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Sergey Zagraevsky

 

365 reflections on a human and humanity

 

These reflections on morality, epoch, social structure and meaning of life have a purely practical purpose – to facilitate human adaptation to the realities of life. Despite the fact that the reflections relate to faith in God, and to freedom, and to morality, and to the purpose of a human, – they are based on no religion, but solely on common sense and life experience.

The figure "365" appeared not by chance: the reflections may serve as a "useful calendar” for every day. For ease of reading, they are numbered and grouped by topics.

 

I. On life

 

1. As no one can afford to us another world, we have to live in this one.

 

2. It is sometimes difficult to see the main problems that life puts before us behind a great number of minor circumstances. But it is sometimes even harder, knowing the major problems and trying to solve them by all forces, to work with a lot of little things in parallel.

 

3. Sometimes it seems that we are absolutely unable to change anything in the world. But in fact we often just give up easily, because do not know what to do for that.

 

4. It is bad when «homo homini lupus est» – a man is a wolf for a man. But it is doubtful that «homo homini consumer est» is better.

 

5. The genuine, reliable luck comes not as a prize in a lottery, but as a reward for labor.

 

6. Even Voltaire remarked that people say a lot of stupid things only because of the desire to say something new. But, maybe, this desire of novelty is a pledge of personal development? And only that one, who does nothing, is never mistaken.

 

7. It is easy to feel happiness on the level of emotions, but such happiness disappears also easily. Happiness, which is brought to us by our mind, is achieved much more difficultly, but stays with us much longer, often permanently.

 

8. “The Ugly Duckling" by Andersen is a good and instructive tale. But our imperfect world is not a fairy tale, and there are many ugly ducklings and few swans.

 

9. Youth is blind and careless. Therein its weakness lies, but also its strength, which gives ability to dare.

 

10. Politeness, which forces people at least to smile to each other, may seem to somebody primitive and insincere. But anyway it softens morals.

 

11. It is scary to think what could have begun in the world, if we had been able to return events and to reshape them in new ways. Probably because of that, it is impossible to invent a "time machine". But we have memory that returns us to the past not to remake it, but to comprehend.

 

12. Some people are so accustomed to lie, that they lie to God (and that is useless), and to themselves (and that is absurd).

 

13. Many people try to compensate lack of thought by excess of words. But if words do not convey the idea, they become dead and meaningless formulas and spells.

 

14. We all dream that there had been no pain and risk in the life, but what a dull it would have been without them, what a powerful engine of our development we would have lost!

 

15. It is good if it turns out to foresee the future. But it is even better if it turns out to create the future.

 

16. The influenza virus causes a cough, runny nose and sneezing not to annoy the patient, but to use these reflexes of the treatment of the respiratory tract for self-propagation around the patient and, consequently, for reproduction. If even viruses are capable of such tricks – what are people capable of?..

 

17. It has long been known that if a scoundrel, a traitor or a criminal is afraid of retribution, he flinches at every rustle. But unfortunately, most of such people are not afraid of retribution.

 

18. It is bad if an historical fact is suppressed or ignored, but it is worse if it is forgotten.

 

19. It is difficult to be young. The world is hostile for young people, they are constantly forced to prove their right for a place under the sun. Is it any wonder that they have so many "sharp corners" in character and deeds?

 

20. Would there have been fewer frauds in the world if there had been fewer gullible people? Hardly, just for one fraud there would have been even more gullibles.

 

21. We are imperfect and often make mistakes. But if we can at least learn on our own mistakes and on the mistakes of others – it is quite a lot.

 

22. We often think that thanks to our life experience we can feel friendly with any person. But in fact, people perfectly feel falsity, and the identifier "a friend – a stranger" in them works without a hitch. They just do not want to hurt us and to tell us in the eye that we are cunning. But because of this reluctance to offend each other, people still find a common language.

 

23. Judgments of our enemies about us are often more valid than our own judgments, and it is necessary to listen to them.

 

24. A child does not know life, but he is full of desires. He depends on others, but wants much from them. And these extremes are smoothed out only with the age.

 

25. How would we like to believe that all attempts to distort the truth only elevate it and increase its value! But judging from many accidentally opening facts, such attempts are often successful.

 

26. Pride cultivates the sense of self-importance in a human, and tries to elevate him over other people, but it is also a cure for our psyche, because it facilitates sad consciousness of our imperfection.

 

27. The future very rarely comes in the way we expect it. But this does not mean that we should live only for today.

 

28. Sometimes it is considered that labor exhausts people. Maybe so, but lack of labor exhausts them much faster.

 

29. Troubles, disasters or wars are an internal relief for some people, because they have new ways to show themselves.

 

30. Fame, titles, high social status, previous achievements – all this creates much more problems in case of failure. For example, in this case any failure can easily turn into shame.

 

31. Those few people, who can foresee the future, often lose the ability to perceive the present, and therefore others do not believe them.

 

32. If people are arguing for a long time, it means either that they are not self-confident, or that they are insufficiently aware of the matter of the dispute, or simply that there are a lot of spectators.

 

33. If a person waives his opinion on more and more questions – most likely, he is on the path of personal degradation.

 

34. Intellect without character loses much, but character without intellect loses more.

 

35. If a person did not reach great success in the eyes of others, it does not mean that he is a loser: maybe he just did his work honestly, not thinking about impression which his work will make.

 

36. If an authoritative human abhors authority – most likely, his authoritativeness was really deserved.

 

37. Elementary law of physics: the higher sycophants and flatterers elevate a person, the lower they are in his eyes.

 

38. If a person is afraid of attacks on his beliefs, it does not mean that he does not believe in them. Rather, he simply doubts in himself.

 

39. Those, who believe that with money they will be capable of everything, are usually only able to do everything for money.

 

40. Maybe there is justice in the fact that the people, who are most cowardly and unable to resist, are able for unquestioned parental authority. There is a chance that at least their children will be guided by an example of a man with character.

 

41. If you constantly expose your neck, then it is likely that someone, at best, will sit on it, and at worst – will went a loop at it.

 

42. Loss of an honest, unbiased memory leads to loss of the past. And loss of the past leads to terrible mistakes in the present.

 

43. It is bad when the major part beats the best part. It is even worse, when the best part is beaten by the minority. In the first case the average people triumph, in the second case – maniacs.

 

44. We know perfectly that the most skilful cunnings know how not to seem cunning. And because of these cunnings, even the most unsophisticated people raise our suspicions.

 

45. To set goals and to follow our own desires – are not the same thing.

 

46. The misfortune of people, who depend on their desires, – is the gap between "want" and "can".

 

47. Sometimes we can hear that education not only improves good people, but undermines bad ones. But in fact, without education bad people would have been even worse.

 

48. Parsimony is the only vice that always tries to justify itself by rigorous calculations and concern about the future.

 

49. Some people, like small predators, feel when they are feared, and use it.

 

50. Many people are interested in betrayal. But traitors are always hated and despised.

 

51. There is an army joke that the whole battalion does not keep pace, only one lieutenant keeps pace. But in the life it sometimes happens that the majority does not keep pace, and only singles, suffering ridicules and humiliations, keep pace – that is, choose the right path.

 

52. Circumstances change rapidly. The idea is that principles of life should change slower or not change at all. But for many people the principles change even faster than the circumstances.

