Perhaps the Greatest Old Testament Prophecy of All

The Wisdom Chronicle

The Wisdom Chronicle is designed to bring nuggets of wisdom from the dozens of books I read every year in all genres. Each week, I endeavor to share the best of what I have gleaned. The determination of relevance lies with you. Blessings, Jim Whiddon

 

March 10, 2014

 

31. BE CAREFUL

“Talent is God-given: be humble.

Fame is man-given: be thankful.

Conceit is self-given: be careful.”

Excerpt From: Wooden, John. “Wooden: A Lifetime of Observations and Reflections On and Off the Court.”

32. ATHEISM GROWING  “The rise of the nones.” — Unknown

33. INHERITANCE  “The moment a young man or woman gets more money than he or she has grown to by practical experience, that moment he has gotten a curse. It is no help to a young man or woman to inherit money. It is no help to your children to leave them money, but if you leave them education, if you leave them Christian and noble character, if you leave them a wide circle of friends, if you leave them an honorable name, it is far better than that they should have money. It would be worse for them, worse for the nation, that they should have any money at all. Oh, young man, if you have inherited money, don’t regard it as a help. It will curse you through your years, and deprive you of the very best things of human life. There is no class of people to be pitied so much as the inexperienced sons and daughters of the rich of our generation. I pity the rich man’s son. He can never know the best things in life.”

Excerpt From: Russell Herman Conwell. “Acres of Diamonds.”

34. THE PRAYER OF SIR FRANCIS DRAKE

“Disturb us, Lord, when

We are too well pleased with ourselves,

When our dreams have come true

Because we have dreamed too little,

When we arrived safely

Because we sailed too close to the shore.

Disturb us, Lord, when

With the abundance of things we possess

We have lost our thirst

For the waters of life;

Having fallen in love with life,

We have ceased to dream of eternity

And in our efforts to build a new earth,

We have allowed our vision

Of the new Heaven to dim.

Disturb us, Lord, to dare more boldly,

To venture on wider seas

Where storms will show your mastery;

Where losing sight of land,

We shall find the stars.

We ask You to push back

The horizons of our hopes;

And to push into the future

In strength, courage, hope, and love.”

35. COLUMBUS “Balzac once suggested that all great fortunes are founded on a crime. So too all great civilizations. The European conquest of the Americas, like the conquest of other civilizations, was indeed accompanied by great cruelty. But that is to say nothing more than that the European conquest of America was, in this way, much like the rise of Islam, the Norman conquest of Britain and the widespread American Indian tradition of raiding, depopulating and appropriating neighboring lands. The real question is, What eventually grew on this bloodied soil? The answer is, The great modern civilizations of the Americas—a new world of individual rights, an ever-expanding circle of liberty and, twice in a century, a savior of the world from totalitarian barbarism. If we are to judge civilizations like individuals, they should all be hanged, because with individuals it takes but one murder to merit a hanging. But if one judges civilizations by what they have taken from and what they have given the world, a non-jaundiced observer—say, one of the millions in Central Europe and Asia whose eyes are turned with hope toward America—would surely bless the day Columbus set sail.”

Excerpt From: Krauthammer, Charles. “Things That Matter.”

36. TALL POPPY SYNDROME  “unspoken bias against achievement, lest one presume to be elevated above one’s mates” (from Australia)

37. TEACHER’S PET “Obnoxious ingratiation is best expressed in the form of a question.”

Excerpt From: Krauthammer, Charles. “Things That Matter.”

38. GETTING UNBIASED OPINIONS “The principle of independent judgments (and decorrelated errors) has immediate applications for the conduct of meetings, an activity in which executives in organizations spend a great deal of their working days. A simple rule can help: before an issue is discussed, all members of the committee should be asked to write a very brief summary of their position. This procedure makes good use of the value of the diversity of knowledge and opinion in the group. The standard practice of open discussion gives too much weight to the opinions of those who speak early and assertively, causing others to line up behind them.”

Excerpt From: Kahneman, Daniel. “Thinking, Fast and Slow.”

39. FREE SPEECH “If all mankind minus one, were of one opinion, and only one person were of the contrary opinion, mankind would be no more justified in silencing that one person, than he, if he had the power, would be justified in silencing mankind.

If the opinion is right, they are deprived of the opportunity of exchanging error for truth: if wrong, they lose, what is almost as great a benefit, the clearer perception and livelier impression of truth, produced by its collision with error.

The opinion which it is attempted to suppress by authority may possibly be true. Those who desire to suppress it, of course deny its truth; but they are not infallible. They have no authority to decide the question for all mankind, and exclude every other person from the means of judging. To refuse a hearing to an opinion, because they are sure that it is false, is to assume that their certainty is the same thing as absolute certainty. All silencing of discussion is an assumption of infallibility….for while every one well knows himself to be fallible, few think it necessary to take any precautions against their own fallibility, or admit the supposition that any opinion of which they feel very certain, may be one of the examples of the error to which they acknowledge themselves to be liable.”

Excerpt From: John Stuart Mill. “On Liberty.”

40. OPINIONS “There is the greatest difference between presuming an opinion to be true, because, with every opportunity for contesting it, it has not been refuted, and assuming its truth for the purpose of not permitting its refutation. Complete liberty of contradicting and disproving our opinion, is the very condition which justifies us in assuming its truth for purposes of action; and on no other terms can a being with human faculties have any rational assurance of being right.

Wrong opinions and practices gradually yield to fact and argument: but facts and arguments, to produce any effect on the mind, must be brought before it. Very few facts are able to tell their own story, without comments to bring out their meaning.

If even the Newtonian philosophy were not permitted to be questioned, mankind could not feel as complete assurance of its truth as they now do. The beliefs which we have most warrant for, have no safeguard to rest on, but a standing invitation to the whole world to prove them unfounded.”

Excerpt From: John Stuart Mill. “On Liberty.”

 

 

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