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标题: 经典英文有声阅读资料库
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经典英文有声阅读资料库

The Color of Love 爱到最高点,心中无国界



The Color of Love
爱到最高点,心中无国界

Although people of different ethnicities have been mixing for centuries, the subject of interracial relationships is still controversial. Even now, mixed couples face many obstacles, including laws restricting interracial marriage.

It was only in 1967 that the United States finally struck down its anti miscegenation laws. Opposition to interracial relationships exists for different reasons, but what it usually boils down to is racism.

As the world is becoming smaller, the number of interracial couples is growing, especially in countries with large numbers of immigrants. For interracial couples, love knows no color. Cultural differences are just another area of the relationship to work through.

But as interracial dating becomes more common, it does not treat all ethnic groups equally. In the United States, the vast majority of white/black couples involve a black man and a white woman. Conversely, the same number of Asian/white couples consists of an Asian woman with a white man. The proposed reason for this is that traditionally, women prefer men who are stronger and seem more masculine than they are. For men, the opposite is true.

Consequently, this leaves some groups out in the cold. But in the future, a greater mixing of ethnicities and erosion4 of gender stereotypes may balance out these dating patterns as people gain a more genuine appreciation of one another's differences.


1. strike (sth.) down phr.v. 击倒
2. conversely adv. 相反地
3. erosion n. 腐蚀

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La Sagrada Familia:The Unfinished Dream 未完的绮梦



La Sagrada Familia:The Unfinished Dream
圣家堂:未完的绮梦  

By day, it rises up from Barcelona like an art nouveau dream. By night, it looms over the city like a Gothic nightmare. Whether it is seen by day or by night, visitors are always impressed by the grandiose architecture and monumental presence of La Sagrada Familia (the Church of the Holy Family).

Begun in 1882, the project was originally conceived by church architect Francisco de Villar. However, the real mastermind behind the unique and elegant edifice is Barcelona's favorite son, Antonio Gaudi. When he took over the project in 1884, he truly made the work his own.

Over the course of building La Sagrada Familia, Gaudi evolved into a passionate artist possessed by his faith. He became engrossed in the symbolism of the building, which resulted in an architectural style that is both imposing and unmatched.

Gaudi's plans for La Sagrada Familia were greatly influenced by the Christian scriptures. Each facade signifies a part of the life of Christ, and each of the 12 belltowers crowning the facades symbolizes one of Christ's apostles.

Gaudi dedicated more than 40 years of his life to building the church. Yet when he died in 1926, the building was still incomplete. Work on the edifice has continued---off and on---for more than 75 years since then. To this day, the church remains a work in progress and a testament to an artist's unfinished dream.



1. grandiose a. 宏伟的
2. mastermind n. 策划人
3. imposing a. 壮丽的,堂皇的
4. facade n. (建筑物的)正面

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Gay Youth: The Straight Facts 少年"同志":成长荆棘路



Gay Youth: The Straight Facts
少年“同志”:成长荆棘路

For most people, adolescence is a difficult time of life filled with pressure from peers, parents, and school. For gay, lesbian, and bisexual teens, however, the stress of this period multiplies, especially for those living in societies which refuse to accept them.

Statistics on gay youth illustrate some of the pain and isolation they face. Because many are rejected or disowned1 by their families, gay and lesbian teens make up 42 percent of the homeless youth in America. They also attempt suicide at a rate two to three times higher than that of their heterosexual counterparts, and are at greater risk for drug and alcohol abuse.

Beyond an often hostile home environment, gay youth also lack allies2 and avenues for support at school. One study indicates that 97 percent of non-heterosexual youth reported hearing homophobic3 taunts at school, while roughly 22 percent said they have been threatened with physical violence because of their sexual orientation.

Attitudes may change, however, as schools are beginning to recognize such prejudice as a health and safety issue. Schools are searching for ways to ameliorate4 the situation, including setting up gay-straight alliance clubs and cracking down on harassment. At the same time, many nonprofit groups are reaching out to provide services to gay and lesbian teens. The support that such youth need the most, however, is that of their families and friends.


