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Queen:"reflection, meditation and prayer make us better people"; remained constant is "family, friendship & good neighborliness"
Watch the Queen's Christmas Day message 2013 in full
The Queen reflected on prominent events from the past year during her Christmas broadcast - from the service that marked the 60th anniversary of her coronation to the birth of Prince George
"balance between action and reflection"
"reflection, meditation, prayer help to renew us"
"family, friendship, neighborliness"
"principle and service"
Her broadcast began with the Queen telling her audience how a man she once knew gained a clearer insight into the world after spending a year in a plaster cast recovering from a back operation.
She said: "He read a lot, and thought a lot, and felt miserable. Later, he realised this time of forced retreat from the world had helped him to understand the world more clearly.
"We all need to get the balance right between action and reflection. With so many distractions, it is easy to forget to pause and take stock."
The Queen, who was dressed in a single crepe wool primrose dress which she wore to William and Kate's wedding in April 2011, also said in her broadcast: "As with all who are christened, George was baptised into a joyful faith of Christian duty and service. After the christening, we gathered for the traditional photograph.
"It was a happy occasion, bringing together four generations."
The Queen also looked back over the past 12 months to the 60th anniversary of her coronation, celebrated with a national service in June.
She said: "I myself had cause to reflect this year, at Westminster Abbey, on my own pledge of service made in that great church on Coronation Day 60 years earlier. read more »
"Harmony", the ever-biggest word carved by 2 popes, floating in the sky which has no boundaries of religions, or claimed regions
[Dec 29, 2013] Pope emeritus Benedict XVI has shared a holiday meal with his successor, Pope Francis.
The two men dined together at Francis's residence, the Santa Marta hotel on the Vatican City grounds, Vatican newspaper L'Osservatore Romano said on Saturday.
Francis had extended an invitation for a holiday meal when he paid a call on his predecessor December 23 at a monastery on the Vatican's grounds to offer Christmas greetings, Vatican Radio said. read more »
Complete Works of Shakespeare covered in Hindu deities, smuggled into prison, accompanied Nelson Mandela in solitary confinement
"A fundamental concern for others in our individual and community lives would go a long way in making the world the better place we so passionately dreamt of."
"I like friends who have independent minds because they tend to make you see problems from all angles."
"Man's goodness is a flame that can be hidden but never extinguished."
- Nelson Mandela
Locked in solitary confinement on Robben Island, newspapers were banned and letters from loved ones a rare treat. Where did he find the inspiration to continue his long struggle for freedom?
A tattered book covered in luminous Hindu deities might have seemed like a strange choice for the South African leader. But the beatifically smiling women on the cover knew something the prison wardens didn't. Inside was the "Complete Works of Shakespeare," and the historic text became a source of strength for Mandela and his fellow inmates during their darkest days. read more »
"Privacy is sanctuary for each free soul to exist as an individual; diminished, man would be the naked emperor mocked by..."
Privacy is sanctuary for each free soul to exist as an individual; diminished, man would be the naked emperor mocked by Decency and Dignity.
"God's most lordly gift to man is decency of mind."
- Aeschylus (Ancient Greek Dramatist and Playwright known as the founder of Greek tragedy, 525 BC-456 BC)
"Justice consists in doing no injury to men; decency in giving them no offense."
- Marcus Tullius Cicero (Ancient Roman Lawyer, Writer, Scholar, Orator and Statesman, 106 BC-43 BC)
"Decency is the least of all laws, but yet it is the law which is most strictly observed."
- François de la Rochefoucauld (French classical author 1613-1680)
"Too often we enjoy the comfort of opinion without the discomfort of thought."
- John F. Kennedy
"The wise ones fashioned speech with their thought, sifting it as grain is sifted through a sieve.”
"These thoughts did not come in any verbal formulation. I rarely think in words at all. A thought comes, and I may try to express it in words afterward."
- Albert Einstein
"A problem well put is half solved."
- John Dewey
"If I had an hour to solve a problem I'd spend 55 minutes thinking about the problem and 5 minutes thinking about solutions."
- Albert Einstein
"Beware of false knowledge; it is more dangerous than ignorance."
- George Bernard Shaw