Wisdom Quotes from the Thoughts Archives | Values of the Wise

Thoughts on Values & Ethics

Author and Founder of Values of the Wise Jason Merchey shares his perspectives on classical and modern applications of values, wisdom, ethics, and personal growth. The goal is to provide insight into what “a life of value” is and how one can live it. Quotations, proverbs, idioms, and historical facts often provide grist for the mill! Occasional guest blogs are featured as well.


Wisdom in Rock Lyrics: Bono, Sting & Rush

wisdom in rock lyrics August 17th, 2017

Yes, you read that right. Wisdom in rock song lyrics! If you are a fan of rock music as well, you might have noticed from time to time that during your drive, while having a drink, or when playing air guitar, a deep and compelling lyric pops up. Which rock lovers don’t find Kansas “Dust in the Wind” or some Pink Floyd or even Mellencamp or Bowie to be worth really listening to? Led Zeppelin and even groups like Journey and Foreigner can bust out a worthy line. Certainly my favorite songwriters are Neil Peart (of Rush), Bono, and Sting. Read on to see a number of lyrics taken from unforgettable songs. 

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Morality Quotes from Books of Wisdom

Morality quotes August 16th, 2017

One of the themes running through civilization of every stripe since mankind began to organize itself into cities has of course been morality. One of the earliest written sources we still consult is the Hebrew bible – the Old Testament as Christians call it – and as soon as the characters meet God, God is giving them direction. The choice to disobey (and eat the forbidden fruit) is a testament to the will humans possess. We don’t want to be indoctrinated, subservient, and mindless; we desire deeply to decide what we think is right and wrong, good and bad, just and unjust. Click through to see a diverse grouping of morality quotes from books of wisdom: the three books that comprise the Values of the Wise Series. 

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How to Be Happier: Integrity and Integration

how to be happier: integrity August 15th, 2017

If you are wondering how to be happier, you’re in good company. It may be challenging to see a direct connection between happiness (e.g., feeling good) and integrity. However, if the “Great Spirit,” Indian lawyer turned revolutionary Mohandas K. Gandhi (1869-1948) is correct, there is a strong correlation between having good character and being happy, fulfilled, at ease, and comfortable. When one integrates the parts of the self, one is considered “integrated” (in other words, there is integration). This is a primary route to happiness and success. Read on for more information about how to be happier.

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Free Speech: When Liberty Morphs into Hate

free speech vs. hate speech August 14th, 2017

America has a long racist past, and with the recent conflagration made by a petulant President Trump, we are not out of the woods. The freedom to speak and to have one’s own ideas has been more – or less – available to Americans throughout our long history. What are some of the considerations when thinking about free speech, liberty, and the First Amendment – and when does it morph into hatred, racism, xenophobia, and “hate speech”? What do wise persons have to say on this issue? What quotations can be brought to the table regarding free speech? Read on.

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The Virtue of Failure: Life as a Journey

the virtue of failure shouldn't be overlooked August 11th, 2017

My mother and I were talking about life – my life, her life, life in general – and the idea of success vs. failure came up. Like anyone, my mother and I have both had successes and failures. We have tried things and won, prevailed, impressed others, and achieved excellence. We have also “stepped in it,” made errors, gotten it totally wrong, and walked a long way down a mistaken path (and often had to take the time to turn around and walk back). There is a fair amount to “slap my forehead about,” and some errors that I probably would take back (or at least, want to as I sit here and type). I am disposed to look at myself, my life, my choices, my luck as “half empty” (from the glass half-full/half-empty metaphor). My mother counseled against that, and spoke of the virtue of failure; that failure has meaning. “Failure is the source of success,” a wise old proverb has it (Japanese). What follows is a point about turning lemons into lemonade and succeeding despite (because of?) so-called failure.

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Best Life Inspiring Books

one of the best life inspiring books August 10th, 2017

Folks search on the phrase “life inspiring books” thousands of times a year. I think the phrase is meant to ask, “What books will inspire me and make life more worth living?” I have a new book for 2017 that will hopefully do just that. Read on to find out more about the book Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom. 

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Athenian Democracy: People Power!

Athenian democracy August 10th, 2017

A second conflagration now consumed all Hellas, in particular the city of Athena, and this was the blaze of boldness and self-assurance. The hand of heaven, it seemed, had set itself in benediction upon each man’s shoulder, banishing all timorousness and irresolution. Overnight, the Greeks had seized the stage of destiny. They had defeated the mightiest army and navy in history. Would lesser undertaking could now daunt them? What enterprise could they not dare? ~ Steven Pressfield. Pressfield was discussing the magnificent and hard-fought victory over the gargantuan Persian military in about 500 B.C.E. It ushered in an era of unprecedented progressivism and political change in the ancient city Athens. Athenian democracy is one of the most remarkable and interesting lights in a long and often-dark stretch of highway symbolizing humankind’s ascension to our current (dubious) heights. Read on to learn more about democracy’s dream: the Golden Age of Ancient Athens, Greece.

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Books of Wisdom: 2017 Dynamo!

Books of wisdom: Values & Ethics August 9th, 2017

If you’re looking for books of wisdom, you have come to the right place. The new book in the Values of the Wise Series is entitled Values & Ethics: From Living Room to Boardroom. It is new for 2017 and is a wonderful collection of interviews I conducted with about thirty experts on values and ethics, wisdom and virtues, and the like. This weighty, gutsy, progressive look at applied philosophy, personal growth, wisdom, values, ethics, social change, and (almost) a kind of spirituality will impress you, I do believe. Read on to find out more and to watch the dynamic 3-minute intro video!

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Inspiration Is About Values + Emotion

inspiration can be found in helping August 6th, 2017

Inspiration, motivation, meaning, fulfillment – the stuff we would buy if it were for sale. Even though pharmaceuticals, sporting events, books, massage, sex, make-up, children, and virtual reality video games are indeed for sale, inspiration is not really able to be purchased directly. You have to grow it in the garden of your mind & soul. Mark S. Albion offers some sage advice: “There is a big difference between more sales or money and more happiness or fulfillment. The kind of growth that seems the most important to people is the kind of growth you can’t count.” Read on to find out more about how inspiration can be understood and ideally, found.

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Ethics 101 (Highly Abbreviated!)

ethics: a noble pursuit August 5th, 2017

Ethics is a branch of philosophy with a long, storied past. Along with epistemology and aesthetics and metaphysics, ethics is one of the pillars of philosophical thought since Aristotle to the present day. Philosophers still study right from wrong in universities and books are written every year on the topic. What can we learn from studying it today; what dividend does doing so pay? The reason to learn more about right from wrong and morality is to be better able to make good decisions, live the kind of life an individual would really prefer, and have better and more functional relationships. After all, one has to be a good neighbor, responsible parent, trustworthy employee, and person of generally good character to get along well in society and both participate and benefit. Read on to find out more about what ethics really is about and how one can apply it successfully in one’s daily life. 

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