Updated date:

Six Principle Quotes That Challenge Your Thinking

For the past decade, MsDora has been sharing poetry, creative writing, positive quotes, and reflections online. Her aim is life enrichment.

Just when we think that we grasped the meaning of love, peace, and similar principles of life, some wise orator or writer produces a statement which gives a different shade of meaning. He does not prove our idea wrong; he often adds another idea which challenges our original concept.

Such is the case with the following six quotes about some basic principles by which we live. Perhaps, they make us rethink the ideas we have. Perhaps, they provide topics for future debates. For sure, we will not dismiss them. We may even be motivated to analyze similar quotes that challenge our thinking.

Challenged By New Shades of Meaning

Challenged By New Shades of Meaning

(1) Love

"Love is something more stern and splendid than mere kindness." - C. S. Lewis

Love is often considered an enriching, feel-good, even splendid and kind exchange between loved ones. Stern does not come to mind in a general description of love. But, isn't love stern when people insist on rescuing loved ones from their own folly? For example, love is kind when a father presents a car to his graduate son; love is stern when he takes it away to prevent him from killing himself or someone else through his new and dangerous habit of drunk driving. Here, stern love is as much real love as kind love.

False Accusation Poll

(2) Work

"Use your work to build your people, not your people to build your work." - Jack Hyles

Doesn’t it seem clever for the boss to work toward building up himself? Now comes this idea that the leader’s goal should be building up his people; and that concept may seem like a roundabout approach to his success. However, the truth of the matter is that when he spends time and effort empowering workers on the rung below him, those workers push harder to get more work done. At the end of the day, building his people proves to be the easiest method of building himself and his business. But, will this approach always get the same results?

Bosses Poll

(3) Prayer

"It is not the body’s posture, but the heart’s attitude that counts when we pray." - Billy Graham

Pray With Open Eyes For Safety

Pray With Open Eyes For Safety

Posture is the first thing children are taught about prayer. “Clasp your hands, bow your heads, close your eyes,“ and later they are required to kneel. It is a way of teaching them to be reverent while they talk with God. There are some adults who think that something is missing in a prayer that happens outside of a time and place where they cannot conform to their prayer posture. All the while, they miss the real essence of prayer--communicating with God from the heart. That makes it possible to live and work in an attitude of prayer, no specific body posture necessary.

Prayer Posture Poll

(4) Perseverance

"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another." - Walter Elliot

In many minds, perseverance refers strictly to the long race; but who has not suffered a lapse during a strenuous effort to complete a huge task? Individuals try for years to persevere in losing weight, writing a book, learning a second language, and even in establishing healthy eating habits. In the business world, Macy's in Manhattan proves the point of short races; that department store was the seventh entrepreneurial attempt by its owner.

Perseverance accommodates short breaks to renew and reset, as long as the focus remains on the task at hand. Lapses do not have to be failures; can't they be fuel stops to refill with determination?

Long VS Short Race Poll

(5) Success

"Success is on the same road as failure, success is just a little further down the road." - Jack Hyles

We often think that individuals who turn right are on the road to success, while those who turn in the opposite direction are on the road to failure. Here we are encouraged to think that direction is not the only factor in determining success or failure. It has to do with the choice to give up or get up after a stumble. Stay down and cuddle with failure or rise again and keep moving toward success. Doesn’t this statement encourage strugglers to dismiss all previous notions on the matter, and just persevere despite the journey so far?

Attitude To Failure Poll

(6) Peace

"Peace is not merely a distant goal . . . but a means by which we arrive at that goal." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

President Johnson Meets Civil Rights Leaders

President Johnson Meets Civil Rights Leaders

"Nonviolence because our end is a community at peace with itself." Martin Luther King, Jr.

The Civil Rights Act of 1964 prohibited racial discrimination in employment and education, and rendered segregation illegal in public facilities in America. That was a major success for the non-violent Civil Rights Movement led by Martin Luther King, Jr. King died that same year, but his emphasis on a peaceful revolution prevented many other deaths as reaction to his own.

Personal peace during adverse situations also sets the tone for the reaction to the outcome. Postponing peace until the divorce is final, or the bills are paid, or the medical results come back is not a wise plan. When the cause for the worry is past, the habit of worry remains. It is the spirit of peace in present adverse conditions that stabilizes peace when the troubles are past.

Inner Peace Poll


Perhaps when ideas are expressed in ways which seem to differ from generally accepted views, they may expand minds more than oppose opinions in folks who think them through.

Questions & Answers

Question: What does "folk" mean?

Answer: The dictionary meaning of "folk" is "people in general."

© 2016 Dora Weithers


Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on April 26, 2018:

Question: What does "folk" mean?

Answer: The dictionary meaning of "folk" is people in general.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 18, 2017:

Thanks, Peg. The quote you chose has a great lesson for individuals as well as organizations and governments. We all need peace!

