Sunday, August 28, 2016

Quotes to live by

"Avalanche of snowflakes"

    When I run across a good quote, I generally jot it down on the nearest thing I can find. I’ve lost a lot of good quotes that way.

    In the last couple of weeks, I have noticed several good sayings, and would now like to take this time to share. So, look around for something to write on.

    How many of you saw the “Thought for Today” in one of last week’s editions? It is attributed to Polish writer, Stanslav Jerzy Lec. Who doesn’t remember that scholar and his contribution to mankind? I’ve remembered him for about a week now. The quote I saw in the Courier read, “The only fool bigger than the person who knows it all, is the person who argues with him.”

    The fact that the quote was found in the “Opinion” section, screams of irony.  The words appeared on the same page as “Letters to the Editor.” I don’t know about you, but I do not enjoy reading opinions that aren’t mine. It doesn’t mean I don’t read some of ‘em. It’s just that I don’t enjoy the experience. When an article or letter begins with a false premise and is supported by illogic, I see little chance of expanding my mental boundaries by reading further. As you know, I’m a man in need of mental boundary expansion.

    I am by no means advocating a tempering of “Letters to the Editor.” The backlash would cause some serious civil unrest. If you don’t let people vent, some of them will explode right in front of you. There is a lot of anger out there. And, I do sympathize with the angry. If I lit atop a mound of simple answers to ageless problems, it would just irritate the daylights out of me that everyone else didn’t climb up there with me. Can’t they see?

    And that brings us to our second quote. This comes from, of all places, the “Letters to the Editor” published in last Thursday’s edition. In response to an influx of letters containing some angry and less than tactful arguments, Joseph Rodriguez of Conroe began his letter: “When did it become acceptable in the political discourse to insult, defame and be downright rude and arrogant? What ever happened to agree to disagree?” 

I don’t know Joseph, but I’d like to give him a hug. He’s going to need one, because someone is going to tear into him with a “counter” letter. – Hang in there, Joseph. But, try not to respond with a counter to the counter letter. I’m just saying.

    While on the subject, let me pass along another quote. This one is from writer, preacher, Max Lucado. Lucado wrote, “It is one thing to have an opinion. It is quite another to pass a verdict.” Why is it so easy for me to notice the application of that line to everyone but me? Anyone else? Anyone?

    Here’s another quote that speaks to one’s overvaluing an opinion. It comes from the deceased, religious writer, Oswald Chambers, who wrote, “He is a fool who places a ban of finality on his views.” Had I written that thought, it would’ve read, “Hey, keep an open mind!” An open mind is considered a danger to the one who worships a creed. That just came to me, so it’s likely wrong.

    These quotes are making me thirsty. Let’s go back to Stanslav. I researched that guy and found a trove of great sayings. I wish I had met him sooner. Look at this: “No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.” You might want to share that one on Facebook. Like me, I seriously doubt it would apply to anyone, but it always feels good to recognize the flaw in others.

    Stanslav Jerzy Lec, also wrote, “Everything is an illusion. Even that last sentence.” What? What did he call me? -- I have an increased respect for the Poles. Before Lec showed himself, I thought little of the contributions of Eastern Europeans, but now I’m like a snowflake in an avalanche. – No, I think I’ve already misused the quote.

    Here is a quote from an unknown author. “Bad decisions make good stories.” That is so true that it hurts. Most of my best stories come from bad decisions. Some of Virginia and Freeman’s favorite stories involve bad decisions of mine. It’s done nothing to harm our friendship. Of course, lately I have to get permission before I visit. Not a problem. They usually answer their phone, hoping it’s Kay calling. It is such a downer when a cheerful “Hello” turns into a “Heloooo, Mark.”

    Since we’re approaching the end here (of the article, not life itself) let’s leave with a few uplifting quotes. I neglected to write down the author’s name on this one. I jotted it down on a Bed, Bath and Beyond coupon, and there’s not a whole lot of space to write on one of those things. The quote is, “Peace can come if we respond with a gentle answer.” I know that to be true. Why I don’t practice it often enough is just weird.

    Here’s a quote that has the potential to put to rest a bucket load of negativity. “Whether it’s the best of times or the worst of times, it’s the only time we’ve got.” If all I do is gripe about the unfairness, meanness, violence, apathy, stupidity—What? Right, that’s enough. -- Anyway, if we don’t turn our whine into something fine, we just might end up as snowflakes in an avalanche. Yeah, I like that one.

    Yes, Stanslav Jerzy Lec, had a lot on the ball? He died in 1966, yet, I heard nothing about it. Let me give the man one last chance to express a thought. This one may be related to some of the stuff I’ve been writing about. I’m just not sure. Here is the quote: “Hay smells different to lovers and horses.”  I think that means that Kay likes romantic movies, and I like horses. – I think I’m pretty close with that one. – Next time.


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