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Quotations: Do the Right Thing Anyway

You serve it -- you have it.


Virtue Is Responding with Good to Evil

“It is preferable to be wronged than to wrong.” —Socrates


Quotations from Various Sources

Organized Alphabetically

“A kind heart need not fear evil.” —Taoist saying

“All of man’s affairs become diseased when he wishes to cure evils by evils.” —Sophocles, fragment

“Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.” —Mark Twain

“Bad people take no pleasure in each other unless there is chance of some benefit.” —Aristotle, Ethics

“Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” —Plato

“Better not be at all than not be noble.” —Alfred Lord Tennyson, 1809–1892, English poet

“Dhyana is retaining one’s tranquil state of mind in any circumstance, unfavorable as well as favorable, and not being disturbed or frustrated even when adverse conditions present themselves one after another.” —Daisetz T. Suzuki

“Do not look at the faults of others, or what others have done or not done; observe what you yourself have and have not done.” —Dhammapada, 4:4

“Do the next right thing.” —Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) saying

“Do things for people not because of who they are or what they do in return, but because of who you are.” —Harold S. Kushner (falsely attributed to Mother Theresa)

“Do what you feel in your heart to be right–for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.” —Eleanor Roosevelt

“Does anyone do wrong: It is to himself that he does the wrong.” —Marcus Aurelius

“Doing the right thing is fun. If nothing else, it surprises people.” —Thomas Sowell

“Don’t concentrate on the wrong things, do only the right things or else your suffering will increase. Those that follow their practice always do what needs to be done, and this will end their suffering.” —Dhammapada: Other Things, verses 292-293

“Don’t see others’ faults, see your own. For if you dwell on others’ faults, your own get stronger.” —Dhammapada: Flaws, verses 252-253

“Efficiency is doing things right. Effectiveness is doing the right thing.” —Zig Ziglar

“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.” —Epictetus

“God me such uses send, not to pick bad from bad, by bad mend.” —William Shakespeare, Othello

“Have the courage to say no. Have the courage to face the truth. Do the right thing because it is right. These are the magic keys to living your life with integrity.” —W. Clement Stone

“I realized that they had already taken everything from me except my mind and my heart. Those they could not take without my permission. I decided not to give them away. And neither should you.” —Nelson Mandela

“I try to do the right thing at the right time. They may just be little things, but usually they make the difference between winning and losing.” —Kareem Abdul-Jabar

“If anyone should give you a blow with his hand, with a stick, or with a knife, you should abandon any desires and utter no evil words.” —Majjhima Nikaya, 21:6

“If it is not right do not do it; if it is not true do not say it.” —Marcus Aurelius, Meditations

“If it’s worth doing, it’s worth doing right.” —Aphorism

“If it is not right, do not do it, if it is not true, do not say it.” —Marcus Aurelius

“If you make vows, stick to them. If it is worth doing, do it properly. A half-hearted renunciant does more harm than good.” —Dhammapada: Hell, verses 312-313

“It is nice to be important, but its more important to be nice.” —John Templeton

“It is preferable to be wronged than to wrong.” —Socrates

“It is virtuous activities that determine our happiness, and the opposite kind that produces the opposite effect.” —Aristotle, Ethics

“Kindness effects more than severity.” —Aesop

“Listen, there is no courage or any extra courage that I know of to find out the right thing to do. Now, it is not only necessary to do the right thing, but to do it in the right way and the only problem you have is what is the right thing to do and what is the right way to do it. That is the problem.” —Dwight David Eisenhower

“Live your life in happiness, even though those around you live their lives in hatred and wish to spread their antipathy to you. Be happiness itself.” —Dhammapada: Happiness, verse 197

“Never stop doing your best just because someone doesn’t give you credit.” —Anonymous

“Next time you’re faced with a choice, do the right thing. It hurts everyone less in the long run.” —Wendelin Van Draanen, Flipped

“Only perform such acts as you will not regret later.” —Pythagoras

“Quality means doing it right when no one is looking.” —Henry Ford

“Respond intelligently even to unintelligent treatment.” —Lao Tzu

“Strife can only cause more strife. Only an open heart can put an end to strife. This is a Universal Law. Remember the center point during a disagreement and strife will end quickly.” —Dhammapada: The Opposites, verses 5-6

