All guilty

Sins of omission

Some quotes are throw-away lines; some make us feel good; others affect our lives in the short term; then there are other quotes, like the “most important thing” quote, that have a truism, which leaves such an impression on us that they stay embedded in our minds, surfacing to influence us and changing our lives in a routine pattern.

Quotable quote

The most important thing

Is to begin

And to begin

With a great spirit

Of boldness

And decisiveness 1

Thought and talk

It is very clear that desire and inspired thought and talk by themselves are wasted if we never begin.

It also clarifies that to push oneself over the line to completion, instead of giving up at the first difficulty, you needed to have a ‘great spirit of boldness and decisiveness’.

Then “the most important thing” is recognizable as an action, that on some occasions, when life has gone beyond thought and talk and an action has begun with a great spirit that was both bold and decisive progress is accomplished.

All guilty

The sin of commission is when we do something wrong.

The sin of omission is when we do nothing.

Perhaps the sin of omission is the most common sin of all – one we are all guilty of participating in, without really acknowledging that we are sinning. 2

Wind of change

There is no claim that the “most important thing” quote will change lives but what it can do is clarify previous experiences where a previous measures of success has occurred and the reason for that success.

So what’s important?

“The most important thing

Is to begin;

And to begin

With a great spirit

Of boldness

And decisiveness.” 3


Footnotes / Resources

1. The “most important thing” quote was heard on Australian radio in the late 1970s – author unknown.
2. Sins of omission and commission are common expressions especially within many religious beliefs.
3. (i) Connee-Colleen, © Queanbeyan Outlook (16) “Most important thing is to begin,” The Queanbeyan Age, May 24, 2005. p.5. (ii) Also see on this site the post (pub April 29, 2010), “Thought and talk,” the story of Florence Nightingale, which is an example of “the most important thing quote.” Originally the two posts: “Thought and Talk” and “All  guilty” were combined in the same Queanbeyan Outlook article (16).

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