“Sow a thought and you reap an action; sow an act and you reap a habit; sow a habit and you reap a character; sow a character and you reap a destiny.”
This maxim, often attributed to American essayist and philosopher Ralph Waldo Emerson, raises the question: “When, if ever, have we conducted a thought check, and why is it so important?”
As a result of truncated thoughtfulness, we are seeing an increase in prominent leaders making clarifications or retractions because of poorly stated off-the-cuff comments. It also hampers the action and character needed for making progress.
Here are some thought checks to consider:
When did an inspiring thought last energize you? Why was it moving? How lasting were its effects?
Have there been thoughts you visit repeatedly to guide you through life? From where did they emanate: a spouse, a book, a teacher, a friend, a movie? Or did they come while you were at church or just while you were musing? What made them classic?
American essayist and poet Henry David Thoreau said, “As a single footstep will not make a path on the earth, so a single thought will not make a pathway in the mind. To make a deep physical path, we walk again and again. To make a deep mental path, we must think over and over the kind of thoughts we wish to dominate our lives.”
What thoughts most direct your life?
A quote sometimes attributed to the Greek philosopher Aristotle reads: “It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.” How often have you rejected certain thoughts or chose one thought over another? How discerning are you on a regular basis?
Indian spiritual leader Sai Baba stated, “All action results from thought, so it is thoughts that matter.” How many memorable thoughts have led to desired outcomes? What in them moved you into action?
On the front steps of the Supreme Court sits a woman holding a blindfolded figure of justice and leaning on a book of laws. Her name is Contemplation of Justice, showing that justice requires meticulous thoughtfulness.
Life is filled with innumerable thoughts that take us in untold directions. When last have you eluded distractions, gone deeply within yourself and assiduously focused your thoughts?
Thoughtfulness is the golden key for creating character and our destiny.
Help keep Catholic media free, support CatholicPhilly.com
You may have noticed “pay walls” greeting you when you visit the websites of newspapers and magazines, both large and small. These mechanisms allow you to read a few articles for free before you’ve got to pay an annual fee if you want to see more.
You won’t find a pay wall on CatholicPhilly.com because we’re more than a news organization. We’re informing, inspiring and forming readers in the Catholic faith every day through the news, features and commentaries that we post on this site and share across social media.
It costs money to provide high-quality coverage of the local Catholic communities we primarily serve, while also distributing national and world news of interest to Catholics, plus the orthodox teachings of the Catholic faith.
Help us in this mission by making a single gift of $40, $50, $100, or more. Your gift will strengthen the fabric of our entire Catholic community.
Make your donation by check:
222 N. 17th Street
Philadelphia, PA 19103
Or by credit card here: