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Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Words To Live By 3: The Hidden Power

by Seattle Jon (bio)

Words to Live By is a series featuring short selections by eminent men and women from the mid-twentieth century. Originally published in This Week magazine, the selections represent a mosaic of what people were thinking and feeling in challenging times. Read previous entries here.

The Hidden Power
by Lewis L. Strauss (former Chairman, Atomic Energy Commission)

"As he thinketh in his heart, so is he." - Proverbs 23:7

It is so much easier to control our actions than our thoughts. Law and public sanctions help us keep our deeds in line - but only Conscience polices our thoughts.

Not long ago, meeting with several aging classmates, we talked about the events that had left their marks upon us when we were in high school together. Above all else, one occasion stood out clearly in all our minds. It was the day, nearly 50 years ago, when the governor of a distant state spoke at our high school assembly in my home town in Virginia. His theme was that a boy could mold his future as a man by the kind of thoughts he encouraged, and those he forbade himself to think. The text he used was, "As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he."

That thought, of all those brought to us as youngsters, made so deep an impression upon our minds that not one of us had forgotten it.

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