 

53. Education can not add intelligence to a stupid man, but it can smooth out difference between intelligence and stupidity.

 

54. Even the most indecisive people take decisions at every step. The question is only in the scale of the decisions.

 

55. Many people replace intellect by emotions – in their opinion, quite successfully.

 

56. A Russian proverb says: "Measure seven times – cut once". But some people measure for so long time that nothing remains to be cut.

 

57. For a man, who is greedy for praise, even the despised and hated people seem to be much more enjoyable if they praise to him. And those ones, in turn, use that.

 

58. Laziness is often stronger than love, ambitions, pride, greed... Only hunger and fear of death are stronger than laziness.

 

59. When young people tell each other: "You’re the same as everyone else", it is usually perceived as an insult. With age, it gradually turns on the contrary, and the most of older people perceive words: "You're not like everybody else" as an insult.

 

60. People are so busy with themselves and their own affairs that they have neither time nor inclination to carefully assess the affairs of others. And this lack of attention is used by many cunnings, swindlers, slanderers and botchers.

 

61. Some people are so afraid of everything unknown and unpredictable, that they do not want to change their unbearable life because it is known and predictable.

 

62. It is known that if everyone makes a grammatical mistake, then it is sooner or later recognized as a rule. But life is not grammar, and not every mistake, which is made by millions of people, deserves to be recognized as rules.

 

63. If a person is going to start real living someday later, it just means that he lives for today.

 

64. Voluntary or forced abandonment of the realization of potential abilities leads a person to personal self-destruction sooner or later.

 

65. We must have interest to the future, at least because we can not avoid it.

 

66. The ability to control our wishes is not less important than the ability to control our money, house, colleagues, automobile…

 

67. Mistakes do not always humiliate people. But inconsistency always humiliates them.

 

68. The well-known advices – "Know yourself to know others" and "Do not judge others by yourself" – contradict each other. And this contradiction can be resolved only by our life experience and only in each specific case.

 

69. It is bad if we are betrayed for money. But it is even worse, if we are betrayed for free.

 

70. People, who are cowardly and spineless in private and public life, often become brave soldiers and acquire dignity at a war. Apparently, that is because in the army they fulfill orders. It is a service, and it requires no courage, but discipline and obedience.

 

71. If a slave of his desires hears "no" from a woman, he can put a bullet in his head. In an effort to become rich, he can squander all that he has, hoping to win in cards or at a stock exchange. He tries to destroy everything and everyone who impedes him, and above all he destroys himself. Destruction and self-destruction are inevitable consequences of such slavery.

 

72. Modern people have the same need as ancients – to mark their identity by some special characters. This is normal and natural, as these characters develop in parallel with development of society, and in our time these may be belongings, and a house, and scientific works, and creativity. But when a person begins to resemble ancients literally and cover his body by signs of identity, – it seems that these victims of tattoo and body piercing have a tail under clothing.

 

73. If a man tasted praise and fame in his youth, he risks to turn into a bunch of anger and envy in his old age.

 

74. The well-known phrase "slander of some people is better for us than their praise" is only self-congratulatory. Slander is always harmful.

 

75. There is no need to blame people for their love to all goods that can be bought: not everyone can be ascetics. But if someone loves money as money, he can turn into a greedy soulless monster.

 

76. True happiness is only that, which a person experiences from his accomplishments. Everything else is debatable and immediate. For example, many crazy people are happy, too.

 

77. At war overwhelming forces are usually needed for an attack. But if life is the battlefield, and libel is weapon, – the opposite is true: in order to defame a person, sometimes one word is enough, and for protection many pages and many years are needed.

 

78. It is difficult to struggle against lie, primarily because it always tends to be similar to truth.

 

79. Many people define themselves and others not through personal traits and life achievements, but through the sum of belongings: money, house, car, clothes... Personality is dissolved in the sea of property and loses all principles, except one: to earn more money to buy more things.

 

80. Insolence, rudeness and cruelty cause respect only in scoundrels, cowards and slaves.

 

81. If we want to have at least some share in material goods, which are produced by society, then we are obliged to live in society and play some role in it. The only question is the amount and ratio of the share and the role.

 

II. On freedom and slavery

 

82. Freedom means permanent choice between alternatives, and creation of new alternatives, and, what is most important, – responsibility for everything that was chosen and created.

 

83. A free man faces many issues, which are far more complex, than the issues of a servant. And his main question – is he right, making one or another action, especially if he has to go against the majority. Therefore, he must always be careful and never lose a touch with reality, even if others think that he is in the clouds. His life is difficult, but he is free.

 

84. People like to disclaim responsibility for everything that happens around them. For that someone links on chance, someone – on fate and predestination.

 

85. If a person refuses of freedom for something, even for the noblest goals, – he will probably not reach these goals.

 

86. Life does not require from us one or another choice. But life requires that we must understand the implications of every choice.

 

87. A human becomes a human only as he becomes aware of responsibility for everything that happens to him, to his country and the world.

 

88. Freedom is an opportunity of conscious choice, which takes into account both necessity and randomness. And the ultimate freedom is the freedom to choose good and evil consciously, evaluating positive and negative consequences of the choice by the best of knowledge and skills.

 

89. The opponents of freedom of choice often refer to the fact that if someone has only one clock, he always knows the time, and if he has some clocks, which show different times, he always doubts. But that is true only so long as the only clock does not begin to lie heavily or does not stop at all.

 

90. That one is free, who is not afraid of death and is ready to meet it.

 

91. People are responsible for everything, what they do. But they always answer only before other people, and evade by all means the answer before themselves. They use two ways for that. The first is just to drown the voice of memory. The second is to give a sleek form to memories, deceiving themselves and replacing the actual by the desired.

 

92. Each of us in every situation always has a choice, even of the lesser of two evils. But it is often more convenient for us to pretend that we had no choice and were not free in our decision.

 

93. It may seem that very few concerted actions of people are possible without subordination to someone's will. But in reality people much more often do not obey any will, but follow thoughts and ideas – and it is quite another matter.

 

94. Persistence in obvious wrongness is a form of slavery.

 

95. A man with slave mentality usually believes that he, who is obedient, faithful and executive, will not be touched even in the case of a mass state terror. And when he is eventually touched, he feels a grudge like a child.

 

96. Absolute freedom by virtue of its absoluteness implies limitations of freedom.

 

97. We are not free of external conditions, which we can not affect. But we are free to take our own position in relation to them, even if there is a choice between only two alternatives: to surrender or not.

 

98. The most terrible slavery is when a slave is happy that he is a slave.

 

99. It is not easy to be free. This entails constant efforts, risk and anxiety. Freedom is a burden. Many totalitarian regimes speculate on this, requiring denial of freedom and promising relief of this burden. But if a human does not want to be a slave, he must bear that burden.

 

100. Tyrants often try to put on the knees even those people, who already stand on the knees or even lies prone.

 

101. Fear can be different. As long as a human feels ashamed of his fear, he is not yet a coward, and certainly not a slave. And the healing power of fear is found in this sense of shame.

 

102. If we define humanity as an organism, whose cells are human beings, then we get a paradoxical situation: a person with endless possibilities of knowing the world, with the immortal soul and natural right to liberty, is a part of an organism, which is evolutionarily much lower: it has no soul, is not capable for to abstract and logical thinking, acts solely by instinct. Therefore, the more adequate definition of humanity is the community of free people.

