In Others’ Words: Doing Well in the World


In my search for quotes this week, I stumbled across a link that featured quotes from children’s books. Quite a lot of fun, reading through the quotes and thinking, “Oh, I’ve read that book!” or “I didn’t realize that quote was from there!”

In case you hadn’t noticed, I’m big on knowing the origin of a quote, if at all possible.

But I digress.

I like the simplicity of today’s quote — and that it was tucked into a children’s book:

  • Keep your promises.
  • Don’t take what isn’t yours.
  • Help others.

Good lessons for children to learn — and for adults to remember.

The first one, though, about keeping promises … sometimes I believe you have to amend that one. Keep all your promises … unless it was wrong for you to make that promise in the first place. Yes, I think we need to teach our children the proper way of making promises. Keep all your promises … unless doing so will cause harm to someone else or to you. Keep all your promises … unless you’re keeping a secret that needs to be told — again, because the secret is harmful. I’m all for surprises … but I’m not a huge fan of secrets.

In Your Words: What do you think about today’s list of three? Would you change it? Amend it? Teach it to children? 

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  1. March 13, 2015, 1:13 am   /  Reply

    Teach it to kids? No way.

    The principles are great, but the conclusion…”you’ll do well in the world”…is not accurate.

    They will learn…later…that you do those things because it’s the right thing to do. But to be viciously disabused of those principles, after they’d accepted them at an early age…

    No. I’m said to be ruthless, but even I would quail at that.

    The world kills the good, and its rewards are ultimately meaningless. We are called to the Cross, and that is not a topic for the reassurance of children.

    • March 13, 2015, 11:22 am   /  Reply

      Beth, I would like to apologize for the harsh tone of my comment. The sentiment remains, but I might have phrased it in a better way.

      I wrote it after learning that I really should feel guilty for being ill – that it’s quite a burden to those in my immediate circle. This follows comments that I might as well “let go”…it would be easier on everyone (including the dogs) in the long run.

      The bitterness that this engenders…you may well imagine. I wrote the comment under that influence, and I am sorry for its tone.

      But for those who might wish me conveniently out of the way, they may know this…I am still in this fight, and new adversaries are welcome.

      • March 13, 2015, 12:04 pm   /  Reply

        I will address first things first:
        I am so sorry you are hurt by someone else’s insensitivity — for someone treating you unkindly. You are brave — a warrior — and “letting go” are two words that are just not in your vocabulary.
        Your comments are always welcome here, whatever the catalyst.
        Praying for you, my friend.

        • March 13, 2015, 12:35 pm   /  Reply

          Beth, thank you for understanding.

          Life is starting to really…pardon me, really, really suck.

  2. March 13, 2015, 8:22 am   /  Reply

    I know some children and grandchildren near and dear to me that I’d love to master those quotes 24/7. But then I’d do well to master them myself. I love your pursuit of correct use of quotes. Thanks.

    • March 13, 2015, 12:02 pm   /  Reply


      The things we want to teach our children and our GRANDS … so often we need to learn or re-learn ourselves. So true, Dee.

  3. March 13, 2015, 9:10 pm   /  Reply

    You always find the neatest quotes, Beth. Some I’m very familiar with; others, not so much. This one seems vaguely familiar.

    Yes, I think it’s worth teaching to our kids. Though the “you’ll do well in the world” might not be completely accurate, I think it’s how we look at it. By “doing well in the world” do we mean making a name for ourselves by the world’s standards? If yes, then no, we might not do that by following these three “rules”. If that phrase means we’ll do well in the world by sharing the Gospel everywhere we go, then yes, I believe we will do very well by starting with those three things. If we expect the bare minimum to come from those three to-dos, then at least we will have put more common courtesy and chivalry back into the world. From my perspective, only good can come from living and teaching those three goals.


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