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Saturday, December 31, 2011


Napoleon Hill said, "Persuasion is the magic ingredient that will help you to forge ahead in your profession or business - and to achieve happy and lasting personal relationships." As we all know, persuasion is the skill of the ultra-prosperous. It is how people gain power and influence. It is how people create staggering wealth , how businesses thrive, how properties are purchased, and how websites sell millions of dollars worth of product.
 is a form of social influence. It is the process of guiding people toward the adoption of an idea, attitude, or action by rational and symbolic (though not only logical) means. It is a problem-solving strategy, and relies on "appeals" rather than force. Persuasion involves application of the principles of attitude change. Persuasion occurs when individuals change other's attitudes. A popular approach to understanding persuasion involves studying the components of the persuasion process. Once these components are understood, it is also possible to learn how to resist persuasion.

Dissuasion is the process of convincing someone not to believe or act on something.
Persuasion is often confused with manipulation, which is the act of guiding another towards something that is not in their best interest by subverting their thought processes. Persuasion is meant to benefit all parties in the end.
Aristotle says that "Rhetoric is the art of discovering, in a particular case, the available means of persuasion."

The best way to persuade people is with your ears - by listening to them. ~Dean Rusk
There is only one way to get anybody to do anything. And that is by making the other person want to do it. Dale Carnegie

Components Of Persuasion

A group of social psychologists at Yale University have developed a communication model of persuasion that identifies the following major components: the source; the message itself; the context of the message; and the audience. 

1. The Source
The source of a persuasive message is the communicator who is presenting it. A source is more persuasive if he or she is seen as credible(believable) and attractive. There are two ways to be credible: claiming to be an expert, and appearing to be trustworthy. When a tennis star endorses a particular brand of athletic shoe, she is persuasive because she is an expert. When an actor who always plays heroes endorses a product, he is persuasive because his career as a "good guy" makes him appear trustworthy.

There are also two ways for a source to be attractive: physical appeal and similarity to the audience. When automobile commericals feature beautiful men and women at the wheel, advertisers hope that the models' physical appeal will make the commerical persuasive. When a beer commerical portrays a group of blue-collar men enjoying a particular brand of beer, the commerical is persuasive to audience members who consider themselves similar to the characters depicted.

2. The Message
Persuasive messages can involve emotional appeals or rational arguments. When time is limited, short emotional appeals may be more effective than rational arguments. For example, anti-smoking campaigns with slogans like "Smokers Stink!" may be more persuasive than lists of recent statistical findings about the health of smokers versus nonsmokers.

Should a message be one-sided or should it present both sides of an issue? Research shows that when the audeience is highly involved and already sympathetic, a one-sided message is more persuasive. In contrast, when an audeince is undecided or uninvolved, a two-sided message seems more fair and persuasive. There is also evidence that more intelligent audiences are persuaded better by two-sided messages, probably because they more readily recognize that there are two sides to the issue.

3. The Context
Advertisers often have difficulty overcoming the internal arguments that compete with their persuasive messages. When we listen to or read a persuasive message, we are usually free to limit our attention or silently counter argue with its arguments. For this reason, many salespeople will try to prevent internal counterarguing by distracting a customer. For example, if a customer is urged to "try out" a new appliance while the salesperson talks about its features, the cusotmer will already be paying attention to two things- using the appliance and listening to the salesperson - and will have difficulty rehearsing counterarguments. Laboratory research has shown that when subjects are distracted, they are more likely to accept a persuasive message than when they have been allowed to concentrate on their counterarguments.

4. The Audience
Numerous research efforts have focused on the recipients of persuasive messages, the audience, to discover when some people are more persuadable than others. Many audience characteristics interact with message variables, like involvement or intelligence. Intelligent recipents are more persuaded by complex messages, while unintelligent recipients are more persuaded by simple emotional messages. 

Other audience reasearch has identified characteristics like age or lifestyle as relevant to persuasiveness. For example, young people may be more likely to accept a message that promised popularity, while older people would find security or health amore appealing promise.

Resistance To Persuasion

The young mind is pliable and imitates, but in more advanced states grows rigid and must be warmed and softened before it will receive a deep impression. 

There are numerous ways to resist persuasion if one understands the components and strategies involved in most messages. These techniques include counterargument, forewarning, and reactance.

When not distracted, we tend to counterargue silently while we listen to a persuasive message. We can resist others' peruasive efforts by concentrating on our own counterarguments, resisting distractions, and taking more time between hearing the message and making the decision (eg. what to buy, how to vote).

When people know they are going to hear a persuasive message, this forewarning tends to make them less persuadable. We can apply this stragegy by reminding ourselves that a television commercial is a form of advertisement, not entertainment. Forewarning ourselves and others about the messages we are about to hear can increase our resistance to persuasion.