 

III. On the state and society

 

103. The question: "Should we act by the law or as human beings?" is the most terrible sentence for legal affairs in a state.

 

104. Innocent people are killed in terrorist attacks not only by the fault of terrorists, but also by the fault of governments, which are able neither to neutralize criminals, nor to meet their demands. And who knows whom to blame more: the terrorists, who are usually no more than primitive brainwashed victims of propaganda, or incapable governments, whose errors lead to the deaths of innocent people.

 

105. Young people due to their social disorder have hypertrophied "territorial behavior”: they as if label a territory, i.e. try to leave their marks, wherever possible.

 

106. An assassin can take the life from a human. Alcohol and drugs can take everything.

 

107. In proportion to the scale of crime, the likelihood increases that someone will praise this crime as a great act. But one should remember that in this case the crime does not cease to be a crime.

 

108. Human society in times of stability is a heaven for mediocrity. In periods of instability, it turns into a hell for them. For outstanding people it is equally difficult in any state of society, but in times of instability they have more opportunities to prove themselves.

 

109. A mass state terror is disastrous for the economy, because for the conversion of a man into an executioner, jailer, or chief of the camp it is necessary to feed him very well, and it is also necessary to build the system of intimidation and fooling of others, and that is also expensive. And labor productivity inevitably falls in the camps and outside. A "trembling creature" is hardly capable for productive work.

 

110. Independently on the standard of living, which a human reached in emigration, he often refers to emigrants-compatriots as to the friends in misfortune.

 

111. The concepts of a "humane state" or "good government" are absurd. Not only because the kindness of a ruler (usually in everyday life – a model family man, personally killed nobody) is irrelevant to the management of the state. The fact is that every state and every ruler, if they want to survive, have to be ruthless and pragmatic: this is dictated by ruthless realities of the modern world.

 

112. The development of commandments in humanity is changing from taboos (prohibitions, which are justified mysteriously) to laws (prohibitions, which are justified logically). But if in the modern society laws are not met, taboos replace them.

 

113. Wars will continue so long as people endure stupid rulers, who send them to death.

 

114. How can a young human enter the unfamiliar and often hostile world? This is a very serious problem. And the fact that young people often try to behave according to certain stereotypes of leadership – to look relaxed, speak roughly, gesture sharply and sweepingly, laugh loudly, talk in a low voice, behave aggressively – is nothing more than a defensive reaction of the psyche.

 

115. As a theater begins of a cloak-room, so social relations begin of culture.

 

116. History is not only the science about the past, but also the connection of times.

 

117. It's not the worst if a party, which rules in the country, has possibility to lock ideological opponents out of work, close their access to the media or to falsify election results. The worst is if this party gets the opportunity to send enemies into prisons and camps.

 

118. Disdain for indigenous inhabitants of the country is for many immigrants a peculiar way of psychological protection. However, indigenous people often pay immigrants the same.

 

119. All ideas of social equality are disproved primarily by the realities of unskilled labor, which even in an ideal society (for example, in hypothetical communism) someone will still have to perform. Hence, we must recognize the positive role of scientific and technological progress, which leads to the increase of the proportion of skilled labor. Creativity in the industrial sector is not less spiritual and deserves no less respect than in the so-called non-productive.

 

120. Totalitarian states, which give the appearance of parliament, elections, trade unions and active social life, remind savage islanders, who used astronomical instruments from the ships of Columbus and Magellan as decorations.

 

121. The dream of many intelligent people "to sit in an ivory tower" is unrealizable. It is virtually impossible to opt out of events in the country and the world.

 

122. Human impact on the ecology of the Earth is not as destructive, as we sometimes imagine. For example, if we look at the photos of our planet from space, the traces of civilization on it are virtually indistinguishable. Another example: a volcano spews more carbon monoxide and other pollutants than all the cars and factories in a century. So everything is not so terrible with global environment. But is it easier of this for those people, who live near a highway or a chemical plant?

 

123. In crucial moments of history we have to be “pro” or “contra”, even if it is very desirable to "abstain".

 

124. Children have no developed abstract thinking, but their thirst for knowledge is very high. They torture animals and break toys not because they wish to destroy and torture, but of the interest in changes in nature. And if the thirst for knowledge is combined with poorly developed abstract thinking in adults, the result will be similar, but with other items. And abstract thinking is developed primarily through education.

 

125. The modern world gives everyone a potential to make more or less successful social career. But the most passionate, impatient and, as a rule, the most talented ones burn out quickly. There are exceptions, when some genius, who had invented something necessary for society at the moment, happily avoids obscurity and becomes rich and famous. But there are few such people, and the vast majority comes to success by monotonous everyday work.

 

126. Marx's theory led to the conclusion that for an act of evil – a violent revolution – unskilled labor, hated by people, who are separated from the means of production, is needed. But according to the same provisions a reverse conclusion can be made: for an act of goodness, skilled labor of owners, who are interested in the results, is more suitable.

 

127. The negative impact of anthropogenic factor on the global ecology shows not a danger of scientific progress, but reluctance of merchants and officials to spend money on the introduction of scientific developments in this area. Scientific and technological progress can lead to disaster in unscrupulous hands.

 

128. Every state, even the most enlightened and democratic, considers culture, art and religion primarily as a means of agitation, propaganda and leisure of citizens.

 

129. Advertising has gone so far away from the normal exchange of information among people, that it can be defined as the formation of public opinion by unnatural way. But in human society there are many much more unnatural things, so that unnaturalness just must not pass into bad faith.

 

130. Some young people dream of becoming famous actors and actresses, singers, models... And that is impossible for them not only because there are many people, who want to sell expensively their look (and often their bodies), but there are few wealthy buyers. The main problem is a very short period of beauty flowering. It is almost impossible to make from scratch a successful social career during five or ten years.

 

131. If some topic sounds in all media, it is unnecessary to look for a kind of order from the government, oligarchs, or anyone else. The hysteria is most often created by journalists themselves, who rush to exploit the "fashionable" topic.

 

132. One of the most difficult phases, which should be overcome in the choosing of a profession, is when people tell you something like: "Why do you want that?", "You're not right", "It's not yours."

 

133. If people think only of themselves, they often get the feeling that outside the front door of their dwelling the enemy territory begins. And it is possible (and even is a certain prowess) to be rude, litter, brawl etc. on the enemy territory.

 

134. If a person knowingly commits a crime, then it is too late to admonish or reason him. It was to be done previously.

 

135. Should we go into morality when analyzing historical facts? Should, because the moral assessment of the past is even more useful lesson for the present, than the historical fact itself.

 

136. Two workers of equal skill can do equal work on same machines with completely different purposes (e.g., one – to make money and spend it on a drink, and the second – to make details which will well serve to humans), and their work will have different moral assessment. And the defect rate in the second case will be less.

 

137. The army must be fully professional at least because those, who serve on an appeal, have many similarities with the prisoners: they both are a human mass, which is forcibly, without regard to personal and cultural backgrounds, isolated from the rest of society.

 

138. It is interesting that the dinner parties, which are held by people with authority, increase their power, as it looks like the guests receive food from their hands. It is an ancient instinct that goes back even to the animal world: one, who obtained food and gave it to the pack, is the leader.

