Whatever course you decide upon, there is always someone to tell you that you are wrong. There are always difficulties arising which tempt you to believe that your critics are right. To map out a course of action and follow it to an end requires some of the same courage that a soldier needs. Peace has its victories, but it takes brave men and women to win them.
We are face to face with our destiny and we must meet it with a high and resolute courage. For us is the life of action, of strenuous perforrnance of duty; let us live in the harness, striving mightily; let us rather run the risk of wearing out than rusting out.
Character isn’t inherited. One builds it daily by the way one thinks and acts, thought by thought, action by action. If one lets fear or hate or anger take possession of the mind, they become self-forged chains.
It was a false maxim of Domitian that he who would gain the people of Rome must promise all things and perform nothing. For when a man is known to be false in his word, instead of a column, which he might be by keeping it, for others to rest upon, he becomes a reed, which no man will vouchsafe to lean upon. Like a floating island, when we come next day to seek it, it is carried from the place we left it in, and, instead of earth to build upon, we find nothing but inconstant and deceiving waves.
We are not nouns, we are verbs. I am not a thing – an actor, a writer – I am a person who does things – I write, I act – and I never know what I’m going to do next. I think you can be imprisoned if you think of yourself as a noun.
I begin to think, that a calm is not desirable in any situation in life. Every object is beautiful in motion; a ship under sail, trees gently agitated with the wind, and a fine woman dancing, are three instances in point. Man was made for action and for bustle too, I believe.