People dislike having their freedom and choice limited. When messages dictate restrictions or policies , we often responds with reactance, a preference for the forbidden or restricted action. For example, a sign that says "Keep Off the Grass" may result in the reactant behaviour of stomping deliberatley on the grass, whereas one that appeals "Please Walk on the Sidewalk" is subtler and more willingly obeyed.
 To resist persuasion, we can stimulate our own reactant tendencies by asking ourselves "Who says?" and reminding ourselves that "No one tells me what to do!"
Advertising isn't a science. It's persuasion. And persuasion is an art.

The Problem With Affirmations

Most people don't want to do the hard; that's why it's so easy to be successful. There's no competition! Remember short-term pain will equal long term gain and vice versa. It's the hard that makes you great. It's the willingness to do the hard that separates you from your competition, because most of them are only willing to do the easy. Unfortunately, in the long run, the easy always turns out to be the hard. ~ Warren Greshes 

By David McGimpsey

Do you know the problem with affirmations? You know, the really, really powerful ones? 

Affirmations are great. They allow us to program our minds such that, realistically, anything is possible.
 They are also, however, very dangerous. They are dangerous because everyone does them. Everyone does them and they don't even know it. And that's what proves their power.

Every single day people affirm their actions. Every day the affirmations become reality. These affirmations are generally known as self fulfilling prophecies.

Mary has to attend a party. She is shy and constantly tells herself that no one will like her and that she is worthless, a mere speck in relation to the fun and fantastic heavy weights that will be there. What happens at the party? Mary's talked herself into being a boring wall flower that no one finds interesting. 

Brian has to attend a job interview. He has been out of work for six months. He tells himself he is worthless and he can see no reason the employer would want to hire him. Guess what? You're right! Brian didn't get the job. Why? Because he came across as unsure and acted as though he'd already been denied the position.

We do this to ourselves every single day. The more we tell ourselves we are unlikely to do something or can't do something the more we are setting ourselves up to fail.

A prime example is the following quote, "I'm tired." Some of us (myself included at times) say it so much we talk ourselves into being tired.

My advice? Stop the negative thoughts. Accept that if we tell ourselves we can't do it, we won't.

Imagine the internal power if we can turn the constantly negative "I can't do it" thoughts into "I can do it and I will do it". You never know, you might just succeed. Try it for a day, then a week, then a month and then keep doing it and success will follow you.
"For your own good" is a persuasive argument that will
eventually make a man agree to his own destruction. 
~ Janet Frame

How To Motivate Your Workers

No workplace is more productive than a company that is filled with motivated employees. What can an employer do to get and keep workers motivated?

Here are a dozen tips:

1. Hire people who have the skills and abilities for the job.2. Give employees the training they need to do the job right.3. Treat employees with respect and courtesy. 
4. Set and explain goals for each employee or team. The goals need to be meaningful to the employee. They need to be measurable. They need to be achievable.
5. Show an interest in the work the employee is doing in achieving the goals from day to day on the job. Ask what you can do to help, and do it. 
6. Reward employees for achieving goals. Make the rewards something the employee values. 
7. Get employees involved in decision-making about things that matter. 
8. Provide positive feedback and say thank you. 

9. Remember that people are motivated by different things. Use what motivates the employee, not what motivates you. Keep the workplace interesting. 

10. Know when employees are overworked and do something about it. 

11. Resolve conflicts as they come up. 

12. Give employees authority and let them know you expect responsibility.

How To Build A Winning Team

Building the winning team requires more than just hiring a bunch of talented people.
It means hiring people who will work well together.
It means developing a shared vision and commitment.
It means physically bringing people together in formal group meetings for open discussion of broad-based issues.
It means encouraging positive, informal interactions between group members.
It means instilling a "winning" attitude throughout the organization.
It means watching for and quickly trying to reverse team-building problems such as jealousy, cynicism, and defensive behavior.

Get 'Em To "Buy In"!

To build the winning team, you not only need to show people what direction the company is headed in, but you need to get them to "buy into" this direction. Otherwise, you can't expect people to support a group if they don't agree with where it's headed or, worse, don't even know where it's headed.

Specifically, you need to show people:
  • Your vision for the future.
  • Your strategy for getting there.
  • Why this is the best strategy.
  • Every achievement that indicates this team is winning.
This is not a one-time discussion or announcement.
You need to constantly remind people what the organization stands for and that it does indeed hold a bright future for them!