 

139. On the one hand, the history of mankind shows that nationality is more and more closely associated with the state. On the other hand, all nations can not create their own states, as there will always be groups of national minorities, for whom the national majority does not recognize the right to self-determination. Hence, the world will not avoid "hot spots" on a national basis, until people do not realize that national self-awareness is a potential source of not good, but of evil.

 

140. A philistine, a mediocrity, a petty bourgeois, a simple man, an ordinary man... Many offensive names were invented for them, but in fact they keep the society. They are a pledge of stability and confidence in the future. And woe to society, in which they are forced to take arms and go to streets.

 

141. It is very difficult, knowing what you can do, to be in emigration at the bottom of life, seeing around the success of those, who have one advantage before you: they are at home.

 

142. We must evaluate every labor not as a process, but as a result. For example, it is impossible to deny the creative impulse of the creators of the atomic bomb, but the result of their work objectively brought more harm than good to mankind.

 

143. People are often afraid of flying by planes, forgetting that the probability of a car accident is much higher, and in terms of statistics, the aircraft is the safest transport. In the same way many people are afraid to die of an accidentally met maniac, but call for dictatorship and terror, despite the fact that chances to die of the latter are much higher.

 

144. In the animal world intraspecific battles occur not always: it is often enough to show teeth to the enemy to force him to take the posture of submission. Such case is often among humans, but the form of teeth showing has changed: we can show a fist, or a gun, or some document...

 

145. There are no absolute Russians, absolute Germans, absolute Jews, absolute Armenians etc. When we want to define some features of a nation, we define only the features of some social stratum in some epoch.

 

146. People need historical memory, otherwise in a new round of disasters or at least troubles (inevitable, if we remember the cyclicity of the historical process) they would be completely helpless.

 

147. Many governments try to solve internal problems of the country (or at least distract people from them) by unleashing of an external war. In this case, the situation "a friend – a stranger" is dramatically exacerbated, and "friends" (citizens) are forced to consolidate against "strangers" (enemies). The same thing happens in the epoch of state terror, when "internal enemies" are searched. These political maneuverings are as old as the hills, and have their roots in the ancient ritual sacrifice: to designate a "stranger" and to kill him solemnly.

 

148. If disgruntled voices are heard from them in power: "Several people were killed (arrested), but human rights activists raise a cry”, and an indefinite number "several" appears, the diabolical affair is done: they can justify, for example, the destruction of several million people, who are a tiny portion of humanity, especially including a long row of future generations.

 

149. National isolation is a publicly available idea, and it seduces masses of people easily. But isolation has never led to anything good, and hatred towards freedom of thought and creativity firstly breaks out in the closed world.

 

150. Only threat of starvation, prison or death may be sufficient reason for a person to leave his homeland forever.

 

151. No government can give people everything they need. But some governments are able to take away everything that people have. And if the government declares the first, then it is worth considering whether it is going to do the second.

 

152. Pogroms are the dirtiest weapon of the strong against the weak, terrorism is the dirtiest weapon of the weak against the strong.

 

153. Every modern society, despite all humanistic declarations, considers a person as a detail of the system, which deviations can be only within the tolerances issued by the same system. If a deviation exceeds the allowable, the detail is repaired, and if that is impossible – it is destroyed or thrown into the trash.

 

154. All conquerors, all dictators sooner or later face some limitation of their power, and their conquests and systems created by them go into oblivion. It seems that some mysterious law of self-destruction of evil operates on the Earth.

 

155. Successful social career disaccustoms people how to tell the truth and repent of their sins, and even in the memoirs, which they write in retirement, it is useless to wait for this. They have forgotten long ago how to do it. The same is with their assessments of friends and associates: corporate solidarity is stronger than the truth even at the face of death.

 

156. Language is the main thing that determines self-consciousness of people. People are alive until they own an alive word.

 

157. It is more and more difficult for contemporary governments to manage people, consolidating them “in favor” (if not of "bright future", then at least of cleanliness in streets). But if people’s consolidation "pro" turns out bad, "contra" (if not against a neighboring country, then at least against some minor vices of society) turns out well. Many governments use this, and not always in good faith.

 

158. Even the most brutal dictators are ready to listen to intellectuals, but only as long as it does not apply to the system that they created and to which serve. Likewise, an executioner can have a pleasant conversation with a philosopher, but when he gets the order, he with absolutely pure heart cuts off the head of this philosopher.

 

159. In practice I, like most modern people, can not imagine society without legislative, executive and judicial powers, money, police and even army. But in theory, states in their contemporary form must disappear sooner or later, having given place to another, more humanistic social order.

 

160. If people derive nothing from lessons of history – that are in some sense the lessons of history, too.

 

IV. On our epoch

 

161. So many people, so many ideologies. And even more opinions on each particular issue. But these opinions stack some common sense of an epoch, as billions of people stack the humanity.

 

162. Epochs are incomparably longer than human lives. And although we notice many changes in the life of mankind, their true scale can be assessed only after hundreds of years. Therefore, any our assessment of modern global world processes may be correct only by accident.

 

163. Few people want to read and re-think even the experience of their lives. No wonder that even fewer people want to think about the fate of their country and era.

 

164. A modern human, paradoxically, is more psychologically manageable than a medieval. The latter was to be enticed by paradise and intimidated by hell, torture and executions, but the modern can be convinced by mass media almost in everything that is required.

 

165. Life in the epoch of unlimited access to information gives immunity against totalitarianism (it is difficult to enslave a human), but it makes people more susceptible to conformism (the human wants to be like everyone else).

 

166. In theory, historical science and collective folk memory must serve as warning for future generations so they would not repeat the mistakes and crimes of the ancestors, even having modernized them. But in the information epoch, these warnings sweep under the muddy stream of diversified background information.

 

167. Despite the fact that people get more and more information, they less and less think about global issues and are less and less capable of sincere repentance. This is the same paradox as the exacerbation of ethnic and religious strife in the epoch of globalization.

 

168. As the pace of life grows, value of moments grows. Many people do not understand this and live like in slow motion.

 

169. Totalitarian regimes try to assimilate people to chips, which sail by a given current. In the information epoch, people are also likened to chips, but which float in an endless sea. Perhaps this is also not good for a human, but in a sea there is at least a chance to find an own current.

 

170. Unlimited access to information means also unlimited right to refuse of it at any time – at least to think things calmly through.

 

171. A more developed society has lower level of household and state aggression. Availability and variety of information positively affect the development of society, and in this regard, the advance of the information epoch is welcome.

 

172. People, who lost themselves in the flow of current minor cases, can be divided into two categories. Some of them sink into torpor and live with the hope that someday in the future they will be able to "find themselves" and to recover all their values in their original form. Others believe that they must get all life pleasures, the access to which is very wide in the information epoch. These people try to be responsible for nothing, and disappear with a brief moment, which their life is.

 

173. Our civilization has much less risk of dying of some giant meteorite than of a "nuclear button", which may happen in the hands of a dictator, for whom the death of the whole mankind is preferable to the death of the political system, which he had created.

 

174. In the information epoch it is difficult for a human to preserve the sense of identity. Individualism, even based on the principle "Every man for himself", is not such a problem as the dissolution of personality in a stream of diverse, but muddy and unstructured information.

 

175. The Internet users are divided into two types. The first type uses the huge power of the Internet to obtain information, which is needed in real life. The second immerses with his head into the virtual world and loses  relevance to reality. How these seconds later expensively pay for that!