“Success lies in doing not what others consider to be great but what you consider to be right.” —John Gray

“The most important contribution to peace of mind is never to do wrong.” —Seneca

“The sage has no interest of his own, but takes the interests of the people as his own. He is kind to the kind; he is also kind to the unkind: for Virtue is kind. He is faithful to the faithful; he is also faithful to the unfaithful: for Virtue is faithful.” —Lao Tzu, Tao Teh Ching, Chapter 49

“The smallest act of service is worth more than the grandest intention.” —Oscar Wilde

“The superior man thinks always of virtue, the common man thinks of comfort.” —Confucius

“The time is always right to do what is right.” —Martin Luther King, Jr.

“There is no happiness except that found in right action.” —Dhammapada: Attanagaluvimsa

“Three things in human life are important: The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” —Henry James, 1843-1916, writer

“Treat those who are good with goodness, and also treat those who are not good with goodness. Thus goodness is attained.” —Lao Tzu

“Virtue in action is more important than rhetoric or preaching.” —Antisthenes, fragment

“Virtue in itself is not enough; there must also be the power to translate it into action.” —Aristotle, Politics

“Virtue is its own reward.” —Aphorism

“Virtue isn’t not wronging others but not wishing to wrong others.” —Democritus, fragment

“We have to ask what’s the right thing to do, then go do it. Take no thought for the morrow.” —Wendell Berry

“Whatever is the cause of your suffering, do not cause suffering to another.” —Udanavarga

“Whatsoever action you intend to perform by body, speech, or mind, first think, ‘Will this action be harmful to myself or to others or to both. Will this action produce suffering?’ If it is harmful, avoid doing it.” —Gautama Buddha

“When you are good to others, you are best to yourself.” —Benjamin Franklin

“Wrong is wrong even if everyone is doing it. Right is right even if no one is doing it.” —Augustine of Hippo

“You must never be fearful about what you are doing when it is right.” —Marie Curie


Quotations from Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Do the absolute right thing anyway.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Do the highest right thing notwithstanding.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Do the noblest right thing nonetheless.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Do the regally right thing regardless.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Do the right thing even if it is judged wrongly because it might be considered wrong by the ignorant.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Do the supreme right thing in spite of.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Remember your chance for eternal life and do the right thing.” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Since you must practice right or wrong acting—why not make it right?” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Since you must practice right or wrong feeling—why not make it right?” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice

“Since you must practice right or wrong thinking—why not make it right?” —Kevin Everett FitzMaurice


Quotations from Scripture

“Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.” —Psalms 23:4

“But I say unto you, That ye resist not evil: but whosoever shall smite thee on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also.” —Matthew 5:39

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you;” —Matthew 5:44

“That ye may be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for he maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust.” —Matthew 5:45

“And why beholdest thou the mote that is in thy brother’s eye, but considerest not the beam that is in thine own eye? Or how wilt thou say to thy brother, Let me pull out the mote out of thine eye; and, behold, a beam is in thine own eye? Thou hypocrite, first cast out the beam out of thine own eye; and then shalt thou see clearly to cast out the mote out of thy brother’s eye.” —Matthew 7:3-5

“Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them: for this is the law and the prophets.” —Matthew 7:12

“But I say unto you which hear, Love your enemies, do good to them which hate you,” —Luke 6:27

“And unto him that smiteth thee on the one cheek offer also the other; and him that taketh away thy cloak forbid not to take thy coat also.” —Luke 6:29

“And as ye would that men should do to you, do ye also to them likewise.” —Luke 6:31

“But love ye your enemies, and do good, and lend, hoping for nothing again; and your reward shall be great, and ye shall be the children of the Highest: for he is kind unto the unthankful and to the evil.” —Luke 6:35

“Then said Jesus, Father, forgive them; for they know not what they do. And they parted his raiment, and cast lots.” —Luke 23:34

“And they stoned Stephen, calling upon God, and saying, Lord Jesus, receive my spirit. And he kneeled down, and cried with a loud voice, Lord, lay not this sin to their charge. And when he had said this, he fell asleep.” —Acts 7:59-60

“There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.” —I Corinthians 10:13

“And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;” —Colossians 2:23

“And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.” —Colossians 3:17

“For what glory is it, if, when ye be buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God.” —I Peter 2:20


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