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On habit

   Following are some quotations on the topic of habit:

   Habit is the deepest law of human nature. 

   We are all the time following the influences which will 
   presently be our rulers; We are making our own destiny. We are 
   choosing our habits, our associates, our traits, our homes. In 
   time these acquire a power over us which enslaves our will, and 
   from them we neither will nor can break loose. 
                                                    H. L. Wayland 

   We first make our habits then our habits make us. 

   Habits are to the soul what the veins and arteries are to the 
   blood, the courses in which it moves. 
                                                Horace Bushnell 

   Habits are the petrifaction of feelings. 
                                             L. E. Landon 

   Habits work more constantly and with greater force than reason, 
   which, when we have most need of it, is seldom fairly 
   consulted, and more rarely obeyed. 

   Habit is the child of impulse. There is in human life the 
   period of impulse, when habit is nothing; and there is the 
   period of habit, when impulse is nothing. Young persons are 
   creatures of impulse; old persons are creatures of habit. 
   Almost every thing is impulse with a small child, and nothing 
   can be called habit; almost everything is habit in the second 
   childhood of old age, and there is very little that can be 
   called impulse. 
                                                     G. B. Cheever

   The habit of virtue cannot be formed in a closet; good habits 
   are formed by acts of reason in a persevering struggle with 
                                                     B. Gilpin 

  Good habits:
    -  truthfulness
    -  honesty
    -  caution
    -  cheerfulness
    -  kindness
    -  consideration for others
    -  charitableness
    -  temperance
    -  peacefulness 
    -  industriousness
    -  diligence
    -  carefulness, conscientiousness 
    -  perseverance
    -  courtesy
    -  patience
    -  purity of language
    -  control of language
    -  justness
    -  fairness
    -  chastity
    -  decency
    -  self-control
    -  self-denial
    -  thoughtfulness, reflectiveness
    -  seriousness
    -  humility
    -  modesty
    -  reasonableness
    -  ignoring wrongs done to us
    -  looking to reason and conscience for personal guidance
    -  frugality
    -  self-reliance
    -  flexibility and understanding in relations with others
    -  contentment with little
    -  control of temper
    -  courage
    -  high-mindedness
    -  pursuit of truth, understanding
    -  skeptical, examining mind
    -  analytical mind

Bad habits
    -  lying, deceit
    -  dishonesty
    -  rashness
    -  carelessness
    -  impulsiveness
    -  impetuousness
    -  argumentativeness
    -  pugnaciousness
    -  laziness
    -  profligacy
    -  unconcern for others
    -  selfishness
    -  self-centeredness
    -  pride, arrogance
    -  unchastity, indecency
    -  low language
    -  sourness
    -  nastiness, surliness
    -  rudeness
    -  unjustness
    -  self-indulgence
    -  lack of self-control
    -  quick temper
    -  spendthriftiness
    -  maliciousness
    -  spitefulness
    -  envy
    -  unreasonableness, arbitrariness, obstinacy
    -  cowardice
    -  low-mindedness
    -  drinking, smoking, using drugs, etc.
    -  swearing

   The habits that define us are mostly formed in our youth.  We 
   follow the influences of the spirit that rules us and habit 
   patterns and mental tendencies develop.  Some people are 
   partial to what is right, good, moral and decent.  Others are 
   most comfortable wallowing in mud, dirt and filth.  We become 
   what we value, esteem, like.  If we admire gangster types that 
   is what we become.  If we admire upright, god-fearing, decent 
   types that is what we become.  We follow our feelings, 
   instincts and impulses and habits develop.  We develop 
   attitudes, values, outlooks and philosophies in our youth and 
   from these attitudes, values, etc. habits develop.  Some of us 
   become people who care about others.  Others become people who 
   would sell out their own parents.  What we are is the sum total 
   of all our habits.  The thoughtful among us think, question, 
   examine, study and observe and from our thoughts, deductions 
   and conclusions habits develop (our habits reflect the 
   conclusions and opinions we have reached in life).  The 
   unthoughtful just thoughtlessly follow the crowd, usually 
   follow base appetite and impulse, and generally end up with a 
   great many bad habits.  Many follow the paths of drink and 
   drugs that lead down the low road of moral depravity (Why do 
   alcohol and drugs lead down the low road? Because both alcohol 
   and drugs impair mental function i.e. good sense, sound 

   Habits do not occur in a haphazard, random way in an 
   individual.  Good habits tend to occur together.  Bad habits 
   tend to occur together.  For example, the character trait of 
   honesty will almost certainly be accompanied by many other 
   habits in the "good habit" list and the character trait of 
   dishonesty will likely be accompanied by many others in the 
   "bad habit" list. The same is true for such character traits as 
   concern for others, chastity, conscientiousness, diligence, 
   self-control, etc.  And also true for their opposites.

   May 2009

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