To know what is right and not do it
is the worst cowardice.



Let then our first act every morning be to make the following resolve for the day:  I shall not fear anyone on earth.  I shall fear only God.  I shall not bear ill will toward anyone.  I shall not submit to injustice from anyone.  I shall conquer untruth by truth.  And in resisting untruth I shall put up with all suffering.

Mohandas Gandhi

Science has taught us how to put the atom to work.  But to make it work for good instead of for evil lies in the domain dealing with the principles of human duty.

Bernard M. Baruch

There is only one principle, and this is Good.  There is no principle of evil.  If there were a principle of evil, evil would be positive and not negative, and therefore could never be overcome, because it would be eternal and unchanging.

Henry T. Hamblin

Humans are condemned to be free; because once thrown into the world, they are responsible for everything they do.

Jean Paul Sartre

The principles you live by create the world you live in; if you change the principles you live by, you will change your world.

Blaine Lee


It is not alone what we do, but also what we do not do, for which we are accountable.



My creed is this:
Justice is the only worship;
Love is the only priest;
Ignorance is the only slavery;
Happiness is the only good;
The time to be happy is now,
The place to be happy is here,
The way to be happy is
to make others so.

Robert Ingersoll


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It is often easier to fight for one's principles than to live up to them.

Adlai Stevenson


Give the best you have received from the past to the best
that you may come to know in the future.  Accept life daily
not as a cup to be drained but as a chalice to be filled with
whatsoever things are honest, pure, lovely, and of good
report.  Making a living is best undertaken as a part of the
more important business of making a life.  Every now and
again take a good look at something not made of hands--a
mountain, a star, the turn of a stream.  There will come to
you wisdom and patience and solace and, above all,
the assurance that you are not alone in the world.

Sidney Lovett


I believe that every right implies a responsibility;
every opportunity an obligation; every possession a duty.

John D. Rockefeller, Jr.

I suppose that one of the biggest surprises I've encountered as an adult is just how difficult it is to live by one's principles.  The perfect example of this can be seen on the road--years ago I decided that I really had no right to break the laws of the road, especially since I spent four years in the army, supposedly to uphold the freedoms and responsibilities of this country.  It sounds easy, doesn't it?  Hmm. . . just try it--obey the traffic laws.

It's not easy at all.  I go the speed limit--not ten miles under--and I can't tell you just how often I get tailgated, just how often people put my life and the lives of others in my car in danger by passing on double yellows or passing on the right (even in residential areas where there's only one lane--people have passed in the parking lane!), or how often I've been flipped off by people who are in such a hurry that they can't even respect my right to obey the law--no, my obligation to obey the law.  It's not a choice, or at least it shouldn't be.

But the main point is that when I want to follow my principles of obeying the laws of the country I live in, I get harassed by people who don't respect those laws. When I speak up for what is right, others who disagree try to counter by putting me down rather than responding to my arguments or points.  When a friend does something wrong and I say something, I risk losing a friend.  If a boss does something unethical and I say something, I risk losing a job.

Following our principles has been a main tenet of virtually all great religious and spiritual teachers, yet very few people are willing to focus a great deal of effort on doing so.  This should be, in my mind, one of our highest priorities, for the benefits to us and to those around us are great.  People who know me trust me, and that's one of the parts of my life that I'm most proud of.  When I pass a police officer with a radar gun, I smile and wave--they have enough stress in their lives with the people who speed and then lie about it, and I know I'm not adding to that stress.  My employers trust me to do what I know is right, but they also know that I'm more than willing to examine my actions to see if I might not have been mistaken in some way.

People who consistently put their principles aside can't even trust themselves, when all is said and done, and I can't think of anything sadder than that.

tom walsh
I am a man of fixed and unbending principles, the first
of which is to be flexible at all times.

Everett Dirkson



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Integrity is not a conditional word.  It doesn't blow in the wind or change
with the weather.  It is your inner image of yourself, and if you look
in there and see a person who won't cheat, then you know you never will.

John D. MacDonald

We get so much in the habit of wearing a disguise before others
that we eventually appear disguised before ourselves.

Jim Bishop


No person, for any considerable time, can wear one face
to him or herself and another to the multitude
without finally getting bewildered as to which may be the true.

Nathaniel Hawthorne


Expedients are for the hour, but principles are for the ages.
Just because the rains descend, and the winds blow,
we cannot afford to build on shifting sands.

Henry Ward Beecher

If you learn only methods, you'll be tied to your methods,
but if you learn principles you can devise your own methods.

Ralph Waldo Emerson


Search for a rock, a principle, and having found it, get it under your
feet and stand erect upon it, until at last, immovably fixed upon it,
you succeed in defying the fury of the waves and storms of selfishness.

James Allen


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There is only one real failure in life that is possible,
and that is, not to be true to the best one knows.

Frederick W. Farrar

Nature imitates herself.  A grain thrown into good ground brings forth
fruit; a principle thrown into a good mind brings forth fruit.  Everything
is created and conducted by the same master:  the root, the branch,
the fruits--the principles, the consequences.

Blaise Pascal


Principles are like seeds; they are little things which do much good,
if the mind that receives them has the right attitudes.


They who float with the current, who do not guide themselves according
to higher principles, who have no ideal, no convictions--such people
are things moved, instead of living and moving beings--echoes, not voices.

Henri Frederic Amiel

It is easier to produce ten volumes of philosophical writings
than to put one principle into practice.

Leo Tolstoy


A fad lives its life in a few weeks; a philosophy lives through
generations and centuries; a principle, forever.

William G. Jordan

Back of every noble life there are principles which have fashioned it.

George H. Lorimer

If you focus on principles, you empower everyone who
understands those principles to act without constant
monitoring, evaluating, correcting, or controlling.

Stephen R. Covey


In matters of style, swim with the current;
in matters of principle, stand like a rock.

Thomas Jefferson



Yes, life can be mysterious and confusing--but there's much of life that's actually rather dependable and reliable.  Some principles apply to life in so many different contexts that they can truly be called universal--and learning what they are and how to approach them and use them can teach us some of the most important lessons that we've ever learned.
My doctorate is in Teaching and Learning.  I use it a lot when I teach at school, but I also do my best to apply what I've learned to the life I'm living, and to observe how others live their lives.  What makes them happy or unhappy, stressed or peaceful, selfish or generous, compassionate or arrogant?  In this book, I've done my best to pass on to you what I've learned from people in my life, writers whose works I've read, and stories that I've heard.  Perhaps these principles can be a positive part of your life, too!
Universal Principles of Living Life Fully.  Awareness of these principles can explain a lot and take much of the frustration out of the lives we lead.