***A Calendar of Wisdom
Daily Thoughts to Nourish the Soul
Written and Selected from the World's Sacred
by Leo Tolstoy
translated by Peter Sekirin
Reviewed May 7,
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
“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.
-top of page-