1. disown v. 不承认与自己有关系
2. ally n. 同盟者,支持者
3. homophobic a. 厌恶同性恋的
4. ameliorate v. 改善

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For the Love of Chocolate! 浓情巧克力



For the Love of Chocolate!
浓情巧克力

Most people know that chocolate is made from cocoa and that the origins of chocolate can be traced back to Central and South America. For centuries, the natives there regarded cocoa as a gift from the gods. But how did chocolate go from being the food of the gods to being the food of love?

Around A.D. 600, the Mayas were the main aboriginal group in Central America. They established the first cocoa plantations and used the cocoa bean as the main ingredient in a dark, bitter drink that we would call “chocolate.” The Mayas believed that chocolate had mystical properties---but cocoa also had commercial value. In fact, cocoa beans were used as a form of currency that was worth its weight in gold!

Spanish conquistador Hernando Cortez was the first European explorer to realize cocoa's commercial possibilities. When he arrived in the New World in 1519, he soon established his own cocoa plantation. In 1529, Cortez returned to Spain and introduced chocolate---as a drink mixed with sugar, vanilla, and cinnamon---to European society.

It caught on---especially with the nobility, who fancied hot chocolate as an aphrodisiac. As its popularity spread, people found new ways to make and use chocolate. These days, chocolate is enjoyed as both a tasty treat and a romantic indulgence. Whether it is in delectable desserts or crunchy candy, people the world over are still in love with chocolate.



1. plantation n. 种植地,农园
2. cinnamon n. 肉桂
3. indulgence n. 恣纵,放任
4. delectable a. 美味可口的

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Transvaluing Transsexuality 江山易改,本性能移



Transvaluing Transsexuality
江山易改,本性能移

Transsexuality is an interesting, if baffling, subject for most people. It is often confused with transvestitism, even though the two are distinctly different.

Transvestites feel a compulsion to dress in clothing that is considered appropriate to the other sex, while still feeling comfortable with their given sex. Transsexuals, on the other hand, feel a strong dissonance between their sex---their physical selves, and their gender---their identity in society. Basically, they feel as if they are trapped in a body of the wrong sex.

This condition, called gender dysphoria, is not merely a disposition, but an unsuppressable urge. Along with their discomfort with their own bodies, transsexuals must contend with stigma, shame, and sometimes violence, in an unaccepting society. Difficulties that transsexuals face are so great, in fact, that 50 percent of them die before the age of 30---the vast majority from suicide.

Transsexual feelings are strong, in part, because they have a biological basis. They are caused by different factors including a critically timed hormone released by the mother during gestation.

Other confirmation of transsexuality's biological roots are its existence in cultures all over the world throughout time. From Greece to Africa, from India to North America, transsexuals held a sacred place in primitive societies and were allowed to live as the gender of their choosing.

Modern classification and medical treatment of transsexuals began in 1930 with the first sex change operation. Still, for decades afterward, the mainstream medical community saw transsexuality as a mental disorder. After the ‘60s, however, studies supported a biological cause. Scientists also learned that transsexuality is evenly split between males and females, and that transsexuals may be straight, gay, bisexual, or asexual.

A greater understanding of gender dysphoria has led to methods of reassigning transsexuals to a congruent sex. These include hormone treatments, which soften the skin and enlarge the breasts of men and deepen the voice and increase facial hair in women. While these measures help assuage transsexual identity issues, many transsexuals choose to take the next step and have sex reassignment surgery.

Sex reassignment surgery is expensive and may be done with or without modification of the genitals. Female-to-male transsexuals present a greater challenge, as doctors are as yet unable to construct a fully functional penis. However, despite potential problems, sex reassignment surgery has a huge rate of success: 97 percent of female-to-male transsexuals are satisfied with the results, as are 87 percent of males who become females.

It is hoped that these scientific advances, along with a greater understanding of transsexualism, will lead to more fulfilling lives for transsexuals. Perhaps in the future, they will be accepted as just another unique group in society.


