That Wasn't Necessary

A while back I decided to do a nice deed for a friend and happened to catch them completely by surprise, and their response was a curt, "That wasn't necessary." This particular friend likes to be the one who does the giving, and has a hard time accepting gifts from others, but I was still high off of Valentine chocolate and red roses and tulips and glitter cards, so I decided to go ahead with my deed knowing in advance what the probable response might be. At the time, as I was also taken by surprise by the response, I agreed that it wasn't necessary, but then I got to pondering just what is and is not necessary.

A long time ago, when I was a teen, I recall having a very interesting discussion with one of my best friends. We had gone to a party with my older brother. I remember him driving us home late at night in the old primer grey slug bug he used to drive. I think there was a bit of beer drinking involved at the party, and then a cruise through In'N'Out Hamburger and back to our house on the hill. My friend mentioned that she felt like the ringer inside of a bell, as her head was bobbing side to side in the back of the bug with each of his jerky turns.

Once we got home in one piece, she and I set up the sleeping bags in the living room. For some odd reason, I began to ponder out loud about what I thought was necessary, and I started muttering booze induced thoughts such as how we didn't "need" that carpet on the floor or those curtains muting the sunlight from the windows, or the plastic liner inside the cereal box, and on and on I went, saying it all in a silly voice, and she thought it was extremely entertaining. Ironically, she is now a very talented designer who knows just what kind of curtains and carpet her clients "need". And I am thankful for the plastic liner inside the cereal boxes as we have a bit of a moth infestation in our kitchen whenever it warms up, and that liner sure comes in handy at keeping the moths out.

My eldest son and I had an interesting conversation regarding this when he came home to visit the week before my birthday. We were discussing the different temperaments of his four roommates- three young ladies and one young gentleman who all squeeze into a tiny two- bedroom apartment not far from campus. My son loves to cook and is very adept at running a household. He is the one who does most of the cleaning, and purchases the cleaning supplies, pays the bills, etc. Outwardly, he is very very calm, soft-spoken, does not interrupt, is courteous and considerate, and is an all around pleasant person to be around.

I asked him how the three young ladies were doing sharing one room and one bathroom, and he mentioned that he had made a cleaning chart, and that all of the roommates were adhering to it pretty well, so that freed up a bit of his time, and he was glad for that. He then mentioned that one of the newer roommates was a neatnick, and that he was glad that she was keeping the other two in line.

Somehow this conversation led to the conversation about what was necessary in life, and he brought up Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs, and made the profound remark that some folks just have a much larger subset of "Basic Needs" than others, and that his set was rather small: food, clothes, shelter, computer, electricity. Others seemed to have much more specialized needs: only certain types of foods prepared in very specific ways, only certain brands of clothes in certain colors, the pillow must be Temperpedic, the sheets 500 thread count, the toilet paper Charmin, a shiny car etc.

Ultimately, it boils down to different strokes for different folks. Happiness is relative- some folks live in dire circumstances with not two nickels to rub together, subsisting off of ramen noodles and peanut butter and living in noisy cockroach infested run down apartments and wearing second hand clothes, yet they seem to be generally happy souls taking joy in the sunshine and their faith and sleeping well at night. They have community and do not seem to compare their lot in life to the lots and lots and lots of nice food, clothing, homes, cars etc. of others around them, many of whom are not happy because they are comparing their lots to the lots and lots of those in even better spots, and on and on it goes and wherever it stops nobody knows.

Maslow's hierarchy of needs is often portrayed in the shape of a pyramid ( like the one in the photo above ) with the largest, most fundamental levels of needs at the bottom and the need for self-actualization at the top. Just like a video game, one can't get to the next level until they have mastered the level they are on. Some make it all the way to the top and win the grand prize of self-actualization while others remain stuck on the first level, scratching and clawing for enough to fill their bellies and to seek shelter from the elements. I think most of us plateau at the level of Love/Belonging, but there are many who move on to the next level. But for each, the completion of each level is unique. For example, the Basic Needs level might be complete for one individual with a rented room for shelter, and frequent stops to Jack- In- the -Box, and with that being handled, they are ready to move on to the next level, perhaps a job at Jack-In-the Box, and that being handled, they are ready to move on to the next level, starting a family and so on. For others it is much more complicated, and so they remain stunted trying to perfect the one level, and never really moving to the next.

But in the end, what is really necessary? I mean after food, and shelter and safety, and security? What do most of us need? I would agree with the order of Maslow's Hierarchy of Needs. Though I am not sure which level I am currently in, I do know that for me, the act of kindness was necessary, though for my friend, it may not have been. Their need had not one thing to do with mine, and that was just fine.

