Dr. Val Farmer
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The New Year: Time To Look In the Mirror

January 2, 2006

Resolutions have power. To think we are able is almost to be so; to determine upon attainment is frequently attainment itself; earnest resolution has often seemed to have about it almost a savor of omnipotence. - Samuel Smiles

But little is accomplished, because but little is vigorously attempted; because difficulties are magnified. A timorously cautious spirit, so far from acting with resolution, will never think of itself in possession of the preliminaries for acting at all. Perhaps perseverance has been the radical principle of every truly great character. - John Foster

"Resolution," says John Foster, "is omnipotent." He that resolves upon any great and good end, had, by that very resolution, scaled the chief barrier to it. He will find such resolution removing difficulties, searching out or making means, giving courage to despondency, and strength for weakness, and like the star to the wise men of old, ever guiding him nearer and nearer to perfection." - Tyron Edwards

You may be whatever you resolve to be. Determine to be something in the world, and you will be something. "I cannot," never accomplished anything; "I will try," has wrought wonders. - Joel Hawes

Perseverance. Good resolutions are a pleasant crop to sow. The seed springs up so readily, and the blossoms open so soon with such a brave show, especially at first. But when the time of flowers has passed, what as to the fruit? - Lucas Malet

Reform should be more than a test of our beliefs. . . . It need not mean abandoning our fundamental principles, but rather a re-examination of them to determine whether we are following the dead letter or the living spirit they embody. - Anne Morrow Lindbergh

Learn to say "No"; it will be of more use to you than to be able to read Latin. - Charles Haddon Spurgeon

Start with yourself. No one can honestly or hope fully to be delivered from temptation unless he has himself honestly and firmly determined to do the best he can to keep out of it. - John Ruskin

Do you want to know the man to whom you have the most reason to guard yourself? Your looking glass will give you a very fair likeness of his face. - Richard Whately

What a curious phenomenon it is that you can get men to die for the liberty of the world who will not make one little sacrifice that is needed to free themselves from their own individual bondage. - Bruce Barton

He who reforms himself, has done much toward reforming others; and one reason why the world is not reformed, is, because each would have others make a beginning, and never thinks of himself doing it. - Thomas Adams

Reform like charity must begin at home. Once well at home, it will radiate outward, irrepressible, into all that we touch and handle, speak and work, ever kindling new light by incalculable contagion, spreading in geometric ratio, far and wide, doing only good, wherever it spreads, and not evil. - Thomas Carlyle

One of life’s greatest paradoxes is that nearly everyone wants to improve his circumstances but hardly anyone wants to improve themselves. - Milton Sills

Time is short. You who are letting miserable misunderstandings run on from year to year, meaning to clear them up some day; you who are keeping wretched quarrels alive because you cannot quite make up your mind that now is the day to sacrifice your pride and settle them. You who are passing men sullenly upon the street, not speaking to them out of some silly spite; you who are letting someone’s heart ache for a word of appreciation or sympathy, which you mean to give him someday. If you only could know and see and feel, all of a sudden, the time is short, how it would break the spell! How you would go instantly and do the thing you might never have another chance to do. - Phillips Brooks

When you make a mistake, don’t look back at it long. Take the reason of the thing into your mind, and then look forward. Mistakes are lessons of wisdom. The past cannot be changed. The future is yet in your power. - Hugh White.

Actions have consequences. If you don’t want it printed in the paper, don’t do it. If you don’t want to be quoted, if you don’t want it repeated, don’t say it. And we might add also: if you don’t want it on your conscience, don’t do it. If you don’t want it in your life, don’t do it. We still live in a world of causes and consequences. Our record is with us. If you don’t want it printed, or repeated or to become a part of your record, of your life, don’t do it, don’t say it. - Richard L. Evans

The world looks like a multiplication table or a mathematical equation, which, turn it how you will balances itself.. . . . You cannot do wrong without suffering wrong. . . . A man cannot speak but he judges himself. . . . Every secret is told, every wrong redressed, in silence and certainty. . . . The thief steals from himself, the swindler swindles himself. . . . Men suffer all their life long, under the foolish superstition that they can be cheated. But it impossible for a man to cheated by anyone but himself. . . . What will you have? Quoth God; pay for and take it. . . . Thou shalt be paid exactly for what thou hast done, no more, no less. - Ralph Waldo Emerson