Meetings Build Teams

Part of building the winning team is having some group meetings. Meetings, or even parties or celebrations, with as many people as possible from the entire organization, help build a feeling of solidarity throughout the organization.
But it is also important to have everyone participate in smaller group meetings where some work is done or some decisions are made. This makes people feel that they aren't just part of some big group, but that they are an active, important part of a team.
For key managers, or people in your work group, you should have an interactive meeting once per week-not a meeting where you just make announcements and summarize the work that's been done and needs to be done, but a meeting where everyone has an opportunity to give feedback on substantive issues.

Getting People To Work Together

Perhaps the most difficult part of building a winning team is encouraging positive, informal interaction between team members when you are not present. Here are some thoughts on this:
  • Have team members take part in the hiring process of new team members.
  • Assign specific projects for two team members to work on together.
  • Try to arrange for close proximity of offices.
  • Create an incentive-pay plan based on common goals such as profitability.
  • Have a specific part of the salary review dependent upon "interaction with others."
  • Take your team off-site for formal meetings as well as casual get-togethers to build a sense of bonding.
Watch Out For Team Destroyers!

Here are some of the problems that can rip the team-building process apart.

Jealousy. Be on guard for jealousy whenever a new member is hired into the group. Go out of your way to tell other team members how much their work is appreciated.

Cynicism. Some people are just negative by nature. Others might feel your company can't possibly prosper or they just don't like small companies, big companies, or whatever . . . . Be sure you are emphasizing the company's positive achievements to the group as a whole. And don't hesitate to confront any openly cynical individual and demand their behavior change at once.

Lack of confidence. Some people lack confidence in themselves and view attacks on their opinions as attacks on themselves, responding with statements like "Are you telling me my fifteen years of experience don't matter?" Stop any discussion like this immediately and, in a private one-on-one meeting, patiently point out the defensive behavior.

The Psychology of Optimal Experiences

It is sometimes hard to understand why one task or activity is highly motivating and rewarding for a person and another isn’t. Why does your employee find it boring to do that project you really need her to do? Why doesn’t it turn her on, no matter how hard you try to get her excited and motivated? Until we get good at understanding why certain activities are intrinsically appealing, it is hard to match people with the right opportunities to keep them motivated.
And one very good answer to this question comes from the work of psychologists who study what is termed optimal experiences, or experiences where people are totally caught up in what they are doing, wholly focused on it, and able to perform at a very high level with ease. The condition is also termed flow, and you want your people to experience flow because it is an excellent indicator that they are properly prepared for and aligned with the right activities to make them highly motivated.

The easiest way for me to explain flow is to describe my own experience of it. When I write, it’s a flow experience. When you do, it probably isn’t, since writing for most people is a difficult chore. But when I sit down to write, my mind clears itself of extraneous thoughts and worries. (I’m writing right now with a huge pile of unopened bills next to me, and it doesn’t bother me in the least!) My thoughts bubble up eagerly, and my hands fly over the paper or the keyboard. I feel a sense of exhilaration and pleasure when the writing goes well. It’s hard work, sure, but I can sustain it for many hours without a break because it just flows and carries me along with it. As a result, I am a very productive writer—people are often surprised by the amount of work I do. But I don’t feel worn out by my writing. In fact, it gives me energy. And I sometimes experience flow in other situations, too. When I’m giving a presentation or when I’m doing my favorite sports, for example.

Your optimal experiences are probably different ones from mine, but they nonetheless feel the same. Golf is torture for me and I’m terrible at it. But when I watch Tiger Woods play I can tell it just flows for him, as writing does for me. I know how he must feel when he plays, and I know that he couldn’t have achieved such mastery without first learning how to make golf into a flow experience.
Interestingly, psychologists have discovered that the pleasures of these optimal experiences are sufficiently great that most people describe themselves as more happy when in the flow state than when relaxing or hanging out. When we look back on our lives, the times we remember most fondly are by and large these optimal performances in which we were experiencing flow. In other words, life’s peaks coincide with periods of peak motivation as well. Please read the quote in the margin to see how a leading researcher explains it.
Children instinctively understand this point, without the need for a psychologist to tell them. They constantly badger their parents with the complaint, “I’m bored. I don’t have anything to do.” Of course, they do have many things they could do, but they need a little help getting involved in the right activity so that they can “get in the groove” of another flow experience. Csikzentmihalyi points out that optimal experience is “something that we make happen,” and observes that, “For a child, it could be placing with trembling fingers the last block on a tower she has built.”
Parents rarely appreciate the need to help children make these optimal experiences happen. They take the “I’m bored” comment too literally, and simply offer any old alternative instead of creating the next optimal experience. The truly great teachers, on the other hand, are keenly aware of the distinction between a generic activity and a truly engaging, optimal one, and they are able to transform a rowdy classroom into a productive one just by offering the right activities.
The motivational manager would do well to make a study of optimal experiences. What things catch people up and keep them engaged and alert? What things don’t? Do you need to increase or reduce the level of challenge to make something more optimal? Or is it that the activity doesn’t seem important? Or is it that the feedback about personal performances is too unclear to make it engaging?

