My book overfloweth. A few years ago I started this little habit of writing down quotes that I come across. Not just any ones. The ones that make me stop and think. Others that make me laugh. Many that simply make me go hmmmm.
Recently I came across this one: “Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry” by Mark Twain. After I wrote it down, I began to look back at my scribbles from the past year and among them I found:
“Go often to the house of thy friend, for weeds choke the unused path.” — Albert Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Hating people is like burning down your own house to get rid of a rat.” — Henry Emerson Fosdick. “Show me a man with both feet on the ground, and I’ll show you a man who can’t put his pants on.” — Arthur K. Watson
“The more original a discovery, the more obvious it seems afterward.” — Arthur Koestler. “The happiness of your life depends upon the quality of your thoughts: therefore, guard accordingly, and take care that you entertain no notions unsuitable to virtue and reasonable nature.” — Marcus Aurelius.
“Character cannot be developed in ease and quiet. Only through experience of trial and suffering can the soul be strengthened, ambition inspired, and success achieved.” — Helen Keller. “If you want to build a ship, don’t drum up people together to collect wood and don’t assign them tasks and work, but rather teach them to long for the endless immensity of the sea.” — Antoine de Saint-Exupéry.
“New and stirring things are belittled because if they are not belittled, the humiliating question arises, "Why then are you not taking part in them?’’” — H.G. Wells. “Noise proves nothing — often a hen who has merely laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.” — Mark Twain
“If a man points at the moon, an idiot will look at the finger.” — Sufi wisdom. “We can throw stones, complain about them, stumble on them, climb over them, or build with them.” — William Arthur Ward.
“If you don’t make a total commitment to whatever you’re doing, then you start looking to bail out the first time the boat starts leaking. It’s tough enough getting that boat to shore with everybody rowing, let alone when a guy stands up and starts putting his life jacket on.” — Lou Holtz
“Death is not extinguishing the light; it is putting out the lamp because the dawn has come.” — Rabindranath Tagore. “People are like stained glass windows: they sparkle and shine when the sun is out, but when the darkness sets in their true beauty is revealed only if there is a light within.” — Elizabeth Kubler-Ross. “There is a foolish corner in the brain of the wisest man.” — Aristotle.
“Let no one ever come to you without leaving better and happier. Be the living expression of God’s kindness: kindness in your face, kindness in your eyes, kindness in your smile.” — Mother Teresa. “Love your enemies because they bring out the best in you.” — Friedrich Nietzsche. “Our plans miscarry because they have no aim. When you don’t know what harbor you’re aiming for, no wind is the right wind.” — Seneca.
“We must be the change we wish to see in the world.” — Mahatma Gandhi. “We are no longer happy as soon as we wish to be happier.” — Walter Savage Landor. “Death is not the greatest loss in life. The greatest loss is what dies inside us while we live.” — Norman Cousins.
“If you are patient in one moment of anger, you will avoid one hundred days of sorrow.” — Chinese Proverb. “It’s never what people do that make us angry, it’s what we tell ourselves about what they did.” — Marshall Rosenberg.
“The world is moving so fast these days that the man who says it can’t be done is generally interrupted by someone doing it.” — Harry Fosdick. “When one tugs at a single thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world.” — John Muir.
That last one made me go hmmmm. And everybody can use a good hmmmm every now and again.
Contact columnist Mandy Flynn at firstname.lastname@example.org.