 

176. The information age, in which we live, is an epoch of openness, but this openness generates permissiveness.

 

177. A mirror of modern society is the American phrase «If you are so clever, show me your money». I would like to believe that it is a distorting mirror...

 

178. It may seem that the Internet creates a unique opportunity for education for those who do not like to learn from books. But in fact, those, who do not like to read books, will learn nothing from the Internet, except information on minor domestic issues.

 

179. Many modern people distrust virtually everything that is not related to money earning. In all that relates to the earning, they also constantly see a catch – that is the specifics of every business. As a result, such people are becoming more and more dry and calculating, and their lives – more and more boring.

 

180. We must not forget that our epoch is unique not only because of information and computer technologies. It is fundamentally different from previous ages, because the nuclear weapons, which are accumulated on the Earth, are enough to destroy humanity. And it is impossible to forget this.

 

181. In the information epoch, which opens wide access to knowledge, an old rule becomes relevant as never: not that one is a fool, who does not know, but that one, who does not want to know.

 

182. Advances in the study of the Universe and the spread of nuclear weapons compel philosophers to cure of the "illness of geocentrism" – the raising of humanity to the rank of a single and a priori immortal civilization.

 

183. Everyone is a child of his country and his epoch. This stigma can be erased by nothing.

 

VI. On eternal values

 

184. A human is responsible for everything in this world.

 

185. Our personality is not a product of any accident or predestination. Its foundation is the will to confront external circumstances and to transform the world around us.

 

186. It is scary to realize how insignificant our abilities are and short our life on the Earth is in the face of the infinite Universe. It is possible to start thinking that, not knowing about this infinity, it would have been easier to live. But let us not be like those, who seek salvation in ignorance, and to the same, it is impossible to throw the knowledge about this infinity away of our minds.

 

187. Some people say that they do not believe in themselves because they believe in God. Some say that they do not believe in God because they believe in themselves. But nothing prevents us from believing in God, and also in ourselves.

 

188. As we know, it is impossible to do impossible things. But humanity throughout its history is trying to do that, and this is a guarantee of its development.

 

189. A human is not a mechanism, and even if we know him very well, down to the smallest details of his thinking and mentality, we still will not be able to predict uniquely his future behavior.

 

190. The fact that every person perceives development as the movement upwards, and degradation – as the movement downwards, reflects the great desire of humanity from the Earth to the Universe against gravity.

 

191. Those, who deny the existence of God, usually base on the fact that the existence of the material world is proved by the totality of our physical sensations, and today it is impossible to prove the existence of God in such a way. But in reality such a position is nothing more than speculation on everyday common sense: the fact is that the collection of physical sensations is not a strict proof of the existence of matter. Physical sensations are often misleading – as delusions, hallucinations, and even simple errors of perception...

 

192. Apparently, humanity really has the need of infinity and miracles, if it does not feel comfortable in its familiar terrestrial world and always seeks something outside – and not only mentally, but also physically.

 

193. It is impossible to prove logically that the world is not an illusion of each of us. And the only way for us is to believe our instinct, which confirms the reality of the world.

 

194. Some people believe that it is more safe and convenient to live for today and not to worry about global problems of human life. But in fact, even from the standpoint of ordinary common sense we must at least a little, but think about tomorrow, and that willy-nilly leads to thoughts about global issues of life.

 

195. Is it possible to refuse to communicate with others, to go away from the world for spiritual self-perfection? After that the world did so much for our education and training, gave us the experience and at least minimal material goods to sustain life – it would be unfair to him.

 

196. It is impossible to explain logically something to the people, who believe that we are paltry insects, who live one moment and fly on a tiny ball called “The Earth" through the alien and incomprehensible Universe. It is only possible to say: if a person wants to consider himself as an insect, it is his right, but for what a miserable existence he dooms himself!

 

197. If we lose the balance, it is necessary to lean on something not to fall. If this happens to our soul, we have to look for support in the past, and in the future, and in eternal values.

 

198. In the material world, the benefit for one is often damage to another. It is impossible in the spiritual life.

 

199. The assertion, that belief in God arises if a human is confronted with unknown natural phenomenon, is only partly true. Even if humanity ever completely researches all physical and chemical processes in the world, faith will not disappear in people: there will still be the most important mystery – our endless soul.

 

200. The main task of philosophy is to show to a person how to live his life the most worthy. In all other cases it is the only the gymnastics of the mind.

 

201. No matter how far we have gone into philosophical delights, almost each of us has the passport, a certificate of any education, a set of other personal belongings... We live in a particular historical epoch, in some country and some city. Each of us has relatives, friends... All of this does not allow our mind "to depart from the Earth" too far.

 

202. Many philosophical theories are based on behavior of mentally ill people or of laboratory animals. Even more – on personality traits of philosophers themselves. "Golden mean" between these two extremes is very rare.

 

203. Our vision of the world is only a thin shell of a ball, with infinity inside and outside. The infinite Universe is outside of us, and also the infinite Universe is inside us.

 

204. Miracles convince only those people, who already believe in their possibility. Everyone else, having even seen a miracle, will consider it as a focus, or as a coincidence.

 

205. Society is arranged so that each individual constantly has to compare himself with others, who are at higher steps of social hierarchy, and to try to keep up with them. This constant race is the main driving force of social life. That is different in the spiritual realm: everyone is equal before eternal values.

 

206. From the point of view of today, even the weather forecast for tomorrow may be declared as an illusion. Therefore to be an idealist, to believe in God, in highest values does not mean to be in illusions.

 

VI. On creativity

 

207. They say that people deserve their rulers. Equally, people deserve their artists.

 

208. The scale of the personality of a creator is probably the most important summand of success.

 

209. If we deal with genuine art, then its depth is infinite, and a viewer, reader or listener is immersed as deeply as he is capable. If art is not imaginary, then it tries to suggest how deeply one should sink and if one should at all.

 

210. Talking about art, we always remember a number of sacred names, honor and pride of a country and humanity. But art in every current moment consists not only of them, and it is far from clear, who is who.

 

211. It is just as impossible for an artist to change the profession as to change the soul.

 

212. Perhaps one of the main measures of art is how great its healing, not mesmerizing power is.

 

213. Art has no debt to anyone, and claims to him should not be presented.

 

214. I do not believe in quality of a reader in the Internet. Availability of any information and permissiveness relaxed all intellectual and logical connections in his brain. He was too often deceived by slipping of surrogates, which were issued instead of thoughts. And as a result, his effort is to evade understanding and to glide over the surface, creating for himself a sort of overall picture.

 

215. Many people, who believe in something higher and perfect, whether it is God, art or bright prospects of development of mankind, are called idealists and dreamers. But in fact such a belief is quite pragmatic, because if a person believes that his life is somehow connected with higher goals, it is easier for him to endure any hardships.

 

216. Timeliness is one of main components of success of any business. But if the purpose of business is the creation of eternal values, then the time interval of timeliness can be very long – until eternity.

 

217. Whatever a reader, viewer or listener is, he is a judge for a creator, though not of the last instance.

 

218. Majority vote and the more people's opinion is not a criterion of truth in science, at least because scientific discoveries can be done more by an individual than by a collective, moreover by a whole nation.

