A certain person said the following.
There are two kinds of dispositions, inward and outward, and a person lacking in one or the other is worthless. It is, for example, like the blade of a sword, which one should sharpen well and then put in its scabbard . . .
If a person has his sword out all the time, he is habitually swinging a naked blade, people will not approach him and he will have no allies.
If a sword is always sheathed, it will become rusty, the blade will dull, and people will think as much of its owner.
When you are listening to the stories of accomplished men and the like, you should listen with deep sincerity, even if it's something about which you already know. If in listening to the same thing ten or twenty times it happens that you come to an unexpected understanding, that moment will be very special. Within the tedious talk of old folks are their meritorious deeds.
Hagakure: The Book of the Samurai, by Yamamoto Tsunetome. Trans. William Scott Wilson. Kodansha Press, pp. 91-92 and 94.
The first quote seems to have so many applications. The second one is a good reminder that classics can be interpreted over and over again to yield a new solution. At least, that's how this Scholar reads it. Any takers on new or alternate readings?