Peg Cole from North Dallas, Texas on December 18, 2017:

Deep food for thought in these wise words. I like the one about peace and the quote by Martin Luther King, Jr..

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 21, 2017:

Glen, sorry I missed your kind comment. Thanks for sharing your insight and your application on that C.S. Lewis quote.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on March 21, 2017:

Traude, the credit for the Letterpile site goes to the HubPages team. So glad that you like the site and that you enjoyed this article. Hoping that you will find more that you like to read. You are welcome to write too. Thanks for your comment.

Traude Englert on March 20, 2017:

I love this website. I haven't come across anything like this on the internet in many years. Thank you so much for creating an inspiring website for literature lovers.

Glenn Stok from Long Island, NY on January 31, 2017:

These quotes definitely gave me something to think about, and a couple I remember hearing. You did a great job compiling this list, Dora, and with giving your own impressions on each.

I can relate the one about stern love by C. S. Lewis, although I call it tough love. It's something I do when I care deeply for someone and I see them messing up their lives. I use tough love to wake them up and offer guidance.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 06, 2017:

Thanks, Catherine. Happy to contribute something that you find helpful. So much we can learn from what other people say.

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on January 06, 2017:

This is absolutely beautiful . The quotes are just the ones I needed to hear and your discussion of each one was right on the mark.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on January 05, 2017:

Maria, it's surprising how free we we feel and how much more we learn when we begin to think outside the box. I appreciate your input.

Maria Dorland on January 05, 2017:

This is a beautiful article, it inspires to take our way looking at the world out of the box. Thank you MsDora.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 28, 2016:

Bill, you are very kind. Happy that you appreciate the quotes in the article. Looking forward to continued mutual exchanges with you in the coming year.

William Kovacic on December 28, 2016:

Informative, entertaining, educational - the list goes on, nut just what I've come to expect from you, Dora. I'm late as usual but blessed to read anyway! Thanks for another challenging article.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 25, 2016:

Hi Alun. Apology accepted, but not was not required since we all make similar mistakes at one time or another. Thanks for your clarification, though. It helps.

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on December 25, 2016:

Thanks Dora. A further selection of quotes would be welcomed by your readers, I'm sure.

Apologies that the second paragraph in my previous comment doesn't make total sense. I always check through my comments for grammar etc before the opportunity to amend them times out, but somehow the end of one sentence got missed! I was intending to point out that some of these six quotes are perceptive and easy to identify with :) Alun

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 25, 2016:

Greensleeves, I appreciate your kind encouragement/ I may just select some other quotes on different topics and do something similar.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 25, 2016:

Teaches, these quotes certainly boost the foundation of the principles we live by. Thanks for your affirmation.

Greensleeves Hubs from Essex, UK on December 25, 2016:

A nice idea for a hub Dora, and some thought-provoking suggestions. Human thoughts and feelings are very complex and so people will have differing approaches to character and relationship issues, and sometimes a different approach may be more or less successful. So the key point is that there is no hard and fast rule when it comes to the kinds of issues described here. Everyone has to be flexible in their thinking and know that there is more than one way to achieve the goal they are aiming for - it's just a question of choosing the best way for yourself and for the people who are touched by your actions.

I particularly identified with the quotes in I voted in five of the polls, and surprisingly gave the same answers as the majorities so far. As I say, a nice idea for a hub, and beautifully presented.

teaches12345 on December 23, 2016:

Wonderful topic and excellent quotes to live a full life by. Thank you for the encouragement and light.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 22, 2016:

Michael, so happy to hear from you. You have paid me the highest compliment. It has always been my aim to teach Bible with or without chapter and verse. I appreciate your affirmation. Thank you and a Happy Christ-centered Christmas to you and yours.

Michael Milec on December 21, 2016:

How ingenious MS DORA, you brought to your readers wisdom from above hidden in practical world without chapters and verses. Nicely done.

It has been proven, and we the pilgrims on this planet need to be reminded that thinking, rethinking, pondering upon the messages of truth and life's challenges is making us stronger and wiser. Glory to God in the highest.

Blessed Christmas everyday !

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 20, 2016:

Janda, thank you for four encouragement. Happy that you like the article and I'm sure we can check in with some of the other quotes at a later time.

Janda Raker from Amarillo, Texas on December 19, 2016:

Dora, I appreciate how you have expanded on the quotes, giving more meaning to them. If you have others to share, I think many of us would benefit from your posting them.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 19, 2016:

Shauna, your favorite section is so important especially these days when things happen so fast and we really must pray without ceasing. Thanks for reading and voting. Don't know what we can do about the buttons. Merry Christmas!

Shauna L Bowling from Central Florida on December 19, 2016:

Definitely food for thought, Dora. I love the section on prayer. I talk to God whenever I feel the need, no matter where I am. I don't kneel, fold my hands or close my eyes. I simply talk.