1. baffling a. 令人困惑的,难解的
2. dissonance n. 不合
3. disposition n. 倾向
4. stigma n. 污名,耻辱
5. mainstream a. 主流的
6. congruent a. 相合的
7. assuage v. 缓和
8. genitals n. 生殖器

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Sight for Sore Eyes 激光手术,大饱“眼福”



Sight for Sore Eyes
激光手术,大饱“眼福”

For many of us, walking in the rain can be a pleasant and even soothing experience. For those of us who wear glasses, though, drops of water on the lenses and obscured vision can have us running for cover. Interested in returning to your days before glasses? Good news! Wearing contact lenses is no longer your only option.

Recently, Lasik eye surgery has become the most widely used surgical procedure for vision correction. Myopia, hyperopia, and astigmatism are all caused by an imperfectly shaped eyeball, cornea, or lens. Because of the imperfection, light entering the eye is not clearly focused on the retina.

During the Lasik procedure, a thin piece of the cornea is cut and folded back. Then, a laser is used to reshape the lower layer of corneal tissue. After the corneal flap is lowered back into place, it quickly adheres to the eyeball.

The procedure immediately improves the focus of light on the retina. After only one day of recovery, patients already notice a significant difference, and about 70 percent regain 20/20 vision. However, Laser eye surgery is not without its risks, so Lasik is not for everyone.

If you are considering Lasik surgery, you should first consult an ophthalmologist and a refractive surgeon to see what is best for your particular situation. After all, you have only got two eyes---and they need to last a lifetime.


1. obscured a. 不清楚的
2. cornea n. 眼角膜
3. retina n. 视网膜
4. flap n. 垂下物,盖

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Bad Things Come in Small Packages 拆信小心!



Bad Things Come in Small Packages
拆信小心!

While most armies in the world shun their use, and military authorities exclude them from warfare, the technology to produce biological and chemical weapons is widely available. Moreover, these weapons are cheap, easy to conceal, and very effective. Since September 11, 2001, biological weapons seem to have become the weapon of choice among the disenfranchised militants of the world. Some people are worried chemical warfare may follow.

Chemical weapons are abundant in variety. Their effectiveness is determined by several factors, including age, purity, weather conditions, and choice of dissemination. They include nerve agents, blister agents, and choking agents, all of which can be ingested through the eyes, lungs, or skin. Sarin, a type of nerve gas, was used by the Aum Shinrikyo cult in March 1995, killing 12 people and injuring more than 5,500 on a Tokyo subway.

Biological weapons, by definition, are any infectious agent, such as a bacterium or virus, used deliberately to inflict harm on soldiers and civilians alike. This classification can include toxins and poisons derived biologically. Biological weapons can be produced nearly anywhere, from government labs to suburban kitchens.

Experts contend, however, that the transformation of a deadly virus or bacterium into an effective weapon is anything but straightforward: A conventional bomb would likely destroy the germ as it exploded. In contrast, dissemination via alternative methods, such as surface mail, has recently proved quite effective.


1. shun v. 回避
2. disenfranchised a. 被剥夺公权的
3. ingest v. 摄取
4. toxin n. 毒素

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Let's Hear It for Mom! 听听妈妈的故事



Let's Hear It for Mom!
听听妈妈的故事

Where would we be without mothers, those tireless caregivers who wipe our noses, pack our lunches, cry at our weddings, and always consider us, though we may already be adults, their babies? Although we may often take our mothers for granted, Mother's Day serves to remind us to take the time to remember just how special they are.

The ancient Greeks and Romans were hip to how precious moms were; the predecessor to Mother's Day may very well have been a Greek spring festival dedicated to Rhea, mother of the gods and goddesses. In Rome, honoring mothers came in the form of a three-day celebration called Hilaria, where people worshipped the mother goddess Cybele. Some say these Roman ceremonies evolved into England's "Mothering Sunday", a celebration much like our modern Mother's Day, to honor Mary, mother of Christ.

It wasn't until 1910 that the first Mother's Day was proclaimed in the U.S. By the following year, however, each state had created its own observances, as had various nations around the world. American President Woodrow Wilson declared Mother's Day an official national holiday in 1914. Nowadays, on the second Sunday of every May, people everywhere buy flowers, give chocolates, and send cards to the women who have raised them with love, courage, and devotion.