 

219. There is no precise definition of art for many thousands years, and thus likely will never be. There are also no more or less precise criterions to distinguish genuine art from the imaginary. They say that time will tell, but it often retains prejudices and rumors of contemporaries. It may seem that fans and collectors of art are like at a turf, and, unlike players, they will never know how their horses have galloped. But in reality it is not so: intuition of professional art historians, based on a thorough knowledge of art history, may be an assessment tool.

 

220. Genius is nothing more than a good starting point. Only work, experience and will power can turn it into a worthy accomplishment.

 

221. It makes sense to write memoir in an age, when active life is already in the past, but the pain of the lived life still exists. Later the pain subsides and senile complacency comes. Then it is too late.

 

222. Why are there much more books about writers than, for example, about the janitors? Because books are written not by janitors, but by writers. And it is much easier to think out a story around the own biography than around a stranger’s.

 

223. The more we say or write, the less of that people will remember. But the greater the chance is that they will hear us or will not pass by our works.

 

224. One should not confuse art and high quality handicraft, art and trickery.

 

225. Not only love is a source of creativity, but also envy, jealousy, pain and many other negative emotions. But constant reliving of all these emotions means to condemn ourselves to miserable existence. The salvation is the memory about the experiences, which were lived through at least once. We can create, evoking the memory about that.

 

226. Religion and art are closely connected with the ways of society, but they live by their own laws and no state can affect these laws by willed order. The system of spiritual values in religion and art is above all social changes and upheavals, and governments have no power over it. And after the collapse of the communist utopia, no equivalent alternatives of religion and art remained in the spiritual world of people.

 

VII. On good and evil

 

227. Almost every normal person feels good, doing good, and bad, doing evil. This gives us the hope for the ultimate triumph of good in the world.

 

228. If one builds the value of his own personality on non-recognition of the value of individuals around him, then sooner or later the value of this "central figure" will be put under question by the others, most often as self-defense. Inevitably, there is a situation of eternal war, which greatly increases the likelihood of suffering and death of that "central person".

 

229. Modern society, where money and power are the determining factors of social relationships, is unable to win a global victory over evil.

 

230. Today's realities suggest that a person, in principle, can choose not only good, but also evil. But if a person understands, what good is and what evil is, the likelihood of harm is reduced by the informed choice.

 

231. The history of mankind shows that defeated good has better chance for revenge than defeated evil.

 

232. Pessimism, though it is fruitless, is still better than optimistic faith in the triumph of evil.

 

233. A modern human, who is highly experienced and does not tend to exaggerate the power of tradition, needs personal understanding that even under the conditions of rapid scientific and technological progress, and the computerization of all areas of knowledge, and the development of artificial intelligence and genetic engineering, – the relevance of cultural and moral values does not reduce, but grows. And one of the global tasks of culture is to give him this personal understanding.

 

234. Evil is a really strong when ordinary people admire it as a heroic deed.

 

235. Global victory over evil in the world is not some state of human society. Just nobody will be tempted to do evil. And what the state of society would be in this case, – we can only guess. But it is clear that if people continue to kill, torture and deceive each other, and the state has to oversee that only those who “should be" killed, tortured or deceived, – what kind of victory over evil can there be?

 

236. If it is impossible to punish murderers, scoundrels and swindlers by law, the better if they thrive in their own mansions, living unjustly earned money, than we should have at our disposal squads of murderers, scoundrels and swindlers to crack them down. We should not assimilate them.

 

237. There is an infinitely cynical phrase, which tramples human dignity: "We are just the amount of food, that we have used". Even more cynically: "We have debts neither before God, nor before humanity, nor even before our parents, because we did not ask them to give us birth". It is so desirable to hear it more seldom around us...

 

238. How can a person be treated if he does not want to get better? And if mankind does not want to get better?

 

239. There are many shades of good and evil, as the shades of black and white. But as in the determining of a particular shade of gray the concepts of black and white should be understood, as well in any moral choice one must consciously focus on good, and not to engage in self-deception.

 

240. No religious confession should hold itself above or below the others. Just the Buddhists have their own spiritual path, the Muslims – their own, the Christians – their own and so on, but the goal (at a good faith interpretation of the relevant doctrines) is the same – the triumph of good. There is a lot of ways of achievement of that, so religious hatred must have no place among the people, who are united by the desire to improve life on the Earth.

 

241. It is not a sin to cheat the devil, but it is impossible.

 

242. Should I provide the left cheek when struck on the right (in the other words, should I take the position of non-resisting to evil by violence)? My answer is following: if there is at least some chance, I'll do everything for the violent conflict not to occur. Moreover, if there is a chance to preserve life and human dignity, I shall provide the other cheek, so shall take no retaliatory action. But if there is no such chance, I shall have to answer by a blow for a blow. And let me know that it is a sin, – there are situations when not to answer is a sin. The main thing is that the likelihood of violence reduces many times in this case.

 

243. Few people take through life the vast collection of spiritual values of humanity. But everyone can keep in mind at least a vague sense of their presence, and such a feeling can save people from many unseemly acts.

 

244. Evil can afford the luxury of inaction in our imperfect world. Good can not afford it.

 

245. Sin is everything that causes for others pain and suffering, or at least inconvenience. All other arguments on this subject only complicate the problem.

 

246. "The golden rule of morality" – "do to others, what you want others to do unto you" –may be easily challenged in theory: perhaps others want not the same that we want? But in practice we usually are well aware of what others want or do not want, and attract all theories only to justify our unsightly actions.

 

247. In practice, the ideal moral position may look like this: if there is a slightest opportunity to do good, then it should be used. And the deeper this position is rooted in each individual, the more he perceives the limits of this opportunity.

 

VIII. On the sense of life

 

248. It is much easier to live with conviction that our life has a sense, than without such conviction.

 

249. Faith gives a person understanding of the sense of his life as of a service to God, or at least, to his prophets. But the problem is that different people believe differently, and even in different gods, so senses can also be different.

 

250. If a person can not solve for himself the question of his mission, he can think at least about the correctness of the chosen path among many temptations, hesitations and errors that occur at every step. Destiny may be felt like a journey, but in fact at every turn we meet a lot of forks, where a completely different way may be chosen.

 

251. If our lives had no sense, none of our deeds had any value.

 

252. Some philosophers believe that human existence is the supreme goal in itself, and people must not be asked why they live. But I still would like to ask murderers, maniacs, thieves and other such people, why they live.

 

253. The sense of life can be perceived only through personal experience, which interweaves with the question of appointing of a person. Therefore people increasingly look about it in an old age, and even then not everyone, but only those who are preparing for death and trying to look back on past life. The majority does not do that.

 

254. It is bad, if a person lost the feeling of the sense of life for the life as spontaneous process. Even worse, if he had nothing to lose.

 

255. If a person lived all his life only for himself and left nothing behind, even the memory about himself, – it is possible to say that his life was wasted, and that is like he never lived.

 

256. Largely, it is no matter, what generated our positive or negative qualities: well thought-out convictions or mental impulses. All the same, the surrounding people and the descendants will judge us by our deeds, not according to thoughts, which were born in our brain.

 

257. A human differs from animals primarily by the fact that he is capable to live not by instinct, but thinking about the sense of his life and relating his actions with it.

 

258. If a person finds the sense of his life in the achievement of happiness, it is unlikely that he will be really happy. In fact, whenever he feels happy, he will ask himself a question with no answer: "What's next?"

