Thursday, July 29, 2010

Some Favorite Quotations

It is not what we like or dislike, but the reason—the why—behind our preferences that really matters. While I can not convey to the fullest extent the reasons for which these quotes are my favorite—because they are far too many and some are surely not at all evident to me—I will at least attempt at an explanation.

"Don’t believe in miracles, depend on them."
Laurence J. Peter
This mindset, while I know is unintuitive, has saved me many times.

"The secret to creativity is knowing how to hide your sources."
Albert Einstein

"Bad artists copy. Good artists steal."
Pablo Picasso
This one goes back to the previous quote. Imagination is limited only by our experiences... of other people's work.

"We're all extraordinary - all of us are."
Dr. Bill Puett
This one is by my favorite professor. He showed me that the world is so much more wonderful than I have ever imagined.

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure."
Marianne Williamson
This quote often rings in my ears. Practically, we wont be able to experience the true extent of our abilities. Life is too short for us to truly know ourselves.

"The believer is happy; the doubter is wise."
Hungarian Proverb
This is the ultimate dilemma. Blue pill or red pill? Ignorant bliss, or the horrible truth? Most will be stuck in between. I know what I would choose in a heart beat.

"He is richest who is content with the least, for content is the wealth of nature."
Socrates
To be satisfied in life is to be satisfied with what we have.
On the same note:
“It was nature’s intention that there should be no need of great equipment for a good life: every individual can make himself happy. External goods are of trivial importance and without much influence in either direction: prosperity does not elevate the sage and adversity does not depress him”
Seneca (4 BCE–65 ACE)

"The lizard that jumped from the high iroko tree to the ground said he would praise himself if no-one else did."
Chinua Achebe
Give yourself a pat on the back once in a while for doing the right thing.

...on the same page:
"In our world of big names, our true heroes tend to be anonymous. In this life of illusion and quasi-illusion, the person of solid virtues who can be admired for something more substantial than his well-knowness often proves to be the unsung hero: the teacher, the nurse, the mother, the honest cop, the hard worker at lonely, underpaid, unglamorous, unpublicized jobs."
Daniel Joseph Boorstin (1914–2004)

"Wisdom begins in wonder."
Plato
This is so simple, yet so profound.

"Given more time, I think we probably would've done better."
Sandra Day O'Connor, speaking on the Bush v. Gore decision.

"Let them at all times concern themselves with doing a kindly thing for one of their fellows, offering to someone love, consideration, thoughtful help. Let them see no one as their enemy, or as wishing them ill, but think of all humankind as their friends; regarding the alien as an intimate, the stranger as a companion, staying free of prejudice, drawing no lines."
'Abdu'l-Baha, 1844-1921, Iranian Baha'i Leader

"Whoever fights monsters should see to it that in the process he does not become a monster. And if you gaze for long into an abyss, the abyss gazes also into you."
Friedrich Nietzsche

...and
"What you resist persists."
Carl Jung (1875 - 1961)

Every once in a while, I'm reminded of one of many Mark Twain's quotes. I love the satire and the truths behind these quotes. The pleasure behind reading quotations is that you can reflect on what they mean to you through your own experience.

Mark Twain:

"I have been through some terrible things in my life, some of which actually happened."
"Dance like no one is watching, sing like no one is listening. love like you've never been hurt, and live like its heaven on earth"
"Be careless in your dress if you will, but keep a tidy soul."
"Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear - not absence of fear."
"Grief can take care of itself, but to get the full value of a joy you must have somebody to divide it with."
"Habit is habit and not to be flung out of the window by any man, but coaxed downstairs a step at a time."
"I can live for two months on a good compliment."
"I was gratified to be able to answer promptly. I said I don't know."
"Truth is stranger than fiction, but it is because Fiction is obliged to stick to possibilities; Truth isn't."
"Be truthful. If you tell the truth you don't have anything to remember."
"When in doubt, tell the truth."
"It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not to deserve them."
"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt."
"It is curious that physical courage should be so common in the world and moral courage so rare."
"It usually takes more than three weeks to prepare a good impromptu speech."
"Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great."
"Let us so live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry."
"Many a small thing has been made large by the right kind of advertising."
"Name the greatest of all inventors. Accident."
"The best way to cheer yourself is to try to cheer someone else up."
"The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them."
"Time cools, time clarifies; no mood can be maintained quite unaltered through the course of hours."
"The difference between the right word and the almost right word is the difference between lightning and a lightning bug."
"Work and play are words used to describe the same thing under differing conditions."
"Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured."
"Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society."
"Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more."
"Always do right. This will gratify some people, and astonish the rest."
"Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it's time to pause and reflect."
"It's spring fever. That is what the name of it is. And when you've got it, you want - oh, you don't quite know what it is you do want, but it just fairly makes your heart ache, you want it so!"
"In religion and politics, people's beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second hand, and without examination."
"Education: that which reveals to the wise, and conceals from the stupid, the vast limits of their knowledge."
"The human race has one really effective weapon, and that is laughter."
"Classic: a book which people praise and don't read."
"Pessimism is only the name that men of weak nerve give to wisdom."