• Self-respect is the very cement of character, without which character will not form nor stand; a personal ideal is the only possible foundation for self-respect, without which self-respect degenerates into vanity or conceit, or is lost entirely, its place being taken by worthlessness and the consciousness of worthlessness; and that is the end of all character. It is often said that if we do not respect ourselves no one else will respect us; this is rather a dangerous way to put it; let us rather say that if we are not worthy of our own respect we cannot claim the respect of others. True self-respect is a matter of being and never of mere seeming. As Paulsen says, "It is vanity that desires first of all to be seen and admired, and then, if possible, really to be something; whereas proper self esteem desires first of all to be something, and' then, if possible, to have its worth recognized

    Edward O. Sisson
  • The deepest-lying and most pervasive part of character is disposition: it accompanies us everywhere, and shows itself in all we do. It is the attitude of the soul toward life, the way in which we accept our situation and our daily experiences. On the inner side it gives color and tone to our own conscious life: on the outer side it pervades and modifies our conduct toward others and our reactions to events. A good disposition is indispensable to good character, though of course not all of character; without it one cannot hope for perfection; even with it one may fail through lack of higher elements. It is a sort of foundation layer

    Edward O. Sisson
  • Every man whose tastes have been allowed to develop in wrong directions, or in whom the best tastes have failed of higher perfection, loses thereby from the inner joy and outer value of his whole life. Every good taste is a source and guarantee of happy healthy hours and days, and thus of the enrichment and elevation of life. A reasonable capacity to appreciate music and art quite suffices to enrich life and exercise a wholesome influence upon character. The taste for good reading is inseparable from a taste for good thinking

    Edward O. Sisson
  • A certain bygone philosophy-which certainly must have quite forgotten all about the real child-used to speak of the child's nature as a tabula rasa, or 'blank page,' upon which experience and training might write what they pleased. As a matter of fact, the child's nature at birth, like that of a calf or a chick, is pretty well scribbled over by the experience of its ancestors. It is far from being blank, for as soon as the little organism comes into the world, it begins to do certain things and do them with much zeal and determination, as every one knows who knows real children

    Edward O. Sisson
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