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It is my humble prayer that I may be of some use in my day and generation.
- Hosea Ballou
Nothing in this world is so good as usefulness. It binds your fellow-creatures to you, and you to them; it tends to the improvement of your own character; and it gives you a real importance in society, much beyond what any artificial station can bestow.
- Sir Benjamin Collins Brodie
Live for something. Do good, and leave behind you a monument of virtue that the storm of time can never destroy. Write your name in kindness, love, and mercy, on the hearts of thousands you come in contact with year by year; you will never be forgotten. No, your name, your deeds, will be as legible on the hearts you leave behind as the stars on the brow of evening. Good deeds will shine as the stars of heaven.
- Thomas Chalmers
Thousands of men breathe, move, and live; pass off the stage of life and are heard of no more. Why? They did not a particle of good in the world; and none were blest by them, none could point to them as the instrument of their redemption; not a line they wrote, not a word they spoke, could be recalled, and so they perished--their light went out in darkness, and they were not remembered more than the insects of yesterday. Will you thus live and die, O man immortal? Live for something.
- Thomas Chalmers
When the air balloon was first discovered, some one flippantly asked Dr. Franklin what was the use of it. The doctor answered this question by asking another: "What is the use of a new-born infant? It may become a man."
- Charles Caleb Colton
How often do we sigh for opportunities of doing good, whilst we neglect the openings of Providence in little things, which would frequently lead to the accomplishment of most important usefulness! Dr. Johnson used to say, "He who waits to do a great deal of good at once will never do any." Good is done by degrees. However small in proportion the benefits which follow individual attempts to do good, a great deal may thus be accomplished by perseverance, even in the midst of discouragements and disappointments.
- George Crabbe
Take what you can use and let the rest go by.
- Ken Kesey
Have I done aught of value to my fellow-men? Then have I done much for myself.
- Johann Kaspar Lavater (John Caspar Lavater)
A cock, having found a pearl, said that a grain of corn would be of more value to him.
- Pierre Leroux
The great aim of human life.
- Horace Mann
The useful and the beautiful are never separated.
- Periander of Corinth
Attention and activity lead to mistakes as well as to successes; but a life spent in making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing.
- George Bernard Shaw,
The Doctor's Dilemma: Preface on Doctors
(The Technical Problem), an essay
Have I done anything for society? I have then done more for myself. Let that truth be always present to thy mind, and work without cessation.
- William Gilmore Simms
Give a man a horse he can ride,
Give a man a boat he can sail.
- James Thomson (2) (known as B.V. or Bysshe Vanolis),
Sunday Up the River (st. 15)
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