 

259. The sense of our life is our reward for all difficulties, losses, miseries, and finally for the death.

 

260. Substitution of attempts to understand the sense of life by setting specific goals – perhaps one of the worst diseases of mankind. Many people are so accustomed to this, that they do not see the difference between intent and purpose.

 

261. If our life had no meaning and we lived only by the instinct of self-preservation, all the others would not have cared, if we are still alive or already dead.

 

262. Attitude towards life as a duty before God, humanity, a nation or the family is well at least by that if we still have to suffer and endure hardships, so at least with a sense of duty.

 

263. If we imagine our earthly life as a computer game, in which sooner or later «Game over» appears, what can be likened to the button «Save»? Only a trace in history – as a maximum, history of humanity, and at least, of the family.

 

264. All human beings are capable of honest work and children raising. Many are able to leave behind scientific works, inventions or works of art. The sense of our life is in all this. And if life has the sense, it must have also a result, which can be evaluated as follows: how we worked, what children raised up, what works created.

 

IX. On the death and eternal life

 

265. We must remember that the death can come at any moment (as they say, a brick may fall on the head), and every our act may be the last in the life. Therefore it is necessary to act so, as if it had been indeed the last – this means, as well as possible. And then, whenever the death will come, we can say with certainty that we did not live in vain.

 

266. There is truth in the absence of eternal life on the Earth. Let us imagine, what a great impediment for development in the case of eternal life would have been those imaginary authorities, from whom mankind has a chance to get rid at least in the case of their death or retirement.

 

267. Ends our mission on the Earth with our death or not? It depends primarily on that we have done in the life.

 

268. If a person all his life does nothing but chases pleasures, he resents the arrival of old age and the death like a child who has lost a toy.

 

269. The more a person can tell you in answer to the question: "What did you do in your life?", it is the less likely that he will finish his story saying: "I fulfilled all that was due, now I can die in peace".

 

270. Death is the only inevitable event in our earthly life, and preparation for it in order to meet it adequately, – is one of the most serious of our tasks.

 

271. Perhaps there is justice in the fact that no philosophical understanding of the death allows us to stifle our instincts, which force us to mourn the deads.

 

272. As mankind does not know alternatives to the death of a physical body, it is stupid and useless to be afraid of it.

 

273. Summing up our life in an old age, we must remember that these results are not conclusive: there is still if not God's court, then certainly the court of posterity.

 

274. There are not many people in the world, who are able to understand that the unavoidance of death makes it the crown of life. All the rest are covered by such fear of the end, that often believe only in doctors-gerontologists.

 

275. If a man lives only in order to maintain his life, it just means that he is dying slowly.

 

276. We can not defeat the death, but we can cheat it, having continued ourselves in our works and posterity.

 

277. Most thoughts about the imminent end of the world are generated by the primitive desire "nothing after us". Probably for many people, who realized that they left nothing to humanity, it would have indeed been easier to die together with it.

 

278. A human, who understood what death is, can be intimidated and subjugated much harder. To understand what death is, – means to find a path to freedom.

 

279. Since we are unable to eternal life on the Earth, let us try to give eternal life at least to our earthly works.

 

280. I am ready to admit that a person may consider his life as a capital, which should be invested with the maximum benefit with the minimum risk. Question – where invested? As we know, investments can be short-term and long-term. And long-term investments, although yield less immediate benefit, can "work" for many centuries, if not forever. And this benefit is to be measured not in money, but in far more weighty values, among which the gratitude of descendants is not even the biggest.

 

281. Why such time unit, as eternity, should not exist?

 

282. Due to our limitations, we can not know if God exists or not, but we can choose for ourselves one of the two versions. There will be something like a lottery: "guessed – not guessed". What version to choose? Undoubtedly, the existence of good, omnipotent and just God, because if we win, then we obtain hope for immortality of the soul, and in case of loss, in fact, lose nothing.

 

283. Those, who pray to good and almighty God, regardless of their religious faith, have to believe in immortality of the soul: otherwise they would have to admit that God kills everyone at the end of the earthly life. But God is no murderer.

 

284. How great and boundless the Universe is, comparing to our capabilities in the earthly life! For someone, this understanding means to be confined to the horror of his close little world, for others – the joy because the possibility of our cognition is as big and boundless as the Universe. And that is a pledge of eternal life, if even not of a specific person, then of humanity as a whole.

 

X. On life practice

 

285. Ancient proverb says: "The devil is in details". But God is also in details. There is no life without details. It is impossible to solve only global issues.

 

286. We have to grow up prior to everything in life, even so far as to follow our own principles.

 

287. It is better to assume that others can more easily do without us, what we – without them. Even if it is actually not true.

 

288. Neither one, who is developing as a person, nor one, who degrades, can do without anxiety and worry. But the latter is awaited also by depression. The conclusion is simple: in terms of self-feeling it is better to develop than to degrade.

 

289. As it is extremely difficult to tell a genuine authority from an imaginary, it is better to trust blindly neither the one nor the other.

 

290. In many cases, people's behavior seems ridiculous or stupid just because we do not know its real reasons. Therefore it is not worth to laugh at people or to consider them fools.

 

291. There is no need to expect happiness and pleasures from life, but there is also no need to ask life for pain. Hence, there is one step to search of non-existent injuries on the body.

 

292. You think that you are tired of life? Take a walk in the fresh air, sleep enough, and fatigue will pass.

 

293. Being a narcissist is like upsetting that you are no longer the charming child, who was caressed by the mother. With such narcissism the life can turn into hell.

 

294. It is almost impossible to persuade adult people, who have their own opinion. We can only convince those ones, who have not yet their point of view.

 

295. Everyone decides for himself, what is better for him: not to trust people or to be cheated by them. However, even the most distrustful one can also be cheated.

 

296. It is useless to attempt to dissociate oneself from the outside world for the sake of less anxiety in the life. It is better just not to succumb to this anxiety.

 

297. Only superficial and non-thinking people fear of old age and create a bizarre cult of youth. Every age has its own unique content.

 

298. Shopkeepers earn on extravagance, farmers – on high prices for food, doctors – on diseases, judges – on conflicts, police – on crime, militaries – on wars... And how many times was the success of each of us based on failures of others? Let us admit it frankly and try to make this happen less often.

 

299. One must not turn steadiness into indifference.

 

300. If there is nothing else to rely on, we have to rely on the opinion of majority.

 

301. We should not tell people in the eyes about their weaknesses, we should pity them. Anyone, who has a weakness, is worthy of pity.

 

302. If you warmed a snake on your breast, it may bite you even because you have extended her very hard life, and she did not ask about it. However, it can bite you just for no reason.

 

303. All words about impossibility of quiet achieving are valid only in respect of our relations with the outside world. Inside us, quiet is not only possible, but also useful – if only it does not turn into complacency.

 

304. Such feelings as greed, envy, hatred or jealousy steal happiness from a human.

 

305. It is a pity to see how well said words are forgotten, not reaching the goal – hearts and minds of people. Therefore it is better to write these words, and to publish if possible, at least in the Internet. Then they at least have a chance.

 

306. It is difficult without friends, but it is even more difficult when there are too many friends.

 

307. Zeal is useful in any case. But there are situations when excessive zeal harms: for example, if we try too hard to convince someone in our rightness, there is the risk to arouse suspicion in selfish intentions.

