Pearls for the New Year

Sometimes we call inspiring and impactful words “pearls of wisdom.” They may challenge or uplift us. Perhaps they become the impetus for us to challenge or change ourselves. Maybe they kindle or revive some thought, feeling or hope that had become obscured or lost.

As the wheel turns and a new year roles into place I thought I would share some pearls of wisdom that reverberate in my thoughts, feelings and heart. Words that make me pause and think. Words that become a map for my life. Words that bring into questions ideas and beliefs. Words that change, inspire, even worry me. Words that uplift me and spark something into life in me. Sometimes they sound like an echo coming back to me….something that floated away and now is finding it’s way back to me. Dreams and thoughts, wishes and hopes I had sent out into the world in good will, but then seemed to have forgotten about, come softly back and nudge me.

Here they are, in no particular order.


“Fashion your life as a garland of beautiful deeds.” 
— Buddha

“My religion is very simple. My religion is kindness.”
~The Dalai Lama

“One’s life has value so long as one attributes value to the life of others, by means of love, friendship, indignation and compassion”.~Simone de Beauvoir

“The emergence and blossoming of understanding, love, and intelligence has nothing to do with any tradition, no matter how ancient or impressive–it has nothing to do with time. It happens on its own when a human being questions, wonders, inquires, listens, and looks without getting stuck in fear, pleasure, and pain. When self-concern is quiet, in abeyance, heaven and earth are open.”~ Toni Packer

“Only a life lived for others is worth living.”
~ Albert Einstein

“Very little grows on jagged rock.
Be ground. Be crumbled,
so wildflowers will come up
where you are.”
~ Rumi

we will walk

“Be soft. Do not let the world make you hard. Do not let pain make you hate.
Do not let the bitterness steal your sweetness.
Take pride that even though the rest of the world may disagree,
you still believe it to be a beautiful place.”
~Kurt Vonnegaut

“Questioner: How are we to treat others? Ramana Maharshi: There are no others.”

“Do not be daunted by the enormity of the world’s grief. Do justly, now. Love mercy, now. Talk humbly, now. You are not obligated to complete the work, but neither are you free to abandon it.” – Rabbi Tarfon

“Kindness can become its own motive. We are made kind by being kind.” 
– Eric Hoffer

“Kindness … loving people more than they deserve.” — Joseph Joubert

“The highest wisdom is loving kindness.” ~The Talmud

seneca kindness


“To be hopeful in bad times is based on the fact that human history is not only of cruelty, but also of compassion, sacrifice, courage, kindness. If we see only the worst, it destroys our capacity to do something. If we remember those times and places where people have behaved magnificently, this gives us the energy to act. And if we do act, in however small a way, we don’t have to wait for some grand Utopian future. The future is an infinite succession of presents, and to live now as we think human beings should live, in defiance of all that is bad around us, is itself a marvelous victory.” ~Howard Zinn

mo pnd

“Any persons whom you have ever met, even if you have just exchanged a glance on a bus, have become part of your being and consequently you are, in some sense, responsible for them. You carry them in your heart.” ~Native American saying in Grace In Action by Richard Rohr

“Blessed are the peacemakers, for they shall be called sons of God.” ~Matthew 5.9

This kinship with the suffering of others, this inability to continue to regard it from afar, is the discovery of our soft spot, the discovery of bodhichitta. Bodhichittais a Sanskrit word that means “noble or awakened heart.” It is said to be present in all beings. Just as butter is inherent in milk and oil is inherent in a sesame seed, this soft spot is inherent in you and me.“~ Pema Chodron

“When we bless others, we offer them refuge from an indifferent world.”
— Rachel Naomi Remen

“In the expectation of wonderful things to happen in the future,
one doesn’t hear the sound of the wind and rain,
the breath and heartbeat this instant.”
~Toni Packer


“As a mother with her own life guards the life of her own child, let all-embracing embracing thoughts for all that lives be thine.” ~ Metta Sutta

“There are things you can’t reach. But
You can reach out to them, and all day long.
The wind, the bird flying away. The idea of god.
And it can keep you busy as anything else, and happier.
I look; morning to night I am never done with looking.
Looking I mean not just standing around, but standing around
As though with your arms open.” 
~ Mary Oliver

“Real fearlessness is the product of tenderness. It comes from letting the world tickle your heart, your raw and beautiful heart. You are willing to open up, without resistance or shyness, and face the world. You are willing to share your heart with others.” ~ Chogyam Trungpa

“Those who act kindly in this world will have kindness.” Qur’an

rumi quiet

“People usually consider walking on water or in thin air a miracle. But I think the real miracle is not to walk either on water or in thin air, but to walk on earth. Every day we are engaged in a miracle which we don’t even recognize: a blue sky, white clouds, green leaves, the black, curious eyes of a child — our own two eyes. All is a miracle.” ― Thích Nhất Hạnh

Men do not mirror themselves in running water–
they mirror themselves in still water.
Only what is still can still the stillness of other things.
” ~Taoism

Dig a big hole in the garden of your thoughts and put into it all your disillusions, disappointments, regrets, worries, troubles, doubts, and fears. Cover well with the earth of fruitfulness. Water it from the well of contentment. Sow on top the seeds of hope, courage, strength, patience, and love. Then when the time for gathering comes, may your harvest be a rich and fruitful one.”~ Anonymous

“An ocean, a rainforest, the human body, are all co-operatives. The redwood tree doesn’t take all the soil and nutrients, just what it needs to grow. A lion doesn’t kill every gazelle, just one. We have a term for something in the body when it takes more than its share, we call it: cancer.” ~ Tom Shadyac

If people could see that Change comes about as a result of millions of tiny acts that seem totally insignificant, well then they wouldn’t hesitate to take those tiny acts.” – Howard Zinn

And finally, I love this story:

Digging A Hole Big Enough to Sit In, by Twylah Nitsch

“I must have been under five when I spent one whole summer day digging a hole with a large spoon in the side of a bank near our house. I had to dig and dig because the ground was so full of roots and my goal was to make a hole big enough to sit in – like a cave. And that took a lot of hard work. Digging through all those roots was tough.

What I remember most about the experience is something my grandmother said. “When you take the dirt out, make sure you have a place for it,” she cautioned me, “because the dirt is used to being in that particular place, and it is at home there. Don’t take anything that is part of something and just scatter it around. Remember you are disturbing the home of the worms and the insects. You are moving them out of the place where they have been living, and you need to make sure that they are happy about where you are taking them.” So I would scoop the dirt into a little basket I had and take it around to various spots. “Is this where you would like to be?” I’d ask. And if the answer was yes, I would leave it. Otherwise, I’d pick up my basket, go to another spot, and ask again.

When I had finally made the hold deep enough to sit in, I would crawl in there and listen. I could hear the earth talking.”

There are many more! This is just a sampling!!!

Perhaps you’d care to share you favorite quotes or words of inspiration….

Happy New Year to each of you!!  Thanks for stopping by!








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