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In all things preserve integrity; and the consciousness of your own uprightness will alleviate the toil of business, soften the hardness of ill-success and disappointments, and give you a humble confidence before God, when the ingratitude of people, or the iniquity of the times may rob you of other rewards.
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Between the uprightness of my conscience and the hardness of my lot, I know not how either to show respect to my feelings or to the times. The bitterness of my mind urges me at all hazards to speak what I think, whereas the necessity of the times prompts me, however unbecomingly, to keep silence. Good God! Which way shall I turn myself?
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What are you to us, you who are cut off from God, a fugitive for Heaven, and a slave of evil? You dare not do anything to us: Christ, the Son of God, has dominion over us and over all. Leave us, you thing of bane. We are made steadfast by the uprightness of His Cross. Serpent, we trample on your head.
Seraphim of Sarov
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We are not saints yet, but we, too, should beware. Uprightness and virtue do have their rewards, in self-respect and in respect from others, and it is easy to find ourselves aiming for the result rather than the cause. Let us aim for joy, rather than respectability. Let us make fools of ourselves from time to time, and thus see ourselves, for a moment, as the all-wise God sees us.
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God shows us in Himself, strange as it may seem, not only authoritative perfection, but even the perfection of obedience--an obedience to His own laws; and in the cumbrous movement of those unwieldiest of his creatures we are reminded, even in His divine essence, of that attribute of uprightness in the human creature "that sweareth to his own hurt and changeth not.
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The auspices for philosophy are bad if, when proceeding ostensibly on the investigation of truth, we start saying farewell to all uprightness, honesty and sincerity, and are intent only on passing ourselves off for what we are not. We then assume, like those three sophists [Fichte, Schelling and Hegel], first a false pathos, then an affected and lofty earnestness, then an air of infinite superiority, in order to impose where we despair of ever being able to convince.
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When man faces man the one attempts to put the other to sleep and the other continuously wants to maintain his uprightness. But this is, to speak in the Goethean sense, the archetypal phenomenon of social science. This sleeping-into we may call the social principle, the social impulse of the new era: we have to live over into the other; we have to dissolve with our soul into the other.
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God grant that as our horizon of duty is widened, our minds may widen with it; that as our burden is increased, our shoulders may be strengthened to bear it. God grant to us that spirit of wisdom and understanding, uprightness, and godly fear, without which, even in greatest things there is nothing; with which, even in the smallest things there is every thing.
Arthur Penrhyn Stanley
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Shake off all the fears and servile prejudices, under which weak minds are servilely crouched. Fix reason firmly in the seat, and call to her tribunal every fact, every opinion. Question with boldness even the existence of God, because if there be one, he must approve of the homage of reason rather than that of blindfolded fear...Your own reason is the only oracle given you by heaven, and you are answerable not for the rightness, but the uprightness of the decision.
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I believe that pity is a law like justice, and that kindness is a duty like uprightness. That which is weak has a right to the kindness and pity of that which is strong. In the relations of man with the animals...there is a great ethic, scarcely perceived as yet, which will at length break through into the light, and which will be the corollary and the complement to humans ethics. Are there not here unsounded depths for the thinker? Is one to think oneself mad because one has the sentiment of universal pity in one's heart?
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These ceremonies and the National Statuary Hall will teach the youth of the land in succeeding generations as they come and go that the chief end of human effort in a sublunary view should be usefulness to mankind, and that all true fame which should be perpetuated by public pictures, statues, and monuments, is to be acquired only by noble deeds and high achievements and the establishment of a character founded upon the principles of truth, uprightness, and inflexible integrity.
Alexander H. Stephens
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But I am also concerned about our moral uprightness and the health of our souls. Therefore I must oppose any attempt to gain our freedom by the methods of malice, hate, and violence that have characterized our oppressors. Hate is just as injurious to the hater as it is to the hated. Like an unchecked cancer, hate corrodes the personality and eats away its vital unity. Many of our inner conflicts are rooted in hate. This is why psychiatrists say, 'Love or perish.' Hate is too great a burden to bear.
Martin Luther King Jr.
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The wilderness is near as well as dear to every man. Even the oldest villages are indebted to the border of wild wood which surrounds them, more than to the gardens of men. There is something indescribably inspiriting and beautiful in the aspect of the forest skirting and occasionally jutting into the midst of new towns, which, like the sand-heaps of fresh fox-burrows, have sprung up in their midst. The very uprightness of the pines and maples asserts the ancient rectitude and vigor of nature. Our lives need the relief of such a background, where the pine flourishes and the jay still screams.
Henry David Thoreau
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Love of goodness without love of learning degenerates into simple-mindedness. Love of knowledge without love of learning degenerates into utter lack of principle. Love of faithfulness without love of learning degenerates into injurious disregard of consequences. Love of uprightness without love of learning degenerates into harshness. Love of courage without love of learning degenerates into insubordination. Love of strong character without love of learning degenerates into mere recklessness.
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When wisdom entereth into thine heart, and knowledge is pleasant unto thy soul; / Discretion shall preserve thee, understanding shall keep thee: / To deliver thee from the way of the evil man, from the man that speaketh froward things; / Who leave the paths of uprightness, to walk in the ways of darkness; / Who rejoice to do evil, and delight in the frowardness of the wicked; / Whose ways are crooked, and they froward in their paths: / To deliver thee from the strange woman, even from the stranger which flattereth with her words; / Which forsaketh the guide of her youth, and forgetteth the covenant of her God.
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True, t is only individuals who starve, but what security has the working-man that it may not be his turn tomorrow? Who assures him employment, who vouches for it that, if for any reason or no reason his lord and master discharges him tomorrow, he can struggle along with those dependant upon him, until he may find some one else 'to give him bread'? Who guarantees that willingness to work shall suffice to obtain work, that uprightness, industry, thrift, and the rest of the virtues recommended by the bourgeoisie, are really his road to happiness? No one. He knows that every breeze that blows, every whim of his employer, every bad turn of trade may hurl him back into the fierce whirlpool from which he has temporarily saved himself, and in which it is hard and often impossible to keep his head above water. He knows that, though he may have the means of living today, it is very uncertain whether he shall tomorrow.
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