Having My Way: Quote List

The following is a list of quotes I found worth keeping, sharing, processing, writing about, or in general just enjoy. As is typical, I will attempt to write about these quotes. Either how they personally effected me, or just a couple interesting observations on it.

Having My Way by Leonard E Read

– Highlight on Page 15
Let him that would save the world first move himself.

– Highlight on Page 41
How simple is it to become the good citizen? As simple as to understand and to adhere to the most widely pronounced and the oldest ethical proposition of distinctly universal character: the Golden Rule.

There is a companion guideline to good citizenship, as simple to follow and as infallible as the Golden Rule: “Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things shall be added unto you. “Another way to phrase this guideline is: put truth and righteousness first and fore-most, that is, make righteous action one’s prime objective, forgetting the things of this world.What happens? The things of this world flow miraculously as a consequence. Caution: Never practice righteousness because of these things which flow as dividends; that puts things first. The result? Neither goodness nor things! Righteousness for the sake of righteousness-period!

– Highlight on Page 68
It is by compromise that human rights have been abandoned. The country. ..deserves repose. And repose can only be found in ever-lasting principles. – Charles Sumner

– Highlight on Page 70
But this is precisely the point where I believe many of us are the victims of a confusion of terms. What is compromise in physical affairs-that is, in an adjustment of physical positions-is something entirely different when applied to principles and morality.  For example, let us make the reckless assumption that most of us are committed to the Biblical injunction, “Thou shalt not steal.” This is based on the moral principle that each person has the right to the fruits of his own labor. The point I wish to make-my major point-is that this as a principle defies compromise. You either take someone else’s property without his consent, or you do not. If you steal just a bit-a penny-you do not compromise the principle; you abandon it. You surrender your principle. By taking only a little of someone’s property without his consent, as distinguished from taking a lot, you do compromise in the physical sense the amount you steal. But the moral principle, whatever the amount of the theft, is surrendered and utterly abandoned.  If all the rest of mankind is in favor of passing a law that would take the property, honestly acquired, of only one person against his will, even though the purpose be allegedly for the so-called social good, I cannot adjust myself both to the moral injunction, “Thou shalt not steal,” and to the demand of the millions. Principle does not lend itself to bending or to compromising. It stands impregnable. I must either abide by it, or in all fairness, I must on this point regard my-self as an inconsistent, unprincipled person rather than a rational, reasonable, logical one.

– Highlight on Page 88
As the fear of political tyranny disappears, the fear of freedom and self-responsibility mounts, until many may be found praying thus: “Oh, Great White Father,protect me from whoever would labor for less than I; from whoever would undersell me; from the lack of possessions which I think are my due. Give unto me my cravings.” Responsibility for self has become nearly unthinkable.

– Highlight on Page 100
Indeed, no one-Paul and Peter included-gains more than a smattering of his own make up and being. Paul, in his assessment of Peter, reveals far more about Paul than about Peter!

– Highlight on Page 169
If I were king, I’d abdicate,
Or junk the throne, at any rate …
Or maybe I would merely doff
The purple mantle, or leave off
The jeweled crown….For as I muse,
It strikes me I cannot refuse
This cup. For who, I ask, am I
The call of duty to deny?
Endowed with gifts that others lack,
It seems to me that I must try
To keep them on the proper track-
To teach them how to earn and spend,
And be most useful in the end.
How can I answer Heaven, pray,
Upon that final Judgment Day,
IfI have shirked to do my bit
To make the race of man more fit?
So I shall drink this bitter cup;
Yes, I shall take my burden up,
And work to make men fine and free
And good and true and wise-like me!
– Ralph Bradford, friend of Leonard Read

– Highlight on Page 178
What do I mean by freedom? My most concise, and probably least understood, answer: “no man-concocted restraints against the release of creative human energy.” The word “free” has so many different meanings! The Oxford Dictionary, for instance, uses over 6,000 words to describe its various connotations. No wonder so few grasp what you or I mean by the free society!The conceptions range from being free of responsibility for self to being free to do anything one pleases regardless of the harm imposed on others, that is, from slavery to anarchy-from planned chaos to unplanned chaos. We are faced with the old, old problem: not only political tyranny but,also,the tyranny of words! In any event, the aforementioned ambitious intellectual achievement can never be realized unless we come to some common and acceptable definition of “free.” Perhaps it might help to return to the word’s original spelling and definition, that is, to medieval English. It was then “free”and was defined as “to love, to delight, to endear. …Not in bondage to another.” The freedom philosophy, when rooted in this meaning of “free” makes a great deal of sense to me. At least it deserves analysis and perhaps adoption.


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