I tried voting in all the polls, but after the first two, the buttons didn't work.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 17, 2016:

Audrey, interesting how different authors at different times can influence us in the same direction. Thanks for weighing in.

Audrey on December 17, 2016:

Living a principled and thoughtful life--just excellent MsDora!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 13, 2016:

Eboni, Walter Elliot's quote did a lot for me too. Thanks for your kind feedback.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 13, 2016:

Janda, thanks for your kind comment. I was just going through my new daily planner and these quotes all suggested that I rethink them. Then I thought of sharing them.

Eboni on December 13, 2016:

Your commentary on the perseverance quote is very encouraging and I will adjust my attitude toward the practice of peace. Good thoughts!

Janda Raker from Amarillo, Texas on December 13, 2016:

Nice, MsDora! Thank you so much for sharing these ideas. Especially during this busy time of year, we can use your wisdom!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 13, 2016:

Eric, you are so kind. We continue to share thoughts with each other; today you think of mine, some other days I think of yours. It makes me happy, and it's all good.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 13, 2016:

Thanks, Flourish. Glad the selection of quotes proved useful. MLK and his peace message surely needs to be revisited.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 13, 2016:

Thanks, Yanglish. May your Christmas be also wonderful.

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on December 13, 2016:

Dora, a "thing" happened this morning. I went outside to check on the moon and get an inkling of what the sunrise will be like. Got my coffee, and sat down to do my reading before meditating. I instead went to my computer for some reason, and found this wonderful piece by you. Thank you it was the perfect reading for me today.

I took a bunch of your great lines and copied them to word to think on some more. May I follow your thoughts in my thinking today.

FlourishAnyway from USA on December 13, 2016:

I especially liked MLK's perspective on peace. We sure could use him now. These quotes were all helpful in providing depth in looking at concepts we thought we knew.

Yanglish on December 13, 2016:

Wonderful article. Just before the Christmas holidays.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 12, 2016:

Whonu, happy to share with you the influence of two of your heroes. They are two who have demonstrated God's calling on their lives, and their statements are worthy of our consideration. Thanks for your input.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 12, 2016:

Jackie, that particular quote is an encouragement for me. So often during the day, I thank God for the privilege of prayer anytime. Thanks for weighing in.

whonunuwho from United States on December 12, 2016:

Martin and Billy are two of my favorite heroes. MsDora you have left us all a wonderful message of hope. We are all in great need of this right now and what you have shared gives us courage and inspiration. Thank you for this fine work my friend. whonu

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on December 12, 2016:

I love the Billy Graham quote and thank you I will remember that to ponder. All are good though and you have written an excellent article as always.

God's blessings and a Merry Christmas.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 12, 2016:

Thanks, Tamarajo. Much encouraged by your kind words. I appreciate you.

Tamarajo on December 12, 2016:

Much thoughtful wisdom here. All great quotes and insights to go along with them.

Two favorites were

"Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another." - Walter Elliot


"Peace is not merely a distant goal . . . but a means by which we arrive at that goal." - Martin Luther King, Jr.

Both great points to ponder and live.

God bless!

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 12, 2016:

Audrey, I appreciate the blessings and the fact that you find the article applicable. Thanks for taking the time to read and comment.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 12, 2016:

Alicia, it makes me happy that you find the article valuable. Thanks very much for your encouragement.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 12, 2016:

Catherine, you're right. I struggled to remember that term and could not for a while. Thanks for mentioning it in your comment.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 12, 2016:

Chitrangada, your comment adds much explanation to the topic. Thank you.

Dora Weithers (author) from The Caribbean on December 12, 2016:

Bill, thinking takes time, and I find that I do not do it justice. I know I would be so much smarter if I did. It may be the same for others. Thanks for your affirmation.

Audrey Hunt from Idyllwild Ca. on December 12, 2016:


You've brought out some thought-provoking and excellent ideas for succeeding in life. I especially like the part on determination and how to replace the feeling of failure with a fuel stop.

Thank you so much for inspiring me. Wishing you blessings now and always.


Linda Crampton from British Columbia, Canada on December 12, 2016:

I love this article, MsDora. The quotes and your commentary are very valuable. Thank you for sharing your ideas.

Catherine Giordano from Orlando Florida on December 12, 2016:

"Stern love" is another way of saying "tough love." I enjoyed this interesting hub about new takes on old principles.

Chitrangada Sharan from New Delhi, India on December 12, 2016:

Excellent hub and such wonderful quotes! I loved all of them and the questions you put along with each of them.

I agree with you that the same words can be interpreted in different ways by different people.

I would like to see it from a positive point of view. May be we missed some aspect of it ( the quote) and the other person suggests a deeper meaning of it.

Interesting and thought provoking hub. Thank you for sharing!

Bill Holland from Olympia, WA on December 12, 2016:

I think it's a good thing, challenging our way of thinking, and I loved these quotes and your reflections. Thank you Dora!

Related Articles