Friday, March 5, 2010

Thoughts and Souls

"Unselfish and noble actions are the most radiant 
pages in the biography of souls." 
David Thomas (1776-1859)

"The actions of men are the best interpreters of their thoughts." 
John Locke  (1632-1704)

To continue with my discussion of intentions from the other day, I have run across a couple of more quotes that value the actions of men and feel they illuminate their thoughts and souls.  I need to say that I have always believed in stepping forward to aid those in need or to right a wrong.  We must be willing to assert ourselves and act with conviction on our beliefs. Actions are invaluable and necessary.

I must, however, comment on these two quotes.  When we speak of actions being the most radiant pages in the biography of the human soul we are getting into an area that is impossible to comment upon.  Who knows what is in the soul of another?  No one knows but the owner of the soul.  The actions that were observed in life may not be the sum total of the man. 

The second quote speaks of actions being the interpreters of a man's thoughts.  Again, actions are a wonderful indicator of the character of an individual but could never be an interpreter of his thoughts.  Any thoughts, dreams, hopes, intentions or desires can only be known by their owner.

Until some scientist learns how to tap into the inner workings of our brains, our thoughts and souls will remain ours and ours alone.

Lest you think I am picking on David Thomas and John Locke, I need to say that I am only using their quotes as a jumping off point for discussion.  I could never know what was in their thoughts or souls at the time these quotes were uttered. 


  1. Ah, this is beautiful, Rita. And something we (I) need to remind ourselves (myself) of constantly, since we(I) often judge people only by their actions, or even a single action. A teenager is remembered by one foolish mistake. Notching that up, a prisoner is often remembered for the worst action of his or her life. Yet, thoughts and intentions are each person's own and continue to change.

  2. We are all imperfect Believe me, constant reminders are necessary for me as well.

  3. Deep thought, while we can never discern an intention of another, I believe it is somewhat indicative of character. Though your point is made that we cannot determine malice or charity, we want to assume it is charity. You have as always made me think -- your writing chisels deep into the gray matter. Excellent writing, excellent post.

    Bea S.