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*****= An all-time favorite
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***A Calendar of Wisdom

Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul

Written and Selected from the World's Sacred Texts

by Leo Tolstoy

translated by Peter Sekirin

Reviewed May 7, 2004.
Scribner, New York, 1997.  384 pages.
Available at Sembach Library (087.1 TOL).

Tolkien considered A Calendar of Wisdom to be his finest work.  He read every day from the selections of wise thoughts that it contains.

Of course, if you check this book out from the library, you’ll need to read more than one page per day.  Although I didn’t agree with all of it, the parts I didn’t agree with did set me to thinking.  Reading through this book can be a daily encounter with the great minds of history.

A few samples of the quotations that appear:

“Just because a person does not understand God, he has no right to draw the conclusion that God does not exist.”

“It is a great happiness to have what you desire; but it is an even greater happiness not to want more than you already have.—Menedemus”

“There is no worse harm for a person with a strong intellect than the temptation to make witty remarks that blame and mock his neighbors.”

“A person who is not used to luxury, but who acquired luxury quite by chance, often pretends, in order to become more important in his own eyes and in the eyes of other people, that luxury is natural for him, that he is not surprised by it, that he neglects it.  In the same way a stupid person pretends that he is bored with life, and that he can find something more interesting.”

“Even if I err in saying that the soul is eternal, nevertheless I am happy that I made this mistake.  And while I am alive, not a single person can take away this assurance which gives me complete calmness and great satisfaction.—Marcus Tullius Cicero”

Copyright © 2004 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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