 

308. Our body, clothing, house etc. are the boundaries between the inner world and the outer world. They do not necessarily have to be closed, but certainly have to be in fair condition. Figuratively speaking, there must be fresh paint on the border columns.

 

309. In order to achieve something in life, we must differ from others. And the more a man wants to achieve in life, the more he must differ. But it is impossible to differ in everything: we shall look like madmen or fools. There is the only one way out: constant search for compromise.

 

310. Crimes of others are not an excuse for our crimes. Mistakes of others may be even less excuse for our mistakes.

 

311. Everything unlearned and unread in childhood is usually impossible to be caught up in adulthood: there is not enough time and ability for that.

 

312. If we deserve praise, it is best to treat it with indifference (as any praise), but if such praise pleases – it is just a small forgivable weakness. The really bad thing is if a person is delighted of an undeserved praise.

 

313. It is never too early, but sometimes too late to ask ourselves if we are engaged in a serious affair or in nonsense.

 

314. We can extract more value from merits of our opponents than of their weaknesses.

 

315. The coincidence of random factors plays a very important role in every affair. Almost a lottery turns out. But the chances of winning in this lottery increase if we buy a lottery ticket – that is seriously prepare for the deal.

 

316. It is sometimes more difficult to get ready to do something than to do that.

 

317. One may doubt and hesitate before a decision is made. But when it is taken, we must act, without being distracted by doubts, fears and hesitations. The only thing, that can distract us, is the thinking about future decisions.

 

318. Probably it is necessary to be really great not to lose touch with reality, when everyone around every day tells you that you are great.

 

319. There are women, who believe that men are needed for sex, money, restaurants, buying expensive things – and that's all. They do not realize that it is possible to love, spare, save, heal, and raise children together. As a result, they are transformed with an age into rapacious monsters and victims of plastic surgery, because for them the leaving of beauty is a tragedy of the life.

 

320. How often we confuse true things with convincing things!

 

321. There is no need to indulge our weaknesses, and even more to complain about anything. That will not help us, will only hinder.

 

322. If your beliefs are shared by nobody, it is a good reason to think if you are a genius or just a morbid person.

 

323. Many people believe that they must tell truth, but not to convince in it, and even more so not to make believe in it. In fact, it is useless to make believe. But it is necessary to convince.

 

324. Self-importance does not let people assess the situation soberly.

 

325. A rich but unloved husband is usually a too big fee for welfare of a woman.

 

326. If a person realizes that all his life was just rubbish, it means that not all is lost for him.

 

327. It is usually useless to brand traitors by disgrace: they knew what they were doing.

 

328. Excessive prudence hurts sometimes. Selflessness, recklessness and rashness are often needed to achieve heights in every affair.

 

329. If we do not take care about the future, then there is a big chance that it also will not take care of us.

 

330. If every morning we ask ourselves: "What am I going to do today?", and every evening ask: "Have I done everything?" – global life plans may be fulfilled much more successfully.

 

331. The best (though not always possible) way to meet needs is rejection of them.

 

332. Should a human suffer because he does not suffer when others suffer? To suffer or not to suffer – that is his personal concern, but he must ask such a question in any case.

 

333. Let us have no fear. Reasonable care is enough.

 

334. Care of the future should not be postponed for the future.

 

335. Independently, how bad our situation is, we should not blame external circumstances, which are beyond our responsibility – from the road traffic to the position of stars on the sky. Blaming external circumstances, we undermine our own will to struggle for improvement of our situation.

 

336. There are very few scoundrels, who frankly tell themselves and others that they commit meanness by mercenary motives. Most of them try to establish their behavior on high moral principles. And the saddest thing is that many of them manage to do that.

 

337. If we want to achieve something, we ourselves must firstly believe that we can do it. Otherwise, the chance for success is much lower.

 

338. Persistence is not a less dignity of a man than the ability of exploit.

 

339. Jealousy causes a human to perceive any value of everyone else (money, car, home, success and even talent) as stolen from him personally.

 

340. Each person has a need for complacency, but the fee for complacency is usually too high. Often it is necessary to pay the life.

 

341. One of our character’s features, against which it is desirable to struggle constantly, – mood changes depending on our successes and failures.

 

342. Shouldn’t we think, how much time and efforts we spend on envy, criticism, and in general – on destruction of others’ things instead of creation of our own? Rarely our enemies are so capable of stealing of our time and effort, as we do ourselves.

 

343. Laziness is a luxury that we can not afford.

 

344. The life of weak-willed and dependent people sooner or later becomes a conglomeration of coincidences.

 

345. Is it worth fawning before a hungry tiger in the hope that he will not eat you? Unlikely, because at best it will eat you not for breakfast, but for dinner.

 

346. If a person replaces clear evidence or passionate conviction by commanding notes in the voice, he does not worth trust.

 

347. Love can occur suddenly and pass unexpectedly. Respect is much more serious, stable and reliable feeling. Therefore, respect without love is preferable to love without respect.

 

348. Perhaps the most important work in our life is a work on mistakes.

 

349. It is often said that good intentions pave the road to hell. Maybe so, but we can not abandon them, because they also pave the road to paradise.

 

350. There is only one way to become free from blame for the mistakes of the past: to be sure that they will not be repeated.

 

351. Our experience usually allows us to find boundaries between the need to adapt and the ability not to adapt to circumstances. But sometimes we encounter some circumstances for the first time, and life experience is useless. Then only our principles of life can help. And even if we make a mistake, anyway we shall know that have not gone against ourselves.

 

352. It is good if we have enough willpower to start life anew at some moment. But we must remember that the elder we are at this point, the shorter this new life is.

 

353. Character flaws can be corrected by intellect, by the means of constantly monitoring of our words and deeds. Lack of intellect can be replaced by strong character to a much lesser extent.

 

354. Let us not expect from people that they will justify our expectations. But if we try to justify their expectations, it appears more likely that our expectations and the expectations of surrounding people match.

 

355. It is doubly difficult to be lazy: it is necessary to do every affair by force, and the affair itself will be done worse.

 

356. It is better to give advices only if we are confident that our advice will be followed immediately. In all other cases, there is a risk that our advice will be accepted only as a rebuke.

 

357. It is very dangerous to trust blindly our sense of rightness: it depends on criterions, which are false very often.

 

358. If at some point you are surrounded only by bad people, do not forget that humanity consists not only of them, and do not be like them.

 

359. People often seem silly to each other. But in reality they just do not always understand each other, and certainly do not always want to look at the world from the positions of another person.

 

360. Luck can come to everyone. But it may be used only by people who have talent, willpower, ability to work and experience.

 

361. Life is granted to us. But this gift is not absolute: we are obliged to keep it and pass to descendants.

 

362. The main means for the deserving meeting of the future is the deserving past. However, there remains a chance to correct the disgraceful past by the deserving present.

 

363. If we could look at the world through the eyes of a butterfly, then perhaps would see that it feels time quite differently than we do, and manages to survive our age in one day. This we can feel ourselves: sometimes time seems to crawl, and sometimes – to fly. In short, time as a universal equivalent and time as our internal state can vary greatly. So, we are able to prolong our lives, imbuing them by events and slowing our sense of time down.

 

364. If we want to learn to do every affair good, we must firstly learn to relate to life as to our main affair.

 

365. Never put off till tomorrow the thought, which you can think today.

 

© Sergey Zagraevsky

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