Not… “How did he die?” But… “How did he live?”
Not… “What did he gain?” But… “What did he give?”
These are the units to measure the worth
Of a man as a man, regardless of birth.

Not… “What was his station?” But… “Had he a heart?”
And “How did he play his God-given part?
Was he ever ready with a word of good cheer,
To bring back a smile, to banish a tear?”

Not… “What was his church?” Not … “What was his creed?”
But “Had he befriended those really in need?”
Not… “What did the sketch in the newspaper say?”
But “How many were sorry when he passed away?”


Legend has it that several hundred years ago, in the heart of rural England, there lived an old man who had lost his entire family to the plague. Too old to start again, the man knew that his family name would die out with him and that he would soon be forgotten about. It would be as though he had never existed at all. Saddened by this prospect the old man decided to leave a legacy for future generations to enjoy: Something worthwhile, something that would make a difference, something to show that he had lived, even though he would always remain anonymous and never see the fruits of his labour.

It is said that for the remaining years of his life the old man travelled around the countryside, moving from one village to another, planting acorns along the way. Whenever he saw a likely spot, where he imagined future generations would enjoy some shade, he would plant maybe a dozen acorns, knowing that possibly only one or two would grow to maturity. And when he was out in the meadows and came upon a magnificent oak with fruit too abundant to carry away, it’s said that he would stay under the tree for a few days and plant the surrounding area until the supply of acorns dried up.

Tradition has it that today many of the fine English oaks surrounding our villages and some of the dense oak woods and forests that still exist are the old man’s legacy that he left for future generations to enjoy. Maybe his seed did pass on after all!

R. Ian Seymour

Excerpt from “Maximise Your Potential” by R. Ian Seymour

“The measure of a man’s character is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out.”

Thomas B. Macaulay (1800-1859) English historian and statesman

“Even a dead dog can swim with the current.”

Phillip Jensen

Hollow or (FUL)filled? Hollow people kid themselves and others that they are something that really they are not. Like the overly large man who stepped on to some public weighing scales, not realising they were out of order. He put his coin into the machine and then watched as the dial spun round to 32kg (5 stones) and stopped. The next person in the queue smiled and said, “You must be hollow!”

Many people are like that: on the outside they are big in material possessions and looks etc., but on the inside they are empty, hollow and unfulfilled. That’s because fulfilment in this world is never found in riches and material wealth alone; fulfilment is found as a bi-product of self-sacrifice and service. At the end of the day it is relatively easy to make a good living, but it’s a lot harder to make a difference.

R. Ian Seymour

“If I take care of my character my reputation will take care of itself.”

D. L. Moody (1837-1899), U.S. evangelist and hymnodist

“Imitate until you emulate, match and surpass those who launched you. It’s the highest form of thankfulness.”

Mark Victor Hansen

“As water reflects a face, so a man’s heart reflects the man.”

Proverbs 27:19

If God wanted mankind to live in a permissive society He would have given us the Ten Suggestions instead of the Ten Commandments.

“Character is the ability to carry out a good resolution long after the mood in which it was made has left you.”

Cavett Robert (motivational speaker, writer)

“Character is like a tree and reputation like its shadow. The shadow is what we think of it; the tree is the real thing.”

Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

“Crisis always reveals character.”

Oswald Chambers

A good name is more desirable that great riches; to be esteemed is better than silver or gold.

Proverbs 22:1

Do not be misled: “Bad company corrupts good character.”

1 Corinthians 15:33

Aristotle said: “Character is about the decisions a person makes when the choice is not obvious.”

“You will acquire the vices and virtues of your closest associates. The fragrance of their lives will pervade yours.”

John Maxwell

“The key to greatness is to be in reality what we appear to be.”


“The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.”

Martin Luther King (1929-1968), US Baptist minister and civil-rights leader.

“All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing.”

Edmund Burke

“Act the way you would like to be and soon you will be the way you act.”

George W. Crane

“My experience has shown me that if you have to say what you are, you probably aren’t. Think about that for a moment. ‘I’m honest,’ ‘I’m ethical,’ even ‘I’m the boss,’ or ‘I’m in charge,’ usually indicates just the opposite.?”

Jeffrey Gitomer

Your most important asset is your character.

“Tell me your company, and I will tell you who you are.”

Miguel de Cervantes, (creator and author of the literary classic, Don Quixote)

Am I True To Myself

I have to live with myself and so,
I want to be fit for myself to know,
I want to be able as days go by,
Always to look myself in the eye;
I don’t want to stand, with the setting sun,
And hate myself for the things I have done.

I don’t want to keep on a closet shelf,
A whole lot of secrets about myself,
And fool myself as I come and go,
Into thinking that nobody will know,
The kind of man that I really am;
I don’t want to dress myself in sham.

I want to go out with my head held erect,
I want to deserve all men’s respect;
But here in the struggle for fame and wealth,
I want to be able to like myself.
Whatever happens I want to be,
Self-respecting and conscious free.

by Edgar A. Guest

“If you are lonely when you are alone, you are in bad company.”

Jean-Paul Sartre

Who you are speaks much louder than what you say.

Making promises is like making babies. They are easy to make but often hard to deliver!

“In reading the lives of great men, I found the first victory they won was over themselves. Self-discipline with all them came first.”

Harry S. Truman (1884-1972), 33rd American President

Charity cultivates character. Character is the way we act when nobody’s looking.

Drudgery is the touchstone of character.

Oswald Chambers