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Coming to Grips with Gay Marriage 同性恋行不行?



Coming to Grips with Gay Marriage
同性恋行不行?

Gay marriage has been hotly debated in the news lately. While several countries have some form of gay marriage on the books, the Netherlands recently became the first country to give same-sex couples in civil unions the same rights as heterosexual married couples. This break with convention is not surprising since the Netherlands has been a pioneer in dealing with controversial social issues like drug use and euthanasia.

Another country at the forefront of this movement is Denmark, where a form of gay marriage has been legal since 1989. Prior to the law's enactment, most of the Danish clergy opposed it. In 1995, after seeing the positive effects of gay marriage, most of the clergy shifted their opinions to support it. While many people still oppose gay marriage on religious grounds, others point out that the Bible also condoned slavery. They see gay marriage as a civil rights issue.

The emotional benefits of marriage may be obvious, but other rights gays are denied include medical and death benefits, and the right to make decisions on behalf of their partners in cases of emergency, illness, or death. With gay marriage becoming a reality in some places, more people are beginning to sit up and take notice. Only time will tell if it will remain a marginalized, heretical idea or become an established and accepted institution in societies around the world.

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Eurasians in the Sportlight “混”出名堂



Eurasians in the Sportlight
“混”出名堂

Can an ethnic mix be trendy? At the moment, Eurasians are enjoying an unprecedented high profile in the news, in advertising, and in the entertainment industry. People of numerous cultures have embraced Eurasians like actresses Karen Mok and Maggie Q, not to mention superstar golf player Tiger Woods. Modeling agencies are scrambling for women with mixed blood, while Eurasians are becoming the darlings of music stations MTV and Channel V.

Eurasians have not always basked in the warm glow of public attention. Historically, there has been a lot of deep-seated prejudice against ethnically mixed people. In countries such as the Philippines, Thailand, and Vietnam, such offspring were seen as negative reminders of Western male colonizers and Eastern female war victims and opportunists. For decades, Eurasian children have had to challenge negative stereotypes and fight for their rights.

Does this current prominence of Eurasians represent a new acceptance, or is it merely a marketing twist on old racial biases? Many of the VJs on Channel V and MTV look racially mixed only because they have had plastic surgery to change their features. They say they feel pressured to look mixed because Western beauty is still the ideal to many people. Hopefully, in the future, this admiration and acceptance of those with multicultural heritages will deepen, and people will appreciate others, and themselves, regardless of their ethnic background.

Race has always had a huge impact on history, society, and culture. But according to many scientists, the concept of race has no biological basis; it is merely a social construct.

The American Anthropological Association has stated that race simply cannot be tested or proven scientifically. Because humans have been around for a relatively short time by evolutionary standards, scientists say that there is not enough genetic diversity in humans to allow us to be divided into neat, racial cubbyholes or subspecies. . It is generally believed that humans originated in Africa about two hundred thousand years ago and migrated to other continents one hundred thousand years later. Although environmental variations have produced the physical differences in hair and skin we see today, underneath the surface there has been little change.

Systems of racial categorization, first developed in the eighteenth century, have divided people into three, nine, twenty-six, and as many as three hundred races. Scientists reject such thinking as myth. They say that geographic patterns of sets of genes show that people have been migrating and merging from the start; race may be heavily tied to culture and how people see one another, but it is something we have created.

Scientists know this may be difficult for some people to accept. As summed up by Jonathan Marks, a University of California at Berkeley anthropologist, "Teaching that racial categories lack biological validity can be as much of a challenge as teaching in the seventeenth century that the earth goes around the sun."

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Down with Depression 性命“忧”关



Down with Depressio

1. Everyone has a bad day once in a while. Problems at work, arguments with family members, or even changes in the weather can all bring us down and leave us feeling unhappy for a day or two. But if this mood lasts for more than a few days, a person may be suffering from depression, and will need to seek the advice of a physician.