Recipe

Oven Fried Pork Chops From Allrecipes.com

INGREDIENTS:

4 pork chops, trimmed- I used thin boneless chops
2 tablespoons butter, melted
1 egg, beaten
2 tablespoons milk
1/4 teaspoon black pepper
1 cup herb-seasoned dry bread stuffing mix- I crushed the cubs into crumbs so they would coat the chops better

DIRECTIONS:

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F (220 degrees C). Pour butter into a 9x13 inch baking pan.

2. Stir together egg, milk and pepper. Dip pork chops in egg mixture, coat with stuffing mix and place in pan.

3. Bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes. Turn chops and bake for another 10 minutes, or until no pink remains in the meat and juices run clear.

This was a big hit in my house of many palates and it would work fine for chicken tenders too!

More Voltaire Quotes:

"..the safest course is to do nothing against one's conscience. With this secret, we can enjoy life and have no fear from death."

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"A witty saying proves nothing."

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"All sects are different, because they come from men; morality is everywhere the same, because it comes from God."

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"Animals have these advantages over man: they never hear the clock strike, they die without any idea of death, they have no theologians to instruct them, their last moments are not disturbed by unwelcome and unpleasant ceremonies, their funerals cost them nothing, and no one starts lawsuits over their wills."

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"Anything too stupid to be said is sung."

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"Appreciation is a wonderful thing: It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well."

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"Doubt is not a pleasant condition, but certainty is absurd."

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"Each player must accept the cards life deals him.
But once they are in hand, he alone must decide
how to play the cards in order to win the game."

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"Every man is guilty of all the good he didn't do."

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"God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh."

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"God is always on the side of the big battalions."

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"History is a pack of lies we play on the dead."

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"I have never made but one prayer to God, a very short one: 'O Lord, make my enemies ridiculous.' And God granted it."

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"If God did not exist, it would be necessary to invent him."

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"Indeed, history is nothing more than a tableau of crimes and misfortunes."

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"Indolence is sweet, and its consequences bitter."

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"It is dangerous to be right when the government is wrong."

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"It is forbidden to kill; therefore all murderers are punished unless they kill in large numbers and to the sound of trumpets."

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"Judge of a man by his questions rather than by his answers."

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"Love is a canvas furnished by Nature and embroidered by imagination."

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"Love truth, and pardon error."

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"Marriage is the only adventure open to the cowardly."

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"Men are equal; it is not birth but virtue that makes the difference."

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"Prejudice is opinion without judgement."

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"Regimen is superior to medicine."

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"The art of medicine consists in amusing the patient while nature cures the disease."

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"The multitude of books is making us ignorant."

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"The secret of being boring is to say everything."

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"There is a wide difference between speaking to deceive, and being silent to be impenetrable."

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"Those who can make you believe absurdities can make you commit atrocities."

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“Let us read, and let us dance; these two amusements will never do any harm to the world.”

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"L

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“Common sense is not so common.”

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“The more I read, the more I acquire, the more certain I am that I know nothing.”

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“Despite the enormous quantity of books, how few people read! And if one reads profitably, one would realize how much stupid stuff the vulgar herd is content to swallow every day.”

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“God is a circle whose center is everywhere and circumference nowhere.”

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“Dare to think for yourself.”

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“I don’t know where I am going, but I am on my way.”

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“Ice-cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn't illegal.”

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“Faith consists in believing when it is beyond the power of reason to believe.”

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“The most important decision you make is to be in a good mood.”

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“The human brain is a complex organ with the wonderful power of enabling man to find reasons for continuing to believe whatever it is that he wants to believe.”

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“Cherish those who seek the truth but beware of those who find it.”

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“Prejudices are what fools use for reason.”

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“Man is free at the instant he wants to be.”

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“The comfort of the rich depends upon an abundant supply of the poor.”

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“It is not enough to conquer; one must learn to seduce.”

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“It is with books as with men: a very small number play a great part.”

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“Optimism," said Cacambo, "What is that?" "Alas!" replied Candide, "It is the obstinacy of maintaining that everything is best when it is worst.”

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“It is better to risk saving a guilty person than to condemn an innocent one.”

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“Our wretched species is so made that those who walk on the well-trodden path always throw stones at those who are showing a new road.”

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“Sensual pleasure passes and vanishes, but the friendship between us, the mutual confidence, the delight of the heart, the enchantment of the soul, these things do not perish and can never be destroyed.”

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“Men will always be mad, and those who think they can cure them are the maddest of all.”

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“No opinion is worth burning your neighbor for.”

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“Liberty of thought is the life of the soul.”

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“Fools have a habit of believing that everything written by a famous author is admirable. For my part I read only to please myself and like only what suits my taste.”

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“We never live; we are always in the expectation of living.”

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“Let us cultivate our garden.”

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“I loved him as we always love for the first time; with idolatry and wild passion.”

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“The only way to comprehend what mathematicians mean by Infinity is to contemplate the extent of human stupidity.”

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“May God defend me from my friends: I can defend myself from my enemies. ”

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“One great use of words is to hide our thoughts.”

