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“Beings are owners of their actions, heirs of their actions; they originate from their actions, are bound to their actions, have their actions as their refuge. It is action that distinguishes beings as inferior and superior.”
~ The Buddha
MN 135

(source)

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Recommended Reading

The Middle Length Discourses of the Buddha: A New Translation of the Majjhima Nikaya

Translated by Venerable Bhikkhu Nyanamoli and Venerable Bhikkhu Bodhi

Wisdom Publications, Boston/London, 1995.
The Suttas are the primary resource for a practitioner to refer to.  This collection contains 152 Suttas and an invaluable introduction by Bhikkhu Bodhi.  A wealth of footnotes makes the text very accessible to the interested reader.