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Top 25 Quotes for Character & Virtue

Inspirational Quotes about Character & Virtue

25 “I have observed, indeed, generally, that while in protestant countries the defections from the Platonic Christianity of the priests is to Deism, in catholic countries they are to Atheism. Diderot, D’Alembert, D’Holbach, Condorcet, are known to have been among the most virtuous of men. Their virtue, then, must have had some other foundation than the love of God.”


– Thomas Jefferson, Quotes From Letters of Thomas Jefferson



24 “The best index to a person’s character is how he treats people who can’t do him any good, and how he treats people who can’t fight back.”


– Abigail Van Buren



23“Courage is the most important of all the virtues because without courage, you can’t practice any other virtue consistently.”


– Maya Angelou



22“Don’t reserve your best behavior for special occasions. You can’t have two sets of manners, two social codes – one for those you admire and want to impress, another for those whom you consider unimportant. You must be the same to all people.”


– Lillian Eichler Watson



21 “If we lose the virile, manly qualities, and sink into a nation of mere hucksters, putting gain over national honor, and subordinating everything to mere ease of life, then we shall indeed reach a condition worse than that of the ancient civilizations in the years of their decay.”


– Theodore Roosevelt, Quotes From The Law of Civilization and Decay


Inspirational Quotes about Character


20“You cannot have a proud and chivalrous spirit if your conduct is mean and paltry; for whatever a man’s actions are, such must be his spirit.”


– Demosthenes



19 “Excellence is an art won by training and habituation. We do not act rightly because we have virtue or excellence, but we rather have those because we have acted rightly. We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act but a habit.”


– Aristotle





“Watch your thoughts, they become words.


Watch your words, they become actions.


Watch your actions, they become habits.


Watch your habits, they become your character.


Watch your character, it becomes your destiny.”


– Frank Outlaw



17“To enjoy the things we ought and to hate the things we ought has the greatest bearing on excellence of character.” [/pullquote]


– Aristotle



16“To endeavor to speak truth in every instance; to give nobody expectations that are not likely to be answered, but aim at sincerity in every word and action-the amiable excellence in a rational being.”


– Benjamin Franklin



Inspirational Quotes about Virtue


15“To succeed is nothing, it’s an accident, but to feel no doubts about oneself is something very different: it is character.”


– Marie Leneru



14“The superior man is modest in his speech, but exceeds in his actions.”


– Confucius



13 “It is better to be hated for what you are than to be loved for what you are not.”


– Andre Gide



12 “There are some men who lift the age they inhabit, till all men walk on higher ground in that lifetime.”


– Maxwell Anderson, Quotes from Valley Forge



11 “How can you come to know yourself? Never by thinking, always by doing. Try to do your duty, and you’ll know right away what you amount to.”


– Johann Wolfgang von Goethe


Inspirational Quotes about Character & Virtue


10 “Ethos Anthropou Daimon. A man’s character is his fate.”


– Heraclitus



9 “Every human being on this earth is born with a tragedy, and it isn’t original sin. He’s born with the tragedy that he has to grow up. That he has to leave the nest, the security, and go out to do battle. He has to lose everything that is lovely and fight for a new loveliness of his own making, and it’s a tragedy. A lot of people don’t have the courage to do it.”


– Helen Hayes



8“The stories of past courage can define that ingredient-they can teach, they can offer hope, they can provide inspiration. But they cannot supply courage itself. For this each man must look into his own soul.”


– John F. Kennedy



7“The best people possess a feeling for beauty, the courage to take risks, the discipline to tell the truth, the capacity for sacrifice. Ironically, their virtues make them vulnerable; they are often wounded, sometimes destroyed.”


– Ernest Hemingway



6We live in an age disturbed, confused, bewildered, afraid of its own forces, in search not merely of its road but even of its direction. There are many voices of counsel, but few voices of vision; there is much excitement and feverish activity, but little concert of thoughtful purpose. We are distressed by our own ungoverned, undirected energies and do many things, but nothing long. It is our duty to find ourselves.


– Woodrow Wilson


Inspirational Quotes about Character & Virtue


“In other words, character is far more important than intellect to the race as to the individual. We need intellect, and there is no reason why we should not have it together with character; but if we must choose between the two we choose character without a moment’s hesitation.”


– Theodore Roosevelt




“Love is blind, they say; sex is impervious to reason and mocks the power of all philosophers. But, in fact, a person’s sexual choice is the result and sum of their fundamental convictions. Tell me what a person finds sexually attractive and I will tell you their entire philosophy of life. Show me the person they sleep with and I will tell you their valuation of themselves. No matter what corruption they’re taught about the virtue of selflessness, sex is the most profoundly selfish of all acts, an act which they cannot perform for any motive but their own enjoyment – just try to think of performing it in a spirit of selfless charity! – an act which is not possible in self-abasement, only in self-exultation, only on the confidence of being desired and being worthy of desire. It is an act that forces them to stand naked in spirit, as well as in body, and accept their real ego as their standard of value. They will always be attracted to the person who reflects their deepest vision of themselves, the person whose surrender permits them to experience – or to fake – a sense of self-esteem .. Love is our response to our highest values – and can be nothing else.”


– Ayn Rand, Quotes from Atlas Shrugged



3 “Great spirits have always found violent opposition from mediocrities. The latter cannot understand it when a man does not thoughtlessly submit to hereditary prejudices, but honestly and courageously uses his intelligence and fulfills the duty to express the results of his thought in clear form.”


– Albert Einstein



2“Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid, one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.”


– Douglas MacArthur



1“Few men are willing to brave the disapproval of their fellows, the censure of their colleagues, the wrath of their society. Moral courage is a rarer commodity than bravery in battle or great intelligence. Yet it is the one essential, vital quality of those who seek to change a world which yields most painfully to change.”


– Ernest Hemingway, Quotes from A Farewell to Arms