The Power of Quote

“A great quote is like a good suggestion that keeps on giving.”

And you can quote me on that.

I love a good quote and its close cousins, the proverb and, what I call, simple life rules: It is as if the logic contained in just a few words used to convey an idea brings forth volumes of wisdom; the philosophical whole far exceeds the brief grammatical sum of its parts.  A good quote transcends time and offers universal wisdom when needed. A good quote can bring us in tension.

Some quotes are basic to the way I approach life:

“The last creature to discover water was the fish.”

The brief statement explains how each of us are blind to what we consider “normal.” If something ihow-to-introduce-new-fish-into-a-fish-ta.WidePlayers part of our everyday existence, we eventually no longer see it because it is just what we do. Truth be told, nothing about our experiences is normal. Learning this basic axiom is a basic step toward critical thinking. We all must question that which we consider to be “normal” because it probably is not.

One of my favorite lyrical quotes demonstrates this idea. Nestled in Jim Morrision’s mysterious poetry lies this little gem to personify the mystery of language and its power:

 “…save us from the divine mockery of words.”

Language is life. It is so much a part of us we stop critically analyzing its profound effect on every part of our being. Language is the basic building block in our entire approach to life. And, as Jim suggests, at times language can be our fiercest foe as we are unable to think outside of its confines: Perhaps akin to Sapir-Whorf (look it up)?

Some quotes are more quips –and at first glance seem humorous and somewhat flippant:

“When I die I hope I will be in a meeting so the passing from life to death is barely noticeable.”

You will find this quote on the bottom of my personal emails. It actually says a lot about who I am and my disdain for wasted time and, in particular, those meeting members who refuse to allow meeting time to move forward because they love the sound of their own freaking voice….and they always have just one more question. Yuck. Shut up.

You will find this little gem on the bottom of my professional emails:

“If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”

I love this one. According to economist Steven Leavitt, the only thing virtually all economists universally agree upon is the tremendous economical advantage of having a college education.  Education is key component for financial, relational and personal success. Even divorce rates skyrocket for the uneducated.

A quote I have made up:

“Do not allow education to shape your mind, allow your mind to shape your education.”

Though I do believe education certainly –and quite literally – shapes our mind and neural pathways, we need to be captain of own “mind” ship. We cannot get lost in education and lose ourselves in it as each of us has something unique and valuable to contribute to the cultural conversation. We need people to sound like who THEY are, not their textbooks.

Some of my favorite media quotes come from Edward R. Murrow who shares my media cynicism:

“Just because your voice reaches halfway around the world doesn’t mean you are wiser than when it reached only to the end of the bar.” edward_r_murrow_2


“The speed of communications is wondrous to behold. It is also true that speed can multiply the distribution of information that we know to be untrue.”

Love this man. The last journalist with some integrity. Or is he?

Finally, some of my life rules:

“Never EVER, no matter how busy you are, pass up the opportunity for a purchase at a child’s roadside lemonade stand.”

If I did not have this rule, I know I would NEVER stop because, like all of us, I am far too busy and probably late for wherever I am going. However, the simple joy of seeing a child’s face light up while proudly serving the customer is absolutely priceless; worthy of a life rule

And, finally:

“It’s all bullshit until proven otherwise.”

Yes, even this blog. And you can quote me on that.