2. Depression is a mood disorder classified by its own peculiar symptoms. These include a pervasive feeling of sadness, disruption of sleep patterns including both insomnia and hypersomnia, disturbances in appetite and weight, listlessness, lack of interest (leading to withdrawal from friends and social events), diminished ability in memory and concentration, low self-esteem and feelings of guilt, and finally, thoughts of suicide-the most serious symptom of all.

3. The causes of depression are unique to each individual and very complex. Tendencies toward depression can run in families, pointing to a genetic link in many cases. The roots of a depressive episode may lie in one's childhood environment, or in a traumatic event in later life. It is generally believed, however, that neurochemical imbalances and disruptions in the brain are above all responsible for triggering depressive symptoms. The good news is that there are several effective treatments available to fight depression, and that most sufferers begin feeling better within several weeks of beginning therapy.

Before undergoing treatment for depression, a person must first meet certain criteria: He or she must exhibit five or more major symptoms almost daily for a minimum of two weeks, and at least one of these symptoms must be a marked lack of interest or pleasure in activities, or a depressed mood. If symptoms are evident and show no sign of decreasing, a doctor will decide how to treat the problem.

Several antidepressant drugs, including Prozac, work well in battling depression. The goal of drug therapy is to treat the illness and handle its symptoms so the afflicted person will feel well enough to resume a normal daily routine. Although antidepressants are much safer than their predecessors introduced in the late 1950s, about 30 percent of patients are immune to their effects. Even for those who are not, it usually takes two to four weeks before the symptoms begin subsiding.

Nonpharmacological treatments include psychotherapy and electroshock therapy. The purpose of psychotherapy is to reduce and treat symptoms through patients discussing their emotions and depression with a qualified professional. It may also be used to help both the sufferer and his or her family members learn how to cope with depression. Electroshock therapy, which consists of running an electric current through a patient while under anesthetic, is administered only to those victims who are suicidal and require immediate treatment, or to those with severe refractory depression.

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Rich Dad, Poor Dad 富爸爸,穷爸爸



Rich Dad, Poor Dad

Most parents would probably be extremely grateful to be shown an easy way to instill into their children an appreciation of the value of money and a better understanding of how to make it. According to some critics, they can find the answer by reading a new bestselling book by financial wizard Robert T. Kiyosaki.

Rich Dad, Poor Dad has the title of a novel rather than a how-to treatise, and indeed, much of the book is written in story form. Its central theme is summed up by the subtitle "What the Rich Teach Their Kids about Money That the Poor and Middle Class Do Not.? The author also strongly disparages the tendency of most people to work for money rather than "letting money work for them."

Kiyosaki illustrates his point in the first part of the book by narrating a story based on his childhood experiences. The title refers to the author's own highly educated father, the "poor dad" who always had to work hard to meet the family's needs; and the "rich dad", a neighbor who had dropped out of high school but whose financial acumen turned him into a multimillionaire.

The book has generated its share of negative feedback. For one thing, some reviewers have lashed out against its antieducation slant. All agree, though, that Kiyosaki is sound on the need to shake off a fearful, conservative mindset in order to make it big financially.

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现在开通英语博克!
Fun With English 英文万花筒



Eddie Gets a Job—Almost  埃迪碰钉子

Hotshot Eddie needed money to buy a new guitar. His old one was on its last legs, and if he wanted to become a famous rock star, he needed the right equipment.

Eddie went to his mother and put his cards on the table, asking her for the money to buy a new guitar. His mother refused point-blank. She told him that if he wanted to live a successful life, he should try harder.

Next, Eddie turned to his sister, Gillian. She was a smart cookie, and Eddie felt sure she would be able to suggest something. He was right. Gillian told him to get a part-time job at Billy’s Burgers.  “Great idea” said Eddie. “How much do they pay?”

“Peanuts,” said Gillian. “It will take you years to save up enough money for a guitar, but at least you’ll have something to do. Now go away. I’m trying to read.”

