Sooner or later we all discover that

Sooner or later we all discover that the important moments in life are not the advertised ones, not the birthdays, the graduations, the weddings, not the great goals achieved.  The real milestones are less prepossessing.  They come to the door of memory unannounced, stray dogs that amble in, sniff around a bit and simply never leave.  Our lives are measured by these.  ~Susan B. Anthony

During my second year of nursing school

During my second year of nursing school our professor gave us a quiz.  I breezed through the questions until I read the last one:  "What is the first name of the woman who cleans the school?"  Surely this was a joke.  I had seen the cleaning woman several times, but how would I know her name?  I handed in my paper, leaving the last question blank.  Before the class ended, one student asked if the last question would count toward our grade.  "Absolutely," the professor said.  "In your careers, you will meet many people.  All are significant.  They deserve your attention and care, even if all you do is smile and say hello."  I’ve never forgotten that lesson.  I also learned her name was Dorothy.  ~Joann C. Jones

Our deepest fear is not that we

Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate.  Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure.  It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us.  We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous?  Actually, who are you not to be?  You are a child of God.  Your playing small does not serve the world.  There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won’t feel insecure around you.  We are all meant to shine, as children do.  We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.  It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone.  And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same.  As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others.  ~Marianne Williamson, A Return to Love: Reflections on the Principles of "A Course in Miracles," 1992ch7, sct3 (commonly misattributed to Nelson Mandela, 1994 inauguration speech)

What lies behind us and what before

What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.  ~Henry Stanley Haskins, Meditations in Wall Street, 1940, originally published anonymously; commonly misattributed to Ralph Waldo Emersonquoteinvestigator.com/2011/01/11/what-lies-within, walden.org/Library/Quotations/The_Henry_D._Thoreau_Mis-Quotation_Page, also sometimes worded as what lies ahead of us … what lives within us. (Thanks, Garson O’Toole and walden.org!)