These helpful questions are actually formalized in a method for leading people to high motivation called commitment-based leadership. But a general sensitivity to the flow issue will stand you in good stead whether you adopt that specific methodology or not.
And it is vital to remember that, when people move up the motivation curve, it is generally by becoming highly engaged in their work. High motivation produces, and is produced by, flow experiences.

How To Make Working Fun

"To have a really happy workforce, you've got to do more than pass out party hats and serve birthday cake."

Beyond Party Balloons And Birthday Cakes

Over the years, I've tried a lot of things to make work a crazy, fun, and wild place. I've tried playing rock music in the morning, having group lunches at noon, throwing parties later in the day, and arranging for sports after work. But whatever crazy thing we try, it loses its novelty after a while and people tire of it. Yeah-they're good now and then to bring your office alive, give people a chance to have some fun together, add a human face to your management style, and as another way to show people that you care about them.
But I find that the bottom line is that people come to work because they want to work-not just to play games and have silly parties. Beyond the money, people expect more and more out of their work today. They want to contribute; they want to see that their contribution is making a difference; they want to learn; they want to grow; and they want to feel that they are part of a successful enterprise that is making a difference in the world. It's achieving these kinds of satisfactions that really keeps people coming back to work every day-not just the party balloons and birthday cakes.

Making Work Rewarding

Here are some specifics that you need to make sure you are doing to help ensure that their work is satisfying to the people who report to you:
  • Today's workers at all levels want to know why they are doing something. Don't just say, "Drop everything you're doing and rush this shipment out." Instead, take two minutes to explain why.
  • Today's workers want to work hard and have pride in their work-but they need appreciation and recognition for their contribution. Be generous with compliments.
  • Today's workers want input and accessibility to their managers-but many shy away from giving input unless you make it easy for them. Small group meetings where you ask for suggestions are a good way to get people involved.
  • Today's workers want to feel that their work is making a difference. Explain why their work matters. Tell them success stories about people who use your products and post press clippings on the bulletin board.
Helping Employees Progress

For many employees it's important to feel that they are always growing, learning, and progressing. With the few employees at small firms and flatter management structures at larger ones, it's a challenge to fulfill this need. But it's important you do-because often it's the best employees who most feel the need to learn.

Recently our Web master-the person who runs our World Wide Web site-left for another job. The manager of this area wanted to get a qualified candidate from the outside because none of the four internal candidates had all the necessary skills.
On paper he was right: the best candidate would be from the outside. But I want our company to go out of our way to retain people, give them new challenges, and make work fun for them. So we divided the Web-master job among several people, giving them all a great chance to grow and learn something new. In the short term it might be inefficient-but in the long run a highly motivated staff is priceless!

Remember, You Set The Tone!

Recently one of my managers pointed out to me that when I, as owner of my company, make a comment on people's work, they pay a lot of attention to it-something I tend to forget.
Another time, another manager told me that when I'm in a good mood it helps boost up everyone else-but when I'm not, it darkens people's days.
As a manager at any level, you've got to try to project a positive attitude no matter how crummy a day you are having-and you've got to go out of your way to be sure your comments have a positive effect on people. I've even got a little yellow stick 'em posted on my computer reminding me to always be positive!
First thing in the morning is a great time to pass some positive energy and appreciation on to others with an enthusiastic greeting and a little small talk.
And at the end of the day, no matter how rough it's been, I always try to wrap up with people on a positive note.

How Often Should You Party?

My experience is that about once or twice a week during working hours is the right time to spend on those silly, frivolous activities.
Here's some of the diversions that have worked for us:
  • Friday morning bagels.
  • Friday afternoon theme parties.
  • Occasional lunch outings such as mini-golf, bowling, or billiards.
  • Seasonal decorations at the entrance.
  • Company crosswords and contests.
I've tried a lot of elaborate events outside of working hours, but they've almost always been disappointing. Attendance was mixed; people would arrive late; and managers felt pressured to attend.
A high-level technical manager told me that the single thing that impressed him the most about our company during his first month was that he went bowling and played miniature golf during company hours.

Classical Conditioning

Since Pavlov's time in the beginning of this century, research on classical conditioning has increased to a complexity level that is hardly comprehensible but to a few experts in the various fields this science has spawned. On the neurobiological side, research has come to a point where the molecular events can be traced that lead to the long lasting modification of the synapses responsible for the learning behavior in the animal. On the systemic side, psychologists have devised a plethora of behavioral experiments, the sophistication of which has steadily increased over the decades.