One-eyed Doe  独眼鹿

A one-eyed doe was grazing near the river. She kept her one eye on the land to watch out for hunters. She kept the other side of her face towards the river because she never saw hunters coming from the river. However, she didn’t see the boat on the river with sailors in it. When they got close enough, one of them shot her with his rifle. She lay there dying, and with her last few breaths, said, “My God! I expected an attack from land, but it turns out I was safe from that. I took the river for granted, so I didn’t watch it. My enemy came from the one place I least expected!”

MORAL: Danger often comes from a source that is least expected.
—based on a story from “Aesop’s Fables”

The Bald Guy  秃头先生

Once there was an old guy, who was growing old and starting to lose his hair. By the time he had gone completely bald, he decided to cover his bald head with a wig.

One day, he went out hunting with some friends. A strong wind suddenly blew his wig off. When his friends saw what had happened, they started laughing so hard that they could not stop.

The bald guy started laughing, too, and just as loudly as the other men. He said to his friends, “How can I expect my fake hair to stay on my head when even my real hair won’t stay there?”

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Love or Money? 钱可以买到幸福吗?



Love or Money?

There is a Web site called the “World Database of Happiness.” It combines and analyzes the results of hundreds of surveys from around the world that have been conducted on life satisfaction. Most of the findings are predictable, but a few are surprising.

The database makes it clear that there is not a strong connection between material wealth and general contentment. It is a cliché to say that money can’t buy happiness, but the old saying seems to be supported by research. Many people still cling to the belief that gaining riches will be the answer to all their problems, yet they are probably mistaken.

Studies have been carried out on people who acquired sudden wealth, such as lottery winners. In most cases, after the initial joy had worn off, people were not left with a sense of lasting happiness. In fact, they tended to revert to the way they felt before they became rich. Previously contented people continue to be contented, while those who were miserable before sink back into misery.

If material wealth does not bring happiness, then what does? Perhaps happiness has something to do with where you live. The authorities at the World Database on Happiness have surveyed levels of happiness in different countries. Apparently, people in America, Canada, and Singapore are very happy; people living in India and Russia, not surprisingly, are not happy.

Other surveys consistently point to the importance of relationships. Family relationships in particular seem to be the key to long-term contentment. The Web site suggests that falling in love and having children are two of the situations that bring the greatest happiness.  

Nowadays people look to technology as an alternative source of satisfaction. People increasingly spend more time alone watching TV or surfing the Internet rather than spending time with family. Can technology truly make people happy? It is too difficult to tell, but one thing is sure: If the Web site’s research is accurate, time spent with your family is a better investment than time spent making money.

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发表于 2008-10-9 10:02  资料  个人空间  短消息  加为好友 
How Self-Acceptance Leads to Happiness Within 天生我材必有用



How Self-Acceptance Leads to Happiness Within

Finding acceptance is a natural desire of most people. When we are young, it is important to us to be accepted by a group and to be seen as "cool" by our peers. To do this, we will often adopt the views and interests of the group rather than develop our own.

Over time, however, we have the opportunity to learn to accept ourselves. People who have done this are confident in their true abilities; they do not feel the need to create a facade to impress other people. They are concerned with whether their actions produce worthwhile results rather than with how they are seen by others.

Less secure people are quite different. Instead of finding security in themselves, they look for other people to provide it. This kind of person constantly agrees with everything others suggest, for fear of having their own ideas rejected. Arrogant or defensive people are also usually insecure; in an attempt to hide their insecurities, they belittle or blame others.

Secure people do not give up when faced with a difficult situation; they say "I can" rather than "I can't."  Knowing that each day is an opportunity to use their talents to acquire good health, good friendships, and great happiness, they always put their best foot forward. Contented people do not judge others, nor do they judge themselves. They can appreciate the differences between themselves and other people.

Recognizing the details that we cannot change about ourselves is also a sign of personal growth. We cannot change our height, so why waste energy complaining about being short? Our energy would be better spent on more constructive projects. Instead of dwelling on personal characteristics we are not satisfied with, we ought to focus more on what we are good at.

Such expressions as "Love thyself" and "to thine own self be true" are about self-acceptance and confidence, as well as honesty and morality. We should consider them to be good advice, and treat them as signposts showing the way to happiness within.

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