Poem – A Smile

Writing and The Written Word

Let others cheer the winning man,
There’s one I hold worthwhile;
Tis he who does the best he can,
Then loses with a smile.

— anonymous poem, found in The Book o Virtues, ed. by W. J. Bennett

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The Ills of Knowing Too Much

Writing and The Written Word

There is nothing more disenchanting to man than to be shown the springs and mechanism of any art. All our arts and occupations lie wholly on the surface; it is on the surface that we perceive their beauty, fitness, and significance; and to pry below is to be appalled by their emptiness and shocked by the coarseness of the strings and pulleys.

–Robert Louis Stevenson

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The Difference Between Hearing And Listening

Writing and The Written Word

Listening impacts how we relate to the natural world and
especially with regard to social interactions. Hearing really is about
receiving sound via the years, which for most of us is done pretty much without
much consideration or concentration. People
spend most of their time hearing and not actually listening. This isn’t
necessarily a bad thing, but it can become a bad habit, especially, if those
missed opportunities to listen and to mentally process the information
presented to us deprives us of opportunities to succeed in life or lease to
avoid some unwanted outcomes.

Listening is a more intermittent process and requires the listener to not only receive sounds but to recognize them as having some meaning, to mentally process that information, and ultimately to act on the information.

People frequently hear but far less frequently listen. The
active processes and listening of recognizing…

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we pay too much attention to reformers

Writing and The Written Word

…there is entirely too much attempt at reforming in the world and that we pay too much attention to reformers.

— Henry Ford

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It is better to be skeptical of all new ideas

Writing and The Written Word

It is better to be skeptical of all new ideas and to insist upon being shown rather than to rush around in a continuous brainstorm after every new idea.

— Henry Ford

Related References

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Power and machinery, money and goods

Writing and The Written Word

Power and machinery, money and goods, are useful only as they set us free to live. They are but means to an end.

— Henry Ford

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To-day

Writing and The Written Word

Here hath been dawning another blue day:
Think, wilt thou let it slip useless away?
Out of Eternity this new day was born;
Into Eternity, at night, will return.
Behold it aforetime no eye ever did;
So soon it forever from all eyes is hid.
Here hath been dawning another blue day:
Think, wilt thou let it slip useless away?

— Thomas Carlyle

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