Pavlov's Discovery Of Classical Conditioning

Ivan P. Pavlov(1849-1936) is generally creditied with the discovery of classical conditioning(also called Pavlovian conditioning). This great Russian scientist was awarded the Nobel prize in 1904 for his work on the physiology of digestion. 
In his laboratory he used dogs as subjects. Pavlov develped a research program to investigate the parameters of the salivary reflex in dogs. He planned a number of experiments to try to understand the stimulus-response relationship between food and salivation. 

Work with new dogs went as expected at first. The animal was confined in a harness. Food was presented, and the salivation response was measured. However, with experience, dogs salivated at the sight of the harness apparatus. Sometimes in their home cage they salivated at the sight of a laboratory assistant. Pavlov realized that these salivary responses had been been learned. He proceeded to study this type of learning, and in 1927 reported his findings in a lengthy book entitled Conditioned Reflexes.

Salivary Conditioning In Dogs

Sequence of Conditioning 

Pavlov presented the dogs with a series of learning trials. On each trial a neutral stimulus - for example, a tone - was paired with a biologically important stimulus, food. Pavlov accompanied the pairing in a number of ways. An especially effective way was to have a lengthy waiting period between trials. The waiting period was called the intertrial interval (ITI). An effective ITI was two to three minutes. The learnign trial consisted of pairing the tone with food. The tone presentation was rather short - for example, 10 seconds. The food was presented at the end of the 10 second tone presentation. The tone was called the conditioned stimulus(CS) and the food was called the unconditioned stimulus (US).

On early trials the dog salivated when the food was presented. This salvation response to the food was called the unconditioned response(UR). Later, the dog salivated when the tone was presented. This salivation response to the tone was called the conditioned response (CR).

Definition of Terms

Pavlov chose the terms US, UR, CS, and CR carefully. The US and UR share the word unconditioned. This was a reminder that the animal does not need to be conditioned to respond to the stimulus in this way. That is, dogs naturally salivate to food. The CS and CR share the word conditioned. THis is a reminder that dogs do have to be conditioned to respond to the stimulus in this way. Dogs do not naturally salivate to a tone.

Classical Conditioning Phenomena

The acquisition phase of classical conditioning consists of the develpment of the CR as trials proceed. On each trial the CS is paired with the US. For early trials the animal does not make CRs. Then the first CRs appear, but they are small. As the trials proceed, the CRs rapidly become strong. Finally, the CRs reach their maximum strength, called the asymptote.

In the extinction phase of classical conditioning, the CS is presented on each trial as during acquisiton, but the US is not presented. As the extinction trials proceed, the CRs weaken and eventually disappear.


In reacquisiton the CS is again paired with the US. The CRs quickly return to asymptote. Thus this phase is sometmes called rapid reacquisition. 

Once a CR is learned to a CS, the subject will generalize the CR to similar CSs. In Pavlov's work he found that if a particular tone was used as CS, the dog would make CRs to similar tones. Generalization is condidered to be a fundamental behavioural process. That is, organisms have a tendency to generalize tresponses form situation to situation.


Although generalization is a fundamental process, organisms can learn to make a discrimiation. Pavlov performed research with tones that differed in frequency. If one tone served as the CS paired with a US, whereas the other tone was presented without the US, the dog learned to make CRs only to the tone paired with the US. This is an example of the formation of a discrimination. (During the acquisiton process, once CRs appeared they were made to both CSs , demonstrating generalization. The discrimination only appeared later in training).

Spontaneous Recovery 
Research demonstraitng sponstaneous recovery begins with pairing a CS with a US many times(acquisition). Next, the CS is presented without the US many times(extinction). The subject is then given a waiting period, perhaps as short as one day. When presented the CS (without the US) the subject will make a CR for a number of trials. This defines spontaneous recovery of the CR.

Analyse & Understand Classical Conditioning

How To Analyse And Understand Classical Conditioning 

Each new example of classical conditioning can be analyzed in three steps. This three steps analysis is illustrated below with salivary conditioning in dogs.

Before conditioning

First, find a stimulus which reliably lead to a response before conditioning. Before salivary conditioning with a dog, food(a stimulus) leads to salivation(a response). When the stimulus and response have been found, they may be labelled the US (food) and UR (salivation). 

During Conditioning Trials 
Second, find a neutral stimulus that is paired with the US. During salivary conditioning with a dog, a tone(a neutral stimulus) may be paired with food (the US). When these two stimuli have been found, they may be labelled the CS (tone) and US(food).

