, peace, love, hope, serenity, humility, kindness, benevolence, empathy, generosity, truth, compassion and faith."  

The grandson thought about it for a minute and then asked his grandfather: "Which wolf wins?" 

The old Cherokee simply replied, "The one you feed."

I don't mind a good fight. For reasons known only to God, I've had quite a few tough ones in my life. But I learned an important lesson along the way. In the end, it matters less that you can fight. What you fight for is the real test.

 -- John McCain


You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
You cannot build character and courage by destroying men's initiative and independence.
And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

 -- William J. H. Boetcker (this quote is often erroneously attributed to Abraham Lincoln)

The solution to hubris lies within us, while the solution to ignorance lies in study

-- unknown

Trail Wisdom

The thing to remember when traveling is that the trail is the thing, not the end of the trail.  Travel too fast and you miss all you are traveling for.
– Louis L’Amour, “Ride The Dark Trail”

Now I see the secret of making the best persons.  It is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep in the earth.
– Walt Whitman

Wild places tell you more about yourself than people can.
– Galen Rowell

One touch of nature makes the whole world kin.
– Shakespeare

If you would know strength and patience, welcome the company of trees.
– Hal Borland, “Beyond Your Doorstep”

If you are seeking creative ideas, go out walking.  Angels whisper to a man when he goes for a walk.
– Raymond Inman

Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time.
– Steven Wright

For anyone who is lonely, or unhappy, or worries, the best thing is to go somewhere he can be alone, alone with the sky, with nature, and with God.  For it is only then that man feels all is as it should be and that God wants us to be happy in a simple, beautiful world.
– Anne Frank


To abstain from the enjoyment which is in our power, or to seek distant rather than immediate results, are among the most painful exertions of the human will.

– N . W. Senior, 1836

Life is indomitable. It cannot be contained, subdued, or eliminated. It is like the wind and the ocean, a force of nature that will find a way of eking out an existence in the most formidable places. Yet ironically individual organisms can be incredibly fragile. And that is why life is precious.

 -- Scott Toste

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.
-- Mark Twain

The secret of getting ahead is getting started. The secret of getting started is breaking your complex overwhelming tasks into small manageable tasks, and then starting on the first one.
-- Mark Twain

It’s easier to create motivation from action than action from motivation. Don’t think about it, don’t wait to feel like it, just get that first workout done. When you finish, you’ll remember why you started and why you should continue. Action leads to results, and results create motivation. Keep going.
– Suzie Garcia

“You don't make a photograph just with a camera. You bring to the act of photography all the pictures you have seen, the books you have read, the music you have heard, the people you have loved.”

― Ansel Adams

You are the universe, expressing itself as a human for a little while.

- Eckhart Tolle

The utility of living consists not in the length of days, but in the use of time; a man may have lived long, and yet lived but a little.

-- Michael de Montaigne

I favor the Constitution of the United States of America as the law of the land, and a system that values individual initiative and all the opportunities and Blessings that are derived from it, over planned economies and socialist dogma. I favor the Union of States in a truly federated system of government. I value the system of checks and balances envisioned by our Founding Fathers as the surest guarantee of the protection of our Natural Rights. I value Individuality and Liberty over blind obedience. I favor healthy skepticism of politicians over the fawning, slavering adulation characteristic of a cult of personality. I will honor my Oath of Enlistment to my dying breath.

-- Stephen Pointer

A life is like a garden. Perfect moments can be had, but not preserved, except in memory.  LLAP

 -- Leonard Nimoy (Feb 22, 2015; his final Tweet six days before he passed away)

It seems to me what is called for is an exquisite balance between two conflicting needs: the most skeptical scrutiny of all hypotheses that are served up to us and at the same time a great openness to new ideas.

-- Carl Sagan

The society that puts equality before freedom will end up with neither.  The society that puts freedom before equality will end up with a great measure of both.

– Milton Friedman

One of my guiding principles, also, has been the scientist's motto 'Take nobody's word for it' (nullius in verba), a corollary of which is that if scientists as a whole denounce an idea this should not necessarily be taken as proof that the said idea is absurd: rather, one should examine carefully the alleged grounds for such opinions and judge how well these stand up to detailed scrutiny.

-- Brian Josephson

“Love is a temporary madness, it erupts like volcanoes and then subsides. And when it subsides you have to make a decision. You have to work out whether your roots have so entwined together that it is inconceivable that you should ever part. Because this is what love is.
Love is not breathlessness, it is not excitement, it is not the promulgation of promises of eternal passion. That is just being in love, which any fool can do. Love itself is what is left over when being in love has burned away, and this is both an art and a fortunate accident.
Those that truly love have roots that grow towards each other underground, and, when all the pretty blossoms have fallen from their branches, they find that they are one tree and not two.”

-- Louis de Bernières, Corelli's Mandolin

The Sufi says this whole universe was made in order that God might know Himself. The seed wished to realize what it is, what is in it, and therefore became the tree.

– Hazrat Inayat Khan

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