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“Dont think money does everything or you are going to end up doing everything for money.”

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Next Post date: April 1, 2013
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March 4, 2013

Charles R. Swindoll Quotes:

“The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life. Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, the education, the money, than circumstances, than failure, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company... a church... a home. The remarkable thing is we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past... we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude. I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% of how I react to it. And so it is with you... we are in charge of our Attitudes.”

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“Life is 10% what happens to you and 90% how you react to it”

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“I cannot even imagine where I would be today were it not for that handful of friends who have given me a heart full of joy. Let's face it, friends make life a lot more fun.”

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“I believe the single most significant decision I can make on a day-to-day basis is my choice of attitude. It is more important than my past, my education, my bankroll, my successes or failures, fame or pain, what other people think of me or say about me, my circumstances, or my position. Attitude keeps me going or cripples my progress. It alone fuels my fire or assaults my hope. When my attitudes are right, there is no barrier too high, no valley too deep, no dream too extreme, no challenge too great for me.”

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“Each day of our lives we make deposits in the memory banks of our children.”

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“We cannot change our past. We can not change the fact that people act in a certain way. We can not change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude.”

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“A family is a place where principles are hammered and honed on the anvil of everyday living.”

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“The remarkable thing is, we have a choice everyday regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day.”

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“Stand still... and refuse to retreat. Look at it as God looks at it and draw upon His power to hold up under the blast.

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“With vision there is no room to be frightened., No reason for intimidation. It's time to march forward! Let's be confident and positive!”

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“When I think of vision, I have in mind the ability to see above and beyond the majority”

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“When you have vision it affects your attitude. Your attitude is optimistic rather than pessimistic.”

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“Alleged 'impossibilities' are opportunities for our capacities to be stretched.”

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“A teardrop on earth summons the King of heaven”

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“The difference between something good and something great is attention to detail.”

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The swift wind of compromise is a lot more devastating than the sudden jolt of misfortune.

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Encouragement is awesome. It (can) actually change the course of another person's day, week, or life.

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Few things are more infectious than a godly lifestyle. The people you rub shoulders with everyday need that kind of challenge. Not prudish. Not preachy. Just cracker jack clean living. Just honest to goodness, bone - deep, non-hypocritical integrity.

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Laughter is the most beautiful and beneficial therapy God ever granted humanity.

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The secret of living a life of excellence is merely a matter of thinking thoughts of excellence. Really, it's a matter of programming our minds with the kind of information that will set us free.

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If we want the advantages of love, then we must be willing to take the risks of love. And that requires vulnerability. Of course, we can refuse this path and trod another one devoid of openness. But the toll on such a road is extremely high.

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If you're running a 26-mile marathon, remember that every mile is run one step at a time. If you are writing a book, do it one page at a time. If you're trying to master a new language, try it one word at a time. There are 365 days in the average year. Divide any project by 365 and you'll find that no job is all that intimidating.

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If you are having difficulty loving or relating to an individual, take him to God. Bother the Lord with this person. Don't you be bothered with him - leave him at the throne.

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The world's smallest package is a man wrapped up in himself.

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Voltaire Quotes:

“If this is the best of possible worlds, what then are the others?”

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“The happiest of all lives is a busy solitude.”

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“The longer we dwell on our misfortunes, the greater is their power to harm us”

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“If God created us in his own image, we have more than reciprocated."

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“Opinions have caused more ills than the plague or earthquakes on this little globe of ours. ”

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“To succeed in the world it is not enough to be stupid, you must also be well-mannered.”

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“One day everything will be well, that is our hope. Everything's fine today, that is our illusion”

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“Every man is a creature of the age in which he lives and few are able to raise themselves above the ideas of the time.”

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“I would rather obey a fine lion, much stronger than myself, than two hundred rats of my own species.”

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“If you have two religions in your land, the two will cut each other’s throats; but if you have thirty religions, they will dwell in peace”

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“History never repeats itself. Man always does.”

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“Madness is to think of too many things in succession too fast, or of one thing too exclusively.”

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“Behind every successful man stands a surprised mother-in-law.”

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“Minds differ still more than faces.”

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“The discovery of what is true and the practice of that which is good are the two most important aims of philosophy.”

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“When it is a question of money, everybody is of the same religion.”

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“We are rarely proud when we are alone.”

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“He must be very ignorant for he answers every question he is asked.”

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“In general, the art of government consists in taking as much money as possible from one party of the citizens to give to the other.”

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“Our labour preserves us from three great evils -- weariness, vice, and want.”

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“Injustice in the end produces independence.”

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“When a man is in love, jealous, and just whipped by the Inquisition, he is no longer himself.”

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“Reading nurtures the soul, and an enlightened friend brings it solace. ”

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“Four thousand volumes of metaphysics will not teach us what the soul is.”

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