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  • Do nothing because it is righteous or praiseworthy or noble to do so; do nothing because it seems good to do so; do only that which you must do and which you cannot do in any other way.

  • ... you never know which thing you do is going to turn out to be important. I'm sure we've all done very small things that had very great impact and very big things that didn't make any difference. So, create the means that best reflect the ends we want. Try to make each moment authentic, and you'll get to an authentic end.

  • Supreme pride is supreme / renunciation. I did not want / to be the dead star / that absorbs borrowed light to revive itself.

    • Rosario Castellanos,
    • "Foreign Woman," in Joanna Bankier and Deirdre Lashgari, eds., Women Poets of the World ()
  • When you are genuine, you are never wrong.

  • Nature teaches us that beauty doesn't have straight lines and everything bends and moves in graceful ways. When we act naturally we are never awkward nor do we make fools of ourselves.

  • Who would drink from a cup when they can drink from the source?

  • A snake will always be a snake, even if you put a chain around its neck and try to make it walk upright.

  • I am the only one who can tell the story of my life and say what it means.

  • No man can prophesy with another's parable.

  • If I could get their attention long enough, I felt they would see beneath the boobs and find the heart, and that they would see beneath the wig and find the brains. I think one big part of whatever appeal I possess is the fact that I look totally one way and that I am totally another. I look artificial, but I'm not.

  • Never do anything which you could not do in the sight of all.

    • Teresa of Avila,
    • "Maxims" (1581), in E. Allison Peers, tr., The Complete Works of St. Teresa of Jesus ()
  • It takes a lot of courage to be the same person on the outside that you are on the inside.

  • The authentic self is the Soul made visible.

  • Let the world know you as you are, not as you think you should be, because sooner or later, if you are posing, you will forget the pose, and then where are you?

    • Fanny Brice,
    • in Norman Katkov, The Fabulous Fanny ()
  • Nothing ever comes to an end. Wherever one has sunk roots that emanate from one's best or truest self, one will always find a home.

  • Unless I am what I am and feel what I feel — as hard as I can and as honestly and truly as I can — then I am nothing. Let me feel guilty ... don't try to educate me ... don't protect me.

  • He tried to keep on the right side of power, tried to be loyal to so many things that he himself couldn't tell which one of his selves was the authentic, if any.

  • Great artists are people who find the way to be themselves in their art. Any sort of pretension induces mediocrity in art and life alike.

  • I think perhaps I've learned to be myself. I have a theory that all artists who would be important — painters and writers — must learn to be themselves. It takes a very long time.

  • ... Mama ... wore herself on the outside. Everything about her hung in view like peasant adobe houses with green peppers and little shrines, drying diapers and cooking utensils, on the façade.

  • Learn to be quiet enough to hear the sound of the genuine within yourself so that you can hear it in others.

  • My mother is a woman who speaks with her life as much as with her tongue.

    • Kesaya E. Noda,
    • "Growing Up Asian in America," in Asian Women United of California, eds., Making Waves: An Anthology of Writings By and About Asian American Women ()
  • Why can not a man act himself, be himself, and think for himself? It seems to me that naturalness alone is power; that a borrowed word is weaker than our own weakness, however small we may be?

    • Maria Mitchell,
    • diary (1867), in Phebe Mitchell Kendall, ed., Maria Mitchell, Life, Letters, and Journals ()
  • In sports, as in love, one can never pretend.

  • It is not possible to be honest in the here and now when you continue to discount and minimize your childhood experiences.

  • You can't change the music of your soul.

  • It is not the end of the physical body that should worry us. Rather, our concern must be to live while we're alive — to release our inner selves from the spiritual death that comes with living behind a façade designed to conform to external definitions of who and what we are.

  • Animals don't even try to look any different from what nature intended. They humbly wear their shells, scales, spines, plumes, pelts, and down. ... The conscious impulse to change one's appearance is found only among humans.

  • Let Greeks be Greeks, and women what they are.

    • Anne Bradstreet,
    • prologue, "The Tenth Muse, Lately Sprung Up in America" (1650), in John Harvard Ellis, ed, The Works of Anne Bradstreet in Prose and Verse ()
  • Have you never experienced it, that dread of letting yourself be seen as you are!

  • She was becoming herself and daily casting aside that fictitious self which we assume like a garment with which to appear before the world.

  • The only proper mask to wear in life is your own damn face.

  • Only those who are being burned know what fire is like.

    • Ethel Waters,
    • with Charles Samuels, His Eye Is on the Sparrow ()
  • Authenticity is the daily practice of letting go of who we think we're supposed to be and embracing who we are. ... what silences our intuitive voice is our need for certainty. Most of us are not very good at not knowing.

  • Authenticity is a collection of choices that we have to make every day. It's about the choice to show up and be real. The choice to be honest. The choice to let our true selves be seen.