Quotes are marvelous things, aren’t they. There are memorable quotes that everyone knows, such as, “To be or not to be. That is the question, (Hamlet)” or “It is a far, far better thing I do than I have ever done. It is a far, far better rest I go to, than I have ever known. (Tale of Two Cities)” These quotes have made their way into our culture such that people know them without ever reading the book.
I love quotes. I collect them in notebooks, on scrap paper, and on random documents on my computer. They consist of words that speak of my thoughts more eloquently than I could hope to. I also have many quotes of reminding me how I want to live my life. It’s surprising some of the sources these quotes come from, but they’ve stuck with me. Here’s just a couple of my favorites.
“…while some things are just plain awful, most things in life can be seen either tragic or comic. And it’s your choice. Is life a big, long, tiresome slog from sadness to regret to guilt to resentment to self-pity? Or is life weird, outrageous, bizarre, ironic, and just stupid? Gotta go with stupid. It’s not the easy way out. Self pity is the easiest thing in the world. Finding the humor, the irony, the slight justification for a skewed, skeptical optimism. That’s tough.” ~Animorphs
Like most kids in the ’90s, I was a huge Animorphs fan. Before I knew it, I had read all of the Animorphs books in the library. I loved the concept: kids transforming into animals to fight a secret alien invasion. While most of the books weren’t serious, this quote stuck with me since I first read it. Before I knew it, I had simplified it to: “Life gives you two choices: laugh or cry. I’d much rather laugh.” Life can be very cruel, but I’ve found that even in the bleakest of times, you can find things to laugh about. If you keep looking for the humor in life, the dark stuff seems that much more manageable.
“When you’re falling off a cliff, you might as well try to fly.” ~Babylon 5
This line was from one of John Sheridan’s speeches during a climatic moment in the TV show Babylon 5. It’s kind of cheesy, but it’s stuck with me. After all, when nothing seems to be right, what does it hurt to try to fly? There’s hope in every situation, you just have to reach for it.
“Our greatest hope is not in never falling, but in rising every time we fall.” ~Confucius
See! I get quotes from more than just TV shows and kid’s books! A friend of mine gave me this quote in high school when I was having a tough time. It’s easy to fall and stay down, it’s that much harder to stand back up and keep moving forward. Life doesn’t get any easier, but that doesn’t mean you have to give up. I’ve recently gotten through some difficult things, and I now draw strength from the times I had fallen, because I found the strength to get back up.
There’s no way for us to read the future, so there’s no point in worrying about it. Sure, it’s fine to plan for the future, but you shouldn’t spend so much time stressing over it that you miss the times here and now. I’ve seen so many people looking to the future that they never realized what they had. Don’t miss the precious moments now by pining for things that are yet to come. After all, we may not know what the future holds, but we know who holds the future.
“Make me a channel of your peace. Where there is hatred, let me sow love. Where there is injury, pardon. Where there is doubt, faith. Where there is despair, hope. Where there is darkness, light and where there is sadness, joy. Oh, divine Master! Grant that I may not so much as be consoled as to console, to be understood as to understand, to be loved as to love. For it is in giving that we receive, it is in pardoning that we are pardoned, and it is in dying that we are born to eternal life.” ~Prayer of St. Francis
This is one of my favorite prayers, and it is how I strive to live my life.
Quotes can become such an important part of our lives, that we often forget that they were written by a stranger. I guess that just goes to show that we are all more alike than we’d ever like to admit.