Quotations are among my favorite things to collect and share. The more truthful they are the more inspiring they seem. I’m also intrigued by who said what, and the connection between what we know about the author and the point of view the quote presents. For example, are philosophers, spiritual leaders, and Nobel prizewinners bothered by the same issues as comedians, prime ministers, and athletes? And are their interests the same as ours? Join me in this exploration.
Would you attribute this philosophical outlook to Groucho Marks, a clever comedian whose humor was often slapstick?
“Each morning when I open my eyes I say to myself: I, not events, have the power to make me happy or unhappy today. I can choose which it shall be. Yesterday is dead, tomorrow hasn't arrived yet. I have just one day, today, and I'm going to be happy in it." — GROUCHO MARX, Comedian, Television and Film Star.
On the other hand, it's easy to imagine that someone with a contemplative nature like Jackson Kiddard would make this observation:
“This moment is all that is guaranteed — use it to express the depth of your love and to wipe your slate clean of any resentment you are holding onto. Life is too precious to carry the weight of the past with you. Let it go and start to grow!” — JACKSON KIDDARD, Philosopher, Polymath.
And does learning that Margaret Thatcher said this, add meaning to the way she met the challenges she faced as the first woman and longest serving Prime Minister of England?
"If you just set out to be liked, you would be prepared to compromise on anything, wouldn't you, at any time? You would achieve nothing!" — MARGARET THATCHER, Chemist, British Stateswoman, Prime Minister.
Continuing with our curiosity about who said what, do any of these combinations surprise you?
How people treat you defines them, how you respond defines you! — WILMA RUDOLPH, First American woman to win three gold medals in track and field during a single Olympic Games, despite running on a sprained ankle at the time.
"We attain freedom as we let go of whatever does not reflect our magnificence. A bird cannot fly high or far with a stone tied to its back. But release the impediment, and we are free to soar to unprecedented heights." — ALAN COHEN, Owner of the Florida Panthers.
"Always dream and shoot higher than you know you can do. Don't bother just to be better than your contemporaries or predecessors. Try to be better than yourself.” — WILLIAM FAULKNER, Nobel Prizewinner and one of the most influential writers of the 20th century.
"Thought is cause; experience is effect. If you don't like the effects in your life, you have to change your thinking.” — MARIANNE WILLIAMSON, Author, Teacher of A Course in Miracles, Founder of The Peace Alliance.
"People are always blaming their circumstances for what they are. I don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances they want, and, if they can't find them, make them." — GEORGE BERNARD SHAW, Nobel Prizewinner, Irish Playwright, Critic.
So many quotations offer advice and wisdom. Knowing who said what adds insight into the values of the authors. Let me finish with two of my all-time favorites:
“Love is always bestowed as a gift: freely, willingly and without expectation. We don’t love to be loved; we love to love.” — LEO BUSCAGLIA, Professor, Writer.
“You get what you get, and you don’t get upset.” — MY GRANDCHILDREN, quoting their teacher after their first morning of nursery school.