Like a lot of other people in this world, I use a lot of words. I spew and I spew. Every now and then by some bizarre happenstance, I make sense. I might have even said something useful to someone on this planet. What are the odds of those words being read by the one person in a million to whom they would be useful? I’ll leave that as an exercise to the reader. (Hint, there are seven billion people on earth.) Heck, they say that an infinite number of monkeys will eventually type up all of Shakespeare’s plays.
Given these facts, I sometimes wonder whether it’s a good idea to even try to say something on my own. It’s all been said before – and better – by others. “There’s nothing new under the sun” said the wisest of men, Solomon.
So for the first time (but not the last) I’m going to share a few of my favorite quotes from people who really are good with words. Please infer no significance to the order or timing of these. I just like them each for different reasons.
I found this one in a book this past week. It’s wildly inspirational and challenging. It’s had me thinking ever since I read it.
“There is nothing more powerful than an idea whose time has come.” — Victor Hugo
Now all I have to do is figure out what that idea is.
I can always rely on Jesus and His friends for transformational wisdom:
This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down his life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers. — 1 John 3:16
How many times do I even inconvenience myself for others, never mind lay down my life?
From the sublime to the ridiculous, here are the opening sentences from “The Schreuderspitze“, a short story by one of my favorite writers.
“In Munich are many men who look like weasels. Whether by genetic accident, meticulous crossbreeding, an early and puzzling migration, coincidence, or a reason that we do not know, they exist in great numbers. Remarkably, they accentuate this unfortunate tendency by wearing mustaches, Alpine hats, and tweed. A man who resembles a rodent
should never wear tweed.” — Mark Helprin
Not much to inspire there, but a magnificent use of the language. Maybe that’s inspiration enough.
So there you have it – real words from real writers. A nice break from my sporadic scribblings.