“The most important human endeavor is the striving for morality in our actions. Our inner balance and even our very existence depend on it. Only morality in our actions can give beauty and dignity to life.
To make this a living force and bring it to clear consciousness is perhaps the foremost task of education.
The foundation of morality should not be made dependent on myth nor tied to any authority lest doubt about the myth or about the legitimacy of the authority imperil the foundation of sound judgment and action.”
Where to now?
In the end, we all must find our own way. Without a moral compass, we are lost.
“From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that we are here for the sake of each other— above all for those upon whose smile and well-being our own happiness depends, and also for the countless unknown souls with whose fate we are connected by a bond of sympathy.
Many times a day I realize how much my own outer and inner life is built upon the labors of my fellow men, both living and dead, and how earnestly I must exert myself in order to give in return as much as I have received.”
– Albert Einstein
No man is an island. Solitude does not remove us from our connection and obligation to our fellow sojourners – past, present and future.
“The bigotry of the nonbeliever is for me nearly as funny as the bigotry of the believer.”
Belief (or non-belief) does not inoculate against bigotry.
“It is easier to denature plutonium than to denature the evil spirit of man”
The dangers of Plutonium-239 pale to the boundless capacity of human beings to turn it into pure destruction.
“The ideals which have always shone before me and filled me with the joy of living are goodness, beauty, and truth. To make a goal of comfort or happiness has never appealed to me; a system of ethics built on this basis would be sufficient only for a herd of cattle.”
Our lives are best not when we’re seeking our own happiness or comfort. Focusing on such blinds us to the real joy of finding the good, marveling at the beauty, and finding even a tiny glimpse of the truth that pervades the universe, but which remains just out of reach for those contemplating too closely if they are comfortable or happy.
Happiness is found in truth, not truth in happiness.
“I think and think for months and years. Ninety-nine times, the conclusion is false. The hundredth time I am right.”
Success comes to those that have failed enough.
“The pursuit of truth and beauty is a sphere of activity in which we are permitted to remain children all our lives.”
Where wonder and joy are allowed, great mysteries are solved and beauty is revealed.
“The individual must not merely wait and criticize, he must defend the cause as best he can. The fate of the world will be such as the world deserves.”
For each of us there is a choice: to lie down, give up, and accept our powerlessness to the unstoppable tide of human history. Or to stand up, brace against the tide, and alter its course – even if only by the smallest margin. The collective course of events is determined by individual effort – or the lack thereof.
In the end, we will reap what we sow.
Ron Mader, flickr
“If you can’t explain it simply, you don’t understand it well enough”
– Albert Einstein
Keep it simple, and you will rule the world.
“Nature conceals her secrets because she is sublime, not because she is a trickster.”
Nature doesn’t need our understanding, as much as it needs our respect.