Frightening conclusion? I am the decisive element.

art, artist, mixed technique on cardboard

“I have come to the frightening conclusion that I am the decisive element. It is my personal approach that creates the climate. It is my daily mood that makes the weather. I possess tremendous power to make life miserable or joyous. I can be a tool of torture or an instrument of inspiration, I can humiliate or humor, hurt or heal. In all situations, it is my response that decides whether a crisis is escalated or de-escalated, and a person is humanized or de-humanized. If we treat people as they are, we make them worse. If we treat people as they ought to be, we help them become what they are capable of becoming.”

Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (1749-1832)

Credits: Quote – creatingaquietmind, Image – Artchipel


  1. Oh, you win, David…. Your words, and attitudes, are magnificent….
    Well done to you…! Good to see you return, unscathed and fresher than ever..!


  2. Amazing combination of imagery and words. Beautiful, powerful


  3. Magic in the midst of a maelstrom–David, you never disappoint!


  4. So many important messages in this quote .. thanks for sharing.


  5. My first reaction after the opening three sentences was that this was fluffy bluster. My reaction after finishing the entire post was that it was a piece of magnificent inspiration. Thanks for sharing this. Glad that you are o.k.


    • Goethe? “Fluffy bluster” – hmmmm. Certainly glad you did jump away after the first few lines. Yes, powerful quote from the great man. Thanks Susan, everything here (even w/o power) is fine all things considered.


  6. LaDona's Music Studio says:

    So this one has been clanking in my head all morning – like Susan, my first reaction was negative – self-centeredness, self-importance – but it’s kind of getting to me in a really humbling, horrifying way. Yikes.


  7. Very profound. It’s all up to us!


  8. Great quote…first time I read it. Believe he was totally on track. It’s a personal decision how you start & make the day for you and others around you.


  9. I don’t know how I missed this post. At any rate, excellent. And I agree with comments above including the pairing of imagery with quote.


  10. Anonymous says:

    Hi David,
    Did Haim Ginott “borrow” from this quote?

    Liked by 1 person

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