When conditioning has occurred 
Third, find a response that is made to the CS. Once salivary conditioning has occurred, the dog makes a salivation 
response to the tone. Label this new response as the CR.

A Modern View Of Classical Conditioning

Robert Rescorla is a modern scientist producing important research and theory regarding classical conditioning. He views classical conditioning from an information-processing perspective. According to Rescorla, a subject in classical conditioning attempts to learn patterns of stimuli. The goal is to learn about predictive relationships in the environment.

Rescorla has shown that pairing a CS with a US is necessary but not sufficient for classical conditioning to occur. In one of Rescorla's experiments a group of subjects experienced a CS paired with a US. The CS and the US always occurred in this paired predictive relationship and strong CRs occurred. Another group of subjects experienced as many CS-US pairings, but they also experienced presentations of the US alone. This group lacked the important predictive relationship between the CS and the US and did not develp strong CRs.

Examples Of Classical Conditioning

Human Eye-Blink Conditioning

In this procedure the subject is fitted wtih a helmet that can measure the eye-blink reflex. During the conditioning trials a neutral stimulus, for example a dim yellow light presented on a panel, is paired with the presentation of a puff of air to the eye. Before conditioning, the puff of air (US) casues an eye-blink response(UR). During the conditioning trials, the dim yellow light (CS) is paired with the puff of air (US). Once conditioning has occurred, the dim yellow light (CS) leads to an eye-blink response(CR). 

Taste Aversion Conditioning 

In taste aversion conditioning a novel taste(eg. saccharin) is paired with stomach illness. With rats, the illness is typically caused by injection of an small dose of poison. Before conditioning, the injection(US) leasds to illness(UR). During conditioning, the saccharin(CS) is paired with the infjcetion (US). The result of this procedure is that when saccharin (CS) is presented to the rat, the rat avoides it (CR).

People experience taste aversion if they consume a distinctively flavoured food and later become ill from an unrelated virus like influenza(the flu). Although they 'know' it was not the food that caused the illness, they still have an aversion to the taste of the food.

Friday, December 30, 2011

Quotations about Faith

Faith is attitude, conviction and conduct based on a right relationship with God. It is not static, but grows in strength and depth as we nourish that relationship with our Creator throughout our lives.

Faith is like radar that sees through the fog. ~Corrie Ten Boom, Tramp for the Lord

Reason is our soul's left hand, Faith her right. ~John Donne

Faith is reason grown courageous. ~Sherwood Eddy

Doubt is a pain too lonely to know that faith is his twin brother. ~Kahlil Gibran

Fear knocked at the door. Faith answered. And lo, no one was there. ~Author Unknown

If there was no faith there would be no living in this world. We couldn't even eat hash with safety. ~Josh Billings, His Complete Works, 1888

Faith, to my mind, is a stiffe
ning process, a sort of mental starch. ~E.M. Forster

Faith is spiritualized imagination. ~Henry Ward Beecher

Faithless is he that says farewell when the road darkens. ~J.R.R. Tolkien

Faith is a passionate intuition. ~William Wordsworth

To me faith means not worrying. ~John Dewey

Faith is courage; it is creative while despair is always destructive. ~David S. Muzzey

Faith is putting all your eggs in God's basket, then counting your blessings before they hatch. ~Ramona C. Carroll

Every tomorrow has two handles. We can take hold of it by the handle of anxiety, or by the handle of faith. ~Author Unknown

Faith is the bird that sings when the dawn is still dark. ~Rabindranath Tagore

He who has faith has... an inward reservoir of courage, hope, confidence, calmness, and assuring trust that all will come out well - even though to the world it may appear to come out most badly. ~B.C. Forbes

A faith of convenience is a hollow faith. ~Father Mulcahy

Be like the bird that, passing on her flight awhile on boughs too slight, feels them give way beneath her, and yet sings, knowing that she hath wings. ~Victor Hugo

Faith is raising the sail of our little boat until it is caught up in the soft winds above and picks up speed, not from anything within itself, but from the vast resources of the universe around us. ~W. Ralph Ward

Faith... must be enforced by reason.... When faith becomes blind it dies. ~Mahatma Gandhi

Faith and doubt both are needed - not as antagonists, but working side by side to take us around the unknown curve. ~Lillian Smith

As your faith is strengthened you will find that there is no longer the need to have a sense of control, that things will flow as they will, and that you will flow with them, to your great delight and benefit. ~Emmanuel

In faith there is enough light for those who want to believe and enough shadows to blind those who don't.~Blaise Pascal

Faith enables persons to be persons because it lets God be God. ~Carter Lindberg

Weave in faith and God will find the thread. ~Author Unknown

A little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but a lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul. ~Author Unknown

A casual stroll through the lunatic asylum shows that faith does not prove anything.~Friedrich Nietzsche

Faith, indeed, has up to the present not been able to move real mountains.... But it can put mountains where there are none. ~Friedrich Nietzche, Human, All Too Human, 1879

Faith is believing in things when common sense tells you not to. ~George Seaton

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase. ~Martin Luther King Jr.

