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Man forgets that he is the only animal that dines; the others merely feed. Why does he abrogate his right to dine and go to the end of the line with the mere feeders?
—  William George Jordan
Education, in its highest sense, is conscious training of mind or body to act unconsciously. It is conscious formation of mental habits, not mere acquisition of information.
—  William George Jordan
The man who says he will lead a newer and better life tomorrow, who promises great things for the future, and yet does nothing in the present to make that future possible, is living in an air-castle.
—  William George Jordan
A mere theory of life that remains but a theory, is about as useful to a man as a gilt-edged menu is to a starving sailor on a raft in mid-ocean ... No rule for higher living will help a man in the slightest until he reaches out and appropriates it for himself, until he makes it practical in his daily life, until that seed of theory in his mind blossoms into a thousand flowers of thought and word and act.
—  William George Jordan
The man who is calm does not selfishly isolate himself from the world, for he is intensely interested in all the concerns the welfare of humanity. His calmness is but a Holy of Holies into which he can retire from the world to get strength to live in the world. He realizes that the full glory of individuality, the crowning of his self-control is the majesty of calmness.
—  William George Jordan
Calmness is the rarest quality in human life. It is the poise of a great nature, in harmony with itself and its ideals. It is the moral atmosphere of a life self-centered, self-reliant, and self-controlled. Calmness is singleness of purpose, absolute confidence, and conscious power, ready to be focused in an instant to meet any crises.
—  William George Jordan
There are times when a man should be content with what he has, but never with what he is.
—  William George Jordan
Ingratitude is a crime more despicable than revenge, which is only returning evil for evil, while ingratitude returns evil for good.
—  William George Jordan
Constantly reminding a man of the favors he has received from you almost cancels the debt. The care of the statistics should be his privilege; you are usurping his prerogative when you recall them.
—  William George Jordan
If we have made an error, done a wrong, been unjust to another or to ourselves, or, like the Pharisee, passed by some opportunity for good, we should have the courage to face our mistake squarely, to call it boldly by its right name, to acknowledge it frankly and to put in no flimsy alibis of excuse to protect an anemic self-esteem.
—  William George Jordan
Much of the seeming ingratitude in life comes from our magnifying of our own acts, our minifying of the acts of others.
—  William George Jordan
Profuse expressions of gratitude do not cancel an indebtedness any more than a promissory note settles an account. It is a beginning, not a finality. Gratitude that is extravagant in words is usually economical in all other expression.
—  William George Jordan
Unhappiness is the hunger to get; happiness is the hunger to give ... If the individual should set out for a single day to give happiness, to make life happier, brighter and sweeter, not for himself but for others, he would find a wondrous revelation of what happiness really is.
—  William George Jordan
Calmness comes from within. It is the peace and restfulness of the depths of our nature. The fury of storm and of wind agitate only the surface of the sea; they penetrate only two or three hundred feet; below that is the calm, unruffled deep. To be ready for the great crises of life we must learn serenity in our daily living. Calmness is the crown of self-control.
—  William George Jordan
Let us seek to reign nobly on the throne of our highest self for just a single day, filling every moment of every hour with our finest, unselfish best. Then there would come to us such a vision of the golden glory of the sunlit heights, such a glad, glowing tonic of the higher levels of life, that we could never dwell again in the darkened valley of ordinary living without feeling shut in, stifled, and hungry for the freer air and the broader outlook.
—  William George Jordan
Happiness is the soul's joy in the possession of the intangible.
—  William George Jordan
True happiness must have the tinge of sorrow outlived, the sense of pain softened by the mellowing years, the chastening of loss that in the wondrous mystery of time transmutes our suffering into love and sympathy with others.
—  William George Jordan

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