Thoughts Archives – Values of the Wise

Thoughts on Values & Ethics

Author and Founder of Values of the Wise Jason Merchey shares his perspectives on classical and modern applications of values, wisdom, ethics, and personal growth. The goal is to provide insight into what “a life of value” is and how one can live it. Quotations, proverbs, idioms, and historical facts often provide grist for the mill! Occasional guest blogs are featured as well.


Inspiration is Found in Quotations

inspiration in quotations July 20th, 2017

Inspiration can be found in quotations by wise persons. Not only in quotes about values, but also proverbs, song lyrics, bits of poetry, and so on. But you don’t want to get sidetracked or duped by self-serving, wanna-be “gurus” whose aim is really to sell a product. Where can you turn that is reputable, but without having to do all the heavy lifting yourself? You’ve come to the right place: Values of the Wise.com.  Values of the Wise is a thirteen-year-old pursuit by philosophical thinker and independent scholar Jason Merchey wherein many great quotations that can provide inspiration, enlightenment, and lifelong learning are brought to the table. It’s like a smorgasbord – it’s pretty much all here, you just have to pick and digest. A superb “quote search engine” is available here, and it can be modified to find quotations by females or males, from different regions of the world, based on keywords, or based on the value that the quote is about. How much does this cost? Free! How many ads do you have to put up with? None. What’s the point? Inspiration, insight, and independence. Read on to learn a bit more about how to determine which quotes about values will not only feel right, but be right. 

Read More

Quotes About Vision Can Inspire and Enlighten

quotes about vision July 11th, 2017

You’ll find goodies like this in the Wisdom Archive, a 25,000-quote search engine dedicated to quotes about vision, quotations on values, and so on: “Everything in the material universe about us, everything ever known, had its origin first in thought. From this it took its form. Every castle, every statue, every painting, every piece of mechanism – everything had its birth, its origin, first in the mind of the one who formed it…” Ralph Waldo Trine. Yes, Trine, not Emerson. Ralph Waldo did have many great quotes about vision, and few are better than this gem: “Do not follow where the path may lead. Go, instead, where there is no path and leave a trail.” What are some other great quotes about vision, and what is the point of knowing about them? Read on.

Read More

Quotes on Development and Growth

quotes on development are fantastic July 6th, 2017

Quotes on development (i.e., quotations about development) involve opinions and findings about how human beings grow, change, and mature. Opinions meaning: theories and suppositions and claims about the way we (ideally) grow toward ever-increasing maturity, self-actualization, and success. Findings meaning: there is a branch of psychological science called developmental psychology, and this discipline (and related ones) shed light on how exactly we move forward in life, in relationships, and in our own minds. After some brief words, I will present a number of quotes on development that highlight the phenomenon. 

Read More

Values of the Wise: What Does This Mean?

Values of the Wise logo June 22nd, 2017

The goal of Values of the Wise (the company) is to bring to life ancient wisdom and progressive thinking. This is done through books, online tools and resources, quotations, social networking, and the like. But what are “the values of the wise?” What does the phrase actually mean? I am Jason Merchey, the founder and originator of the concept, and I will be happy to explain what I think it means.

Read More

Humor Quotes: Lighten Up, Friends!

Humor quotes make us relax, laugh, and appreciate June 20th, 2017

Life can be a drag. We can all get too serious, work too hard, and focus too intently. The world we live in is particularly adept at crushing spirits, reducing mental well-being, and depressing those of us who think. In fact, Jean Racine quipped that “Life is a comedy to those who think, a tragedy to those who feel.” One of the things that can be helpful is to read and re-read some great humor quotes. They have a remarkable ability to open the mind, relax the soul, and create a fresh perspective. And though lightheartedness is, I say, one of the values of the wise (along with humor), a third aspect to this ValueSet is that of recognizing and accepting the absurd. Here are some of my favorite thoughts on this most interesting and engaging of subjects:

Read More

A Life of Value: 101 Good Ideas

Living a Life of Value June 18th, 2017

A life of value is a way of looking at oneself and the world that strikes a balance between doing what feels right/what fulfills you and what will benefit others in the world (and the world itself). A life of value is not about being a monk or miser or saint. It is fairer to say that a life of value is what one lives when one feels good, and also does good. It can indeed be a bit unclear just what this concept is, so here is a list of 101 things you can do, starting now, to improve your life. Ideally these simple ideas inspire and challenge. I have divided them up into two categories: more “self-oriented” things (e.g., listening to music or traveling) and more “helpful” things (e.g., write your Congressperson or vote with your dollars).

Read More

Engaging in Socratic Dialogue

Socratic Dialogue is helpful June 15th, 2017

There is something called Socratic dialogue. Essentially, two individuals engage in a conversation – a dialectic, as it is known – and they try to figure out the nature of the question and try to formulate an answer that is logical, rational, true, and correct. It’s not easy, but it is probably better to have a knowledgeable person work in concert with you if you are trying to figure out truth. This takes wisdom, obviously. Though it is not quite ready to be “an app,” there is something about the Socratic method that can be learned and useful to an individual even sans interlocutor, if you will. Thus, I will share with you my notes on what Socratic dialogue is all about. May it lead you one step closer to wisdom!

Read More

Altruism Quotes: Help Others, Help Yourself!

altruism quotes June 8th, 2017

You’re passing a homeless person; they look haggard and hungry and tired; you are doing okay in life. What do you do – pass by without making eye contact, make eye contact and keep walking, or stop and give some time or money. Enter altruism quotes! These brief little nuggets of wisdom can facilitate reaching down and pulling out some love, compassion, care, and magnanimity. Sure, one doesn’t want to be a “sucker” and get pulled in by all kinds of money-making schemes, but erring on the side of charitableness and concern for one’s fellow human being is almost never “foolish.” In other cases, altruism quotes would urge one to stop the car when you see a person in distress, trying to get that dog picked up off the streets, or even wading in a flood to help a stranded individual. Whether we are believers in God or self-confident skeptics, altruism quotes can help us to live a life that we can be proud of when the day is done. Here are some favorites:

Read More

Books on Values: Building a Life of Value

one of the best books on values June 3rd, 2017

Values of the Wise has three wonderful, insightful books on values that range from $8 to $20. They primarily use quotations to evoke wisdom and inspiration. They are organized by value: in other words, the chapter on Truth & Justice features an introductory essay, eighteen pages of some of the best and most unique quotations on the subjects, and then a closing essay. The book is very accessible because you can flip to any page and start reading; there is no need to start at the beginning and read it like a novel. One doesn’t wear all of one’s jewelry (or clothes) every single day, and the same is true for the wisdom present in this book that Diane Zehr, Pastor of Florence Christian Church in Florence, KY describes with the following words:

Read More

Frederick Douglass Quotes: Master of His Fate

Frederick Douglass quotes are special June 2nd, 2017

Daniel L. Katz, in the interesting book Why Freedom Matters, quotes the letter escaped slave and then-abolitionist Frederick Douglass wrote to his former master, Thomas Auld. He writes: “For audacious correspondence, it’s hard to beat Frederick Douglass’ (1815-1895) letter to his former master.” He ain’t lyin’! This is one of the most interesting things I have ever read. If you are interested in rare or unique Frederick Douglass quotes, you’ve come to the right place. Think about it: a slave endures the full measure of cruelty that was the custom of the upper class in the South for hundreds of years, then bravely escapes, makes his way north, evades capture, learns to read, marries, has four children, becomes a great writer, and grows into one of the most famous and eloquent and forceful abolitionists.

Read More