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#wisdom | Vox Clamantis In Deserto

On Capitalism & Socialism

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The inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries. Winston Churchill

On Understanding Truth

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All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them. Galileo Galilei

On Never Quitting

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Never quit. Set a goal and don’t quit until you attain it. When you do attain it, set another goal, and don’t quit until you reach it. Never quit. Paul “Bear” Bryant

When you don’t know what to do…

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One of my 9th grade teachers, Doug Scott, wisely told me “when you don’t know what to do, go on what you know.” To this I add, “because if you knew it was as trustworthy [knowledge/judgment] yesterday, it will still be trustworthy today.” It might seem like treading water, but treading is better than swimming the wrong direction when you’re already worn out.

On Losing

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Losing doesn’t make me want to quit. It makes me want to fight that much harder. Paul “Bear” Bryant

On The Price of Victory

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If you believe in yourself and have dedication and pride and never quit, you’ll be a winner. The price of victory is high but so are the rewards. Paul “Bear” Bryant

On Building Foundations

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If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be. Now put the foundations under them. Henry David Thoreau

On Food, Drink, and Work

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Even so, I have noticed one thing, at least, that is good. It is good for people to eat well, drink a good glass of wine, and enjoy their work. Ecclesiastes 5:18

On Discovering Truth

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[T]ruth is best discovered by powerful statements on both sides of the question. Sir Francis Bacon (1561-1626)


N.B. Though often attributed to Lord John Scott Eldon (1751-1838), Eldon was, in fact, quoting Bacon.

On Personal Growth

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In any given moment we have two options: to step forward into growth or to step back into safety. Abraham Maslow


One can choose to go back toward safety or forward toward growth. Growth must be chosen again and again; fear must be overcome again and again. Abraham Maslow

De dónde vienes y adónde vas?

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Génesis 16 nos cuenta la historia de Abram, Sarai, y Agar quien era la sierva de la yerma Sarai. Sarai llegó a tratarla mal hasta que Agar huyó. Más tarde el Ángel del Señor le habló diciendo, “de dónde vienes y adónde vas?” Lo interesante es que la interrogación salta las preguntas más obvias de “dónde estas” y “qué haces.”

En un sentido, la interrogación propuesta es muy reveladora del enfoque divino. Cristo vino para llevar al mundo de un lugar a otro sin dilatar en la jornada . En otras palabras, nuestra ubicación y nuestra ocupación son de menor importancia con tal de que vayamos ganando terreno en nuestros caminos.

Sin embargo, Agar respondió “estoy huyendo de mi señora” al cual el Ángel dijo que regresara a Sarai. La respuesta de Agar responde sólo en parte a la pregunta puesta. Ella si contesta la primera parte, “de dónde vienes,” pero en vez de decir adonde iba, ella identificó lo que hacía. Así es para todos nosotros, si andamos sin idear primero un destino, andamos sin dirección y sería mejor quedarnos en dónde El Señor nos hubo puesto anted, y esperar que el espíritu nos imparte un plan y un destino.

Sobre Rencor

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Tu invidia es mi progreso lema peruano

Edmund Burke on Moral Duty

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Two intrinsically-linked quotes from Sir Edmund Burke:

1) The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing.

2) Nobody made a greater mistake than he who did nothing because he could do only a little.

On Opposing Evil

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The only thing necessary for the triumph of evil is for good men to do nothing. Edmund Burke [disputed]

On Experience

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Experience is something you don’t have until just after you need it. Vox

Mountains, Valleys, & Transitions

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Among the hardest words to internalize are these: you are where you need to be. Those words never come at the heights of success nor in the throes of ecstacy nor in the still waters of contentment; they come in the disenchanting valleys of transition between mountaintops. Valleys are where all the mountain runoff and detritus and pollutants collect as if to be ignominiously relegated to drink only of the mountains’ bathwater. But valleys are far more fertile than the mountaintops and while the natural elements will erode the mountains, valleys will never cease to be valleys and will enjoy the protection of the mountains which need not be perceived as hopes unattained but as insulators and protectors awaiting the moment. Valley water might not delight the palate in the moment, but it is plentiful and predictable; you will not thirst in the valley as on the mountain.

On Simplification

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Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler. Albert Einstein

On Precedent

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Everything is unprecedented until it happens for the first time. Tom Hanks as Chelsey Sullenberger in Sully

On Belief and Justice

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On my first day of law school, my professor says two things. First was: “From this day forward, when your mother tells you she loves you – get a second opinion. If you want justice, go to a whorehouse; if you want to get fucked, go to court.” Richard Gere as Martin Vail, Primal Fear

On Opposition

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O LORD, oppose those who oppose me. Declare war on those who are attacking me. PSALM 35:1 NLT

On Blindness

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So, you mock my blindness? Let me tell you this. You with your precious eyes, you’re blind to the corruption of your life, to the house you live in, those you live with—who are your parents? Do you know? All unknowing you are the scourge of your own flesh and blood… Sophocles, Oedipus Rex

On Studying

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Much study is a weariness of the flesh. Ecclesiastes 12:12

Visión

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Hoy noche yo encontré unas palabras sueltas de muchos años atrás. Leyeron: cuando se pierde la vista, la visión viene.

On Brokenness

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Maybe sometimes it’s better to be broken than to be hardened. David Kaczynski

On Hope and Misery

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Extreme hopes are born from extreme misery. Bertrand Russell

What’s Your Damage, Anyway?

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I was just reflecting on a past confrontation where a niece spewed unwarranted hate and vitriol (she’s a millennial, of course). In retrospect, I wish I had said something like I don’t know what your damage is, but what right have you to visit that damage upon me? A former pastor used to say that hurting people pretty much do two things consistently: 1) they are easily hurt by other people and 2) they easily hurt other people. When someone is blinded by psychic trauma or by a sense of social entitlement, it’s hard to say whether such a person could comprehend the truth, but it’s worth a shot.

On Sharing Happiness

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Thousands of candles can be lit from a single candle, and the life of the candle will not be shortened. Happiness never decreases by being shared. Buddha

On Logic

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Entia non sunt multiplicanda praeter necessitatem. William of Ockham

Beating a Dead Horse Led to Water

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I led the horse to water. I made the horse drink. The horse drowned in the process. I beat the dead horse until its flesh fully macerated and its bones completely pulverized. The currents carried away the horse. The horse is no longer my problem. Vox

On Emotion & Action

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Deliberate minds examine matters to determine whether negative emotion impedes positive action. Vox