Thoughts on Courage

I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it.  The brave man is not he who does not feel afraid, but he who conquers that fear.  (Nelson Mandela)

Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.  (Winston Churchill)

You will never do anything in this world without courage.  It is the greatest quality of the mind next to honor.  (Aristotle)

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear, not absence of fear.  (Mark Twain)

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Thoughts on Love

Love is like a beautiful flower which I may not touch, but whose fragrance makes the garden a place of delight just the same.  (Helen Keller)

It is easy to hate and it is difficult to love.  This is how the whole scheme of things work.  All good things are difficult to achieve; and bad things are very easy to get.  (Confucius)

Love recognizes no barriers.  It jumps hurdles, leaps fences, penetrates walls to arrive at its destination full of hope.  (Maya Angelou)

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Change Takes Discipline

The dictionary defines change as, “to become different in some way, to change is to adjust develop, transform, or revise.”

However, you cannot have change without discipline.   

Discipline is defined as, “a system of rules of conduct or method of practice; to be disciplined is to have self-control, self-restraint, and self-mastery.”

Basically, change takes discipline.  The two work together.

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Thoughts of Wisdom

True wisdom comes to each of us when we realize how little we understand about life, ourselves, and the world around us.  (Socrates)

By three methods we may learn wisdom:  First, by reflection, which is noblest; Second, by imitation, which is easiest; and third by experience, which is the bitterest.  (Confucius)

Patience is the communion of wisdom.  (Saint Augustine)

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Thinking at the Cemetery

The oldest graveyard in Athens, Alabama, is a block from the courthouse and is known as Old City Cemetery.  Most of the graves are unreadable and many of them have been damaged over the years.  However, the grave of John Craig received a new marker recently.  He was a soldier in the Revolutionary War, so his grave has been maintained over the years.

I was sitting in the cemetery looking at his grave and wondering about his life.  His world was filled with uncertainty.  The American Colonies were going to war with England (a world super-power at the time).

If the war was lost, he could be executed for treasonous acts.  If the war was won, his world would still be filled with upheaval and unknown circumstances.  He would be living in a brand new country that was trying to establish a government.

I wonder what he must have thought about his future possibilities.  Did he think about future generations and how much his actions would effect them?  Was he afraid of the unknown future?  Was he filled with feelings of invincibility and the optimism of youth?

John Craig was fighting a war for a country that was only a dream at the time.  He was willing to die, for the idea of a free land and an independent nation.

His willingness to fight and give his life, if necessary, is still honored today.  His grave marker is maintained and replaced when needed.

Did he ever wonder if he would be remembered by generations that would be born hundreds of years in future?  Could he even imagine the idea of someone sitting at his grave thinking about his life in the year 2016?