Faith makes the discords of the present the harmonies of the future. ~Robert Collyer

Feed your faith and your fears will starve to death. ~Author Unknown

Life without faith in something is too narrow a space to live. ~George Lancaster Spalding

Quotations by Aesop I

Aesop was a Greek slave who lived more than 2500 years ago. Although born a slave, he was given freedom because of the humor and wisdom of his stories. He became an advisor to the king. To read his detailed Biography, click here.
Not much else is known about him but some ancient historians wrote that he was black. Others wrote that he was disabled or deformed, but did not describe his disability.
His stories are called fables. They are usually about animals, but the animals often act like people. The fables usually offer a moral or good advice on living. 

By using fables and talking about animals, Aesop could criticize or advise powerful people without insulting them.

The gods help them that help themselves.

Beware that you do not lose the substance by grasping at the shadow.

The little reed, bending to the force of the wind, soon stood upright again when
the storm had passed over.

Appearances often are deceiving.

Don't count your chickens before they are hatched.

Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth.

Be content with your lot; one cannot be first in everything.

It is in vain to expect our prayers to be heard, if we do not strive as well as pray.

The haft of the arrow had been feathered with one of the eagle's own plumes. We
often give our enemies the means of our own destruction.

It is not only fine feathers that make fine birds.

Enemies promises were made to be broken.

A crust eaten in peace is better than a banquet partaken in anxiety.

Please all, and you will please none.

Men often applaud an imitation and hiss the real thing.

A doubtful friend is worse than a certain enemy. Let a man be one thing or the other, and we then know how to meet him.

Wealth unused might as well not exist.

Fools take to themselves the respect that is given to their office.

No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

The injuries we do and those we suffer are seldom weighed in the same scales.

Any excuse will serve a tyrant.

In union there is strength.

We would often be sorry if our wishes were gratified.

It is easy to be brave from a safe distance.

Better be wise by the misfortunes of others than by your own.

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office.

It is with our passions, as it is with fire and water, they are good servants but bad masters.

Quotes by Aesop II

The Country Mouse and the Town Mouse

Moral of the story : Everyone, whether rich or poor, has their own problems.

Familiarity breed contempt.

The level of our success is limited only by our imagination and no act of kindness, however small, is ever wasted.

Outside show is a poor substitute for inner worth

Every truth has two sides; it is as well to look at both, before we commit ourselves to either

After all is said and done, more is said than done.

A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.

United we stand; divided we fall.

Slow but steady wins the race.

People often grudge others what they cannot enjoy themselves.

He that is discontented in one place will seldom be happy in another.

Destroy the seed of evil, or it will grow up to your ruin.

The smaller the mind the greater the conceit.

The unhappy derive comfort from the misfortunes of others.

Example is the best precept.

Injuries may be forgiven, but not forgotten.

Self-conceit may lead to self destruction.

Vices are their own punishment. 

Aesop's Quotes III

Gratitude is the sign of noble souls.

Never trust the advice of a man in difficulties.

Don't let your special character and values, the secret that you know and no one else does, the truth - don't let that get swallowed up by the great chewing complacency.

Do not count your chickens before they are hatched.

Affairs are easier of entrance than of exit; and it is but common prudence to see our way out before we venture in.

Only cowards insult dying majesty.

I will have nought to do with a man who can blow hot and cold with the same breath.

A liar will not be believed, even when he speaks the truth.

Little friends may prove great friends. 

Quotations about Animals

Ever consider what pets must think of us? I mean, here we come back from a grocery store with the most amazing haul - chicken, pork, half a cow. They must think we're the greatest hunters on earth! ~Anne Tyler, The Accidental Tourist

It is an important and popular fact that things are not always what they seem. For instance, on the planet Earth, man had always assumed that he was more intelligent than dolphins because he had achieved so much - the wheel, New York, wars and so on - whilst all the dolphins had ever done was muck about in the water having a good time. But conversely, the dolphins had always believed that they were far more intelligent than man - for precisely the same reasons. ~Douglas Adams, The Hitch-Hiker's Guide to the Galaxy

Lots of people talk to animals.... Not every many listen, though.... That's the problem.~Benjamin Hoff, The Tao of Pooh

Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills. ~Voltaire, letter to Count Schomberg, 31 August 1769

I guess cows aren't into the four food groups, especially when they are two of them.~Anthony Clark

Animals are such agreeable friends - they ask no questions, they pass no criticisms. ~George Eliot

The kind man feeds his beast before sitting down to dinner. ~Hebrew Proverb

It often happens that a man is more humanely related to a cat or dog than to any human being. ~Henry David Thoreau

I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the "lower animals" (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me.~Mark Twain, Letters from the Earth, 1907

I like pigs. Dogs look up to us. Cats look down on us. Pigs treat us as equals. ~Winston Churchill

If all the beasts were gone, men would die from a great loneliness of spirit, for whatever happens to the beasts also happens to the man. All things are connected. Whatever befalls the Earth befalls the sons of the Earth. ~Chief Seattle of the Suwamish Tribe, letter to President Franklin Pierce

To insult someone we call him "bestial." For deliberate cruelty and nature, "human" might be the greater insult. ~Isaac Asimov, Isaac Asimov's Book of Science and Nature Quotations, 1988

Quotations about Animal Rights I

Zoos are becoming facsimiles - or perhaps caricatures - of how animals once were in their natural habitat. If the right policies toward nature were pursued, we would need no zoos at all. ~Michael Fox, Sierra, November-December 1990

The assumption that animals are without rights and the illusion that our treatment of them has no moral significance is a positively outrageous example of Western crudity and barbarity. Universal compassion is the only guarantee of morality. 

Non-violence leads to the highest ethics, which is the goal of all evolution. Until we stop harming all other living beings, we are still savages.
 ~Thomas A. Edison

To a man whose mind is free there is something even more intolerable in the sufferings of animals than in the sufferings of man. For with the latter it is at least admitted that suffering is evil and that the man who causes it is a criminal. But thousands of animals are uselessly butchered every day without a shadow of remorse. If any man were to refer to it, he would be thought ridiculous. And that is the unpardonable crime. 
~Romain Rolland, Nobel Prize 1915

When it comes to having a central nervous system, and the ability to feel pain, hunger, and thirst, a rat is a pig is a dog is a boy. 
~Ingrid Newkirk

Very little of the great cruelty shown by men can really be attributed to cruel instinct. Most of it comes from thoughtlessness or inherited habit. The roots of cruelty, therefore, are not so much strong as widespread. But the time must come when inhumanity protected by custom and thoughtlessness will succumb before humanity championed by thought. Let us work that this time may come. 
~Albert Schweitzer

Deer hunting would be fine sport, if only the deer had guns.
 ~William S. Gilbert

Because the heart beats under a covering of hair, of fur, feathers, or wings, it is, for that reason, to be of no account? 
~Jean Paul Richter

God made all the creatures and gave them our love and our fear,
To give sign, we and they are His children, one family here.
~Robert Browning

Deliberate cruelty to our defenceless and beautiful little cousins is surely one of the meanest and most detestable vices of which a human being can be guilty. 
~William Ralph Inge

The indifference, callousness and contempt that so many people exhibit toward animals is evil first because it results in great suffering in animals, and second because it results in an incalculably great impoverishment of the human spirit. All education should be directed toward the refinement of the individual's sensibilities in relation not only to one's fellow humans everywhere, but to all things whatsoever. 
~Ashley Montague

There will be no justice as long as man will stand with a knife or with a gun and destroy those who are weaker than he is.
 ~Isaac Bashevis Singer 

The life spark in my eyes is in no way different than the life spark in the eyes of any other sentient being. 
~Michael Stepaniak, quoted in Joanne Stepaniak, The Vegan Sourcebook, 1998 

We must fight against the spirit of unconscious cruelty with which we treat the animals. Animals suffer as much as we do. True humanity does not allow us to impose such sufferings on them. It is our duty to make the whole world recognize it. Until we extend our circle of compassion to all living things, humanity will not find peace. 
~Albert Schweitzer, The Philosophy of Civilization

If you have men who will exclude any of God's creatures from the shelter of compassion and pity, you will have men who will deal likewise with their fellow men. 
~St. Francis of Assisi 
Personally, I would not give a fig for any man's religion whose horse, cat and dog do not feel its benefits. Life in any form is our perpetual responsibility. ~S. Parkes Cadman 
From beasts we scorn as soulless,
In forest, field and den,
The cry goes up to witness
The soullessness of men.
~M. Frida Hartley

The question is not, "Can they reason?" nor, "Can they talk?" but rather, "Can they suffer?" 
~Jeremy Bentham

I care not much for a man's religion whose dog and cat are not the better for it.
~Abraham Lincoln

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