Stop, Look, Consider (Quote from Leo Tolstoy)

Stop, Look, Consider (Quote from Leo Tolstoy)

Stop Look Consider Leo Tolstoy quote

“If I were asked for the most important advice I could give, that which I considered most useful to the people of our time, I would simply say: In the name of God, stop a moment, cease your work, look around you, consider what you are and what you ought to be – think of the ideal! …

The Christian ideal – the law of love– has been before us for centuries, and it shines in our time with such intensity that it is virtually impossible to avoid seeing that our problems proceed from the fact that we do not reach for it…

But let us stop all our activity for a moment and consider– comparing the demands of our reason and of our heart with the actual conditions of our lives– in order to see how our whole life and our every action are in incessant and outrageous contradiction to the yearnings of our soul.

Before we can change our way of living and feeling, we must undergo a change in our way of thinking. But before this can happen, we must stop and give proper attention to our lives. To hear what those who wish to save us are shouting, we who run singing towards the precipice must cease our hubbub and stop short.

So let us pause and reflect on the state of our lives. If we do, we can’t help but be turned toward the ideal. We will grasp anew a conception of life so natural, so simple, so fresh that the needs of our heart and mind will resonate with gladness; we will spontaneously feel what it is that will liberate us from the complications and entanglements of our life and work.”

by Leo Tolstoy

I work to amplify good wherever I find it. I love color, texture, beauty, great ideas, nature, metaphor, deliciousness, genuine spirituality, and exploring new territory. I encourage authenticity, nurture creativity, champion sustainability, promote peace, and hope to foster a new renaissance where we all are free to be our most fulfilled, multifaceted, and terrific selves. Read more here.


  1. John gregory 3 years ago

    Thanks for this Polly….I enjoy knowing we have always “been here before” and realizing that change comes in inches, not feet, yards, or miles…and in my mine, obviously not in metric measurement!

  2. Libby 3 years ago

    Thank you for sharing this quote. It is very appropriate for our times. A beautiful wake up call to change our thinking and focus on what is real and true.

  3. Sue Krevitt 3 years ago

    I love knowing about how the “greats” among us, in the past and present, have not only gotten solid glimpses of absolute truths, but took the time to share them! I have 4 books about, or by, Albert Einstein, whom I admire.
    I read Leo Tolstoy in college but have not read this quote. It is so true!
    We do need to STOP! (Covid sure seems to have stopped us in our tracks, so hard as this is, it may end up being to our…benefit. Oh that Wisdom would have been earlier heeded!) To Stop and Ponder and Reflect and Clean Up our Materialistic and Selfish Acts!
    (I sure have to do this too, of course!!!) Sigh.

    Thank you all for letting me vent a bit……….

    ONward, with gratitude to you, Polly, (and your Commenters).


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