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It Matters What We Believe
A poem by Sophia Lyon Fahs

Some beliefs are like walled gardens. They encourage exclusiveness, and the feeling of being especially privileged.

Other beliefs are expansive and lead the way into wider and deeper sympathies.

Some beliefs are like shadows, clouding children's days with fears of unknown calamities.

Other beliefs are like sunshine, blessing children with the warmth of happiness.

Some beliefs are divisive, separating the saved from the unsaved, friends from enemies.

Other beliefs are bonds in a world community, where sincere differences beautify the pattern.

Some beliefs are like blinders, shutting off the power to choose one's own direction.

Other beliefs are like gateways opening wide vistas for exploration.

Some beliefs weaken a person's selfhood. They blight the growth of resourcefulness.

Other beliefs nurture self-confidence and ignite the feeling of personal worth.
Some beliefs are rigid, like the body of death, impotent in a changing world.

Other beliefs are pliable, like the young sapling, ever growing with the upward thrust of life.
Tags: Quote of the Day, Posted by Nathan Krämer on 4/16/2012
Vägmärken (Markings) by Dag Hammarskjöld
Dag Hammarskjöld was an early Secretary-General of the United Nations, he served from April 1953 until his death in a plane crash in September 1961. He is the only person to have been awarded a posthumous Nobel Peace Prize.
Hammarskjöld's book, Vägmärken (Markings) is a collection of his diary reflections, the book starts in 1925, when he was 20 years old, and ends at his death in 1961. This diary was found in his New York house, after his death, along with an undated letter addressed to then Swedish Permanent Under-Secretary for Foreign Affairs, Leif Belfrage. In this letter, Dag writes, "These entries provide the only true 'profile' that can be drawn ... If you find them worth publishing, you have my permission to do so". The book was published in 1963.
Markings was described by a theologian, the late Henry P. Van Dusen, as "the noblest self-disclosure of spiritual struggle and triumph, perhaps the greatest testament of personal faith written ... in the heat of professional life and amidst the most exacting responsibilities for world peace and order."
Hammarskjöld writes, for example,
    "We are not permitted to choose the frame of our destiny. But what we put into it is ours. He who wills adventure will experience it — according to the measure of his courage. He who wills sacrifice will be sacrificed — according to the measure of his purity of heart."
Tags: Quote of the Day, Posted by Nathan Krämer on 10/7/2011
The Farewell from The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
<i>The Farewell</i> from <u>The Prophet</u> by Kahlil Gibran
Farewell to you and the youth I have spent with you.
It was but yesterday we met in a dream.
You have sung to me in my aloneness, and I of your longings have built a tower in the sky.
But now our sleep has fled and our dream is over, and it is no longer dawn.
The noontide is upon us and our half waking has turned to fuller day, and we must part.
If in the twilight of memory we should meet once more, we shall speak again together and you shall sing to me a deeper song.
And if our hands should meet in another dream, we shall build another tower in the sky.
Tags: Quote of the Day, Posted by Nathan Krämer on 10/6/2011
A Quote from William Henry Channing
A Quote from William Henry Channing
To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common -- this is my symphony.
--William Henry Channing
Tags: Quote of the Day, Posted by Nathan Krämer on 10/3/2011
Favorite quote from the newspaper.
"A message for him was not immediately returned."
Tags: Quote of the Day, Posted by Nathan Krämer on 9/16/2011
Someone would help remind you.
There was a village whose people believed in tranquility. If you lived in this village, you understood what was expected of you. You knew your place in the scheme of things; and if you happened to forget, someone would help remind you. – from the introduction in the 2000 movie Chocolat.
Tags: Quote of the Day, Posted by Nathan Krämer on 9/13/2011
We live with competitive discourse!
From an interview with KAREN ARMSTRONG by BILL MOYERS.

We live with competitive discourse!<br></b>From an interview with KAREN ARMSTRONG by BILL MOYERS.<b>
In our discourse, it is not enough for us in the western democratic tradition simply to seek the truth. We also have to defeat and humiliate our opponents. And that happens in politics. It happens in the law courts. It happens in religious discourse. It happens in the media. It happens in academia. Very different from Socrates, the founder of the rationalist tradition, who when you had dialogues with Socrates, you came thinking that you knew what you were talking about. Half an hour later, with Socrates, you realized you didn't know anything at all. And at that moment, says Socrates, your quest can begin. You can become a philosopher, a lover of wisdom because you know you don't have wisdom. You love it. You seek it. And you had to go into a dialogue prepared to change, not to bludgeon your conversation partner into accepting your point of view. And every single point in a Socratic dialogue, you offer your opinion kindly to the other, and the other accepts it with kindness.
Watch the Bill Moyers interview!
Tags: Quote of the Day, Posted by Nathan Krämer on 8/13/2011
Henry David Thoreau
Walden -Chapter 2 - To Live Deliberately

Henry David Thoreau <br><u>Walden</u> -<i>Chapter 2</i> - To Live Deliberately
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived. I did not wish to live what was not life, living is so dear; nor did I wish to practise resignation, unless it was quite necessary. I wanted to live deep and suck out all the marrow of life, to live so sturdily and Spartan-like as to put to rout all that was not life, to cut a broad swath and shave close, to drive life into a corner, and reduce it to its lowest terms, and, if it proved to be mean, why then to get the whole and genuine meanness of it, and publish its meanness to the world; or if it were sublime, to know it by experience, and be able to give a true account of it in my next excursion. For most men, it appears to me, are in a strange uncertainty about it, whether it is of the devil or of God, and have somewhat hastily concluded that it is the chief end of man here to "glorify God and enjoy him forever."
Tags: Quote of the Day, Posted by Nathan Krämer on 7/18/2011
His dislike is based on ignorance
Do not praise your own faith exclusively,
so that you disbelieve all the rest.
If you do this, you will miss much good
~ nay, you will miss the whole truth of the matter.
God the omniscient and omnipresent
cannot be confined to any one creed for he says
“Wheresoever ye turn, there is the face of Allah.”
Everybody praises what he knows.
His god is his own creature
and in praising it,
he praises himself,
which he would not do
if he were just.
His dislike is based on ignorance.”
--Ibn Arabi
Video of Karen Armstrong from
Tags: Quote of the Day, Posted by Nathan Krämer on 6/28/2011
Deliberate Ignorance
It’s often best not to interfere with someone’s deliberate attempt to be ignorant.
Tags: Quote of the Day, Posted by Nathan Krämer on 6/4/2011

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