The important thing is this to be

The important thing is this:  to be able at any moment to sacrifice that which we are for what we could become.  ~Charles Du Bos, Approximations, 1922, translated from French  (Thanks, Lorianne!)Per Wikipedia, en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charles_Fr%C3%A9d%C3%A9ric_Dubois – The quote has been widely attributed to Charles Dubois. However, its correct attribution appears to be to Charles Du Bos (1882-1939), the French critic of French and English literature. The quote comes from his book Approximations (1922): “…premier tressaillement vital; surtout il s’agit ? tout moment de sacrifier ce que nous sommes ? ce que nous pouvons devenir.”

Friends and neighbors complain that taxes are

Friends and neighbors complain that taxes are indeed very heavy, and if those laid on by the government were the only ones we had to pay, we might the more easily discharge them; but we have many others, and much more grievous to some of us.  We are taxed twice as much by our idleness, three times as much by our pride, and four times as much by our folly.  ~Benjamin Franklin

Leaves are light and useless idle wavering

Leaves are light, and useless, and idle, and wavering, and changeable; they even dance; and yet God in his wisdom has made them a part of oaks.  And in so doing he has given us a lesson, not to deny the stout-heartedness within because we see the lightsomeness without.  ~Augustus William Hare and Julius Charles Hare, Guesses at Truth, by Two Brothers, 1827TPV