Top 10 Practical Ethics quotes from Ella Lyman Cabot's Everyday ethics

Top 10 Practical Ethics quotes from Ella Lyman Cabot's Everyday ethics


Ella Lyman Cabot was an educator, author and lecturer. She was born into a prominent Unitarian family in Boston and was the fourth of seven children. Her parents, Ella Lyman and Arthur Theodore Lyman owned a family estate in Waltham, Massachusetts.

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An absolute sacrifice in morality is wrong


An absolute sacrifice in morality is just as wrong as an absolute sacrifice in the business world. " Sacrifice ! " at the head of Wanamaker's sale advertisement, of course, never means an absolute sacrifice of their business for your advantage. It only means that for the sake of their business as a whole, it pays them to sell some goods cheaper than they otherwise would.

- Ella Lyman Cabot - Everyday ethics

An absolute sacrifice in morality is wrong


We have found two important truths about sacrifice: (i) That no good sacrifice is absolute, for it must express even through physical death the deepest purpose of the actor, and (2) that all earnest purposes demand sacrifice, as the doctor gives up sleep and the scientist intent on his discovery gives up society.
- Ella Lyman Cabot - Everyday ethics
Ella Lyman Cabot's Everyday ethics

Ella Lyman Cabot: every man seeks his private advantage


If, now, anyone should say: " Dream not that men will lift their little finger except it be for their own advantage," we should answer: " If you merely mean that whatever a person does must be an expression of his nature, that is true." Of course, everything we do must be done because we want it, but if you mean that every man seeks his private advantage, that is absurdly untrue.
- Ella Lyman Cabot - Everyday ethics
Ella Lyman Cabot : every man seeks his private advantage


 Ella Lyman Cabot on the meaning of selfishness

If we are to give the word selfishness any real meaning we must redefine it. It cannot mean doing what on the whole you most want, for everyone does that. It cannot mean putting yourself before others, for many a mother who gives her peevish child all her time and strength acts selfishly.  No, to be selfish is simply to be narrower than your broadest sympathy; blinder than your clearest insight; more irresolute than your strongest will; more careless than your most thorough thoughtfulness; in other words, it is to be disloyal to your aim..
- Ella Lyman Cabot - Everyday ethics


Ella Lyman Cabot on the meaning of selfishness

Ella Lyman Cabot: the virtue of selfishness


Do the best people then become more and more incapable of unselfishness because generous acts are more instinctive to them? No, not in the world of the growing opportunity in which circle spreads beyond the circle, for the very breaking of the narrower bonds shows new chances for unselfishness, though in some cases so altered in a form that like the caterpillar and the butterfly, they are hard to be recognised as the same.


Ella Lyman Cabon on imagination


It is equally true whether we undertake business, politics, philanthropy, or sightseeing, that no growing work is done without penetrative imagination. Something of the same creative impulse which in other decades has made poets is now making great men of business and inventors here in America. They look j through the present with its urgent needs and its raw material; they see the future and daringly they construct it. Seventy years ago Chicago was a marshy plain with here and there a rough log cabin. It took keen imagination to realise that because Chicago lay close to the chain of great lakes with a vast extent of uncultivated fertile country to the west, it must become a great city.
Ella Lyman Cabon on imagination

Ella Lyman Cabon on the importance of aims.


Watch the lives of the people who are guided by the illumination of a clear ideal, and you will notice both how freely they give of their time, their strength, their money to the cause they serve and how austerely find resolutely they refuse distractions.

Ella Lyman Cabon on the importance of aims.


Time is the raw material of life 

Since time is the raw material of life, we must, in order to make our lives worthwhile, know how to handle and mould our hours in accordance with our ends. These ends are different for each, but there are certain means to success that are common to all ends. We need to know:
1. How to begin. 
2. How to keep on.
 3. When to end.
- Ella Lyman Cabot - Everyday ethics

Time is the raw material of life


Ella Lyman Cabon on saving time 


I have said that the secret of saving time is to have an interest and to hold to it, and that we hold to it most loyally by realising it as if it were a star by which we were steering. The star grows dim when the fog of forgetfulness obscures it, but if we have once clearly seen what our work means in its full outcome and income, we can drive away any fog by the warmth of memory.

Ella Lyman Cabon on saving time


Ella Lyman Cabon on duty.


Duty is not doing hard things just because they are hard, but doing your work with vigour because you believe in it. Any growing person must make sacrifices, but always for the sake of what he wants more than that which he sacrifices. The choice of what to keep and what to give up should always be made by considering our deepest purpose.
Ella Lyman Cabon on duty.



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