Q. Would you call a person a Buddhist who has merely been born of Buddhist parents?
A. Certainly not. A Buddhist is one who not only professes belief in the Buddha as the noblest of Teachers, in the Doctrine preached by Him, and in the brotherhood of Arhats, but practices his Precepts in daily life.
Q. What is Karma?
A. A causation operating on the moral, as well as physical and other planes. Buddhists say there is no miracle in human affairs: what a man sows that he must still reap.
Q. What other good words have been used to express the essence of Buddhism?
A. Self-culture and universal love.
Concerning the Four sights and how they impacted the Buddha:
26. Q: Why should these sights, so familiar to everybody, have caused him to go into the jungle?
A. We often see such signs. He had not; and they made a deep impression on his mind.
27. Q: Why had he not also seen them?
A: The astrologers had foretold at his birth that he would one day resign his kingdom and become a Buddha. The King, his father, not wishing to lose his son, had carefully prevented his seeing any sights that might suggest to him human misery and death. No one was allowed even to speak of such things to the Prince. He was almost like a prisoner in his lovely palaces and flower gardens. They were surrounded with high walls; and inside everything was made as beautiful as possible, so that he might not want to go and see the sorrow and distress that are in the world.
28. Q: Was he so kind-hearted that his father feared he might really want to sacrifice himself for the world’s sake?
A: Yes; he seems to have felt for all being so strong a pity and love as that.
55. Q. Why does ignorance cause suffering?
A. Because it makes us prize what is not worth prizing, grieve for that we should not grieve for, consider real what is not real but only illusory, and pass our lives in the pursuit of worthless objects, neglecting what is in reality most valuable.
56. Q. And what is that which is most valuable?
A. To know the whole secret of man’s existence and destiny, so that we may estimate at no more than their actual value and this life and its relations; so that we may live in a way to insure the greatest happiness and the least suffering for our fellow-men and ourselves
~ Henry Steel Olcott's "Buddhist Catechism", 1881