Quotes that have stuck with you

I’ve always been a quote collector. There are quotes get stuck in your mind, even if you’ve only read them once. One that I thought about recently was on marriage and it’s a pretty wise one in terms of relationships in general.

Marry the one who loves you, not the one you love. (unattributed)

What quotes - whether you like them or not, whether they prove true or not - are in your thoughts right now?

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There are so many quotes that have stuck with me , but for one reason or another , it’s this quote by T.E. Lawrence that I read in his autobiographic memoir , “The Seven Pillars of Wisdom” which always comes to my mind/ stream of conciousness :

"Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that all was vanity; but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dream with open eyes, and make it possible."

- T.E. Lawrence , "Seven Pillars of Wisdom"

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This is a good one, and very true! Now if I could only be one of the “dreamers of the day,” life would be perfect. :balloon:

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It’s a brilliant quote , but its also one with a lot of psychological ambiguity , Lawrence’s book is full of nuance which makes a lot of his writing have layers of meaning.

It’s a bit like Hemmingway’s concept of the “Iceberg” in the sense that a statement essentially includes a great deal of omission like when you only see the top of an Iceberg above the surface of the water and not the true size of it underneath the sea.

So in terms of “the dreamers of the day” , it is a nuetral and morally ambiguous statement. Lawrence is on the one hand suggesting that it is a character trait with positive qualities in the sense of self actualization but also he uses the word “dangerous” to hint that there are drawbacks to being this kind of dreamer.

Because in a certain sense he is implying that this trait can lead to becoming like a Frankenstein’s monster that wanders/ sleepwalks through life without really being awake and possesing an almost solipsistic view of achieving dreams without the awareness that this can be quite selfish in the way that it harm others and may become self destructive.

A lot of this nuance comes from his life story , he went out to Arabia to follow his dreams of becoming an archeologist but then due to WW1 was conscripted into fighting against the Ottoman empire in the Middle East. He achieved the dream of becoming a famous wartime hero and guerilla leader and leading the Arabs to a brief period of independence. But he then felt crushed and a sense of agonizing existential guilt and depression when the Western empires of France and Britain stepped in and co-opted and subverted this independence to serve their own imperialistic ambitions in the Middle East. In a sense he was recognizing how simultaneously liberating and destructive his tendency of being a dreamer really was , how his dreaming had unwittingly led to the betrayal of the Arab peoples.

I’ve made this into a little bit of lecture , hahaha , but I just thought the context was necessary to add.

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“A flaming duck is NOT a hat.”


Well, obviously. But when I was in school, I had a friend who, even in a place full of artists, was one of the most creative people I’ve ever known. She adored all things absurdist… the Dadaist concept of Mertzbau became fodder for a number of collegiate pranks. So when she was talking me through some emotional damage and watching me try to rationalize taking more on, she said it, and at first I thought she was just being eccentric. But it stuck with me in a way that “don’t ignore red flags” or “don’t get back together with your ex” could not have… it made me laugh, and it brought into focus just how obviously absurd it would be to choose such a negative situation as I was considering. From then on, it’s been the best advice I can give!

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Cowards die many times before their deaths. The valiant never taste of death but once.

From the Tragedy of Julius Caesar by William Shakespeare

That quote always stuck with me because it can be applied in our daily lives. Everyone has aspirations, but it takes effort and dedication to see them through and even then success is not always guaranteed. We’re always held back by doubt and fear of failure and sometimes we don’t even realize it until is too late. Most prefer to accept what they can get and close the door on greater opportunities.

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“Better to be rich and healthy than sick and poor!”

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It’s the first I’ve heard of this quote but it’s so memorable!

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I keep what is called a “commonplace book” – in my case, a collection of quotes from books, movies, TV shows, lectures, and friends. I write them down because I can never remember them properly if I don’t. I couldn’t possibly pick a favorite, but here are a few examples:

“Why would reason have anything to do with what people think?” – Sarah Jessica Parker on Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee
“That’s what we’d do in New Orleans. We’d have a bowl of gumbo and change the whole world.” – Leah Chase on Somebody Feed Phil
“Love does not consist of gazing at each other but of looking outward together in the same direction.” – Antoine de Saint-Exupery in Terre des Hommes

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A favorite quote from Chris McCandless…

"I’d like to repeat the advice that I gave you before, in that I think you really should make a radical change in your lifestyle and begin to boldly do things which you may previously never have thought of doing, or been too hesitant to attempt. So many people live within unhappy circumstances and yet will not take the initiative to change their situation because they are conditioned to a life of security, conformity, and conservatism, all of which may appear to give one peace of mind, but in reality nothing is more damaging to the adventurous spirit within a man than a secure future. The very basic core of a man’s living spirit is his passion for adventure. The joy of life comes from our encounters with new experiences, and hence there is no greater joy than to have an endlessly changing horizon, for each day to have a new and different sun.

If you want to get more out of life, Ron, you must lose your inclination for monotonous security and adopt a helter-skelter style of life that will at first appear to you to be crazy. But once you become accustomed to such a life you will see its full meaning and its incredible beauty. And so, Ron, in short, get out of Salton City and hit the Road. I guarantee you will be very glad you did. "

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Beautifully resonant and thought-provoking words from Chris McCandless that are definitely fuel for the adventurers in us. Also, extra kudos for being willing to boldly split an infinitive in his inspirational speech. Captain Kirk would be proud… :star_struck:

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This Atlantic article about a longitudinal study that has been running for more than 70 years, following the lives of men who graduated Harvard back when JFK was a student, has long stuck with me. In particular, one of the men and his reflection that in his life he had really tried to “squeeze that lemon.” What Makes Us Happy? - The Atlantic

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This isn’t a quote in the same sense of the above, but I was at a music festival one time (moe.down) and there were a group of people sitting to my left and a group of people playing hackey sack (mind you, we’re sitting on a ski slope) behind them. After the fifth or sixth time the guys next to me had to grab the sack and throw it back to them one of them came up with “You suck. Buy a Frisbee”. To this day I’ll still occasionally whip that one out when someone around me has a significant fail regardless of whether they’ve heard the story. I’m all about planting bizarre seeds around me and walking out.

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Do I contradict myself?
Very well then I contradict myself,
(I am large, I contain multitudes.)

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My favorite quote comes from a movie I am not 100% sure which on but I know it was from a political movie:

Never trust a man that says “Trust me!”

I was tending bar at that time and it sounded like good, solid advice.

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There is more to life than increasing its speed. ~~ Gandhi

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Take too much time, and time will take you.

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Sting in an Englishman in New York: ‘Be yourself, no matter what they say’. This one stuck with me since a very long time, from a time when I was even not fluent in English.

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Another one of my life motto is in French ‘va où tu veux, meurs où tu dois’, meaning ‘go wherever you want, die wherever you must’. Anonymous.
I heard it only once, from my elder brother, explaining to my mother that she should not worry about me leaving for the first time abroad, going to study for 1 year in the US. He heard it from a garage mechanic, and since then, I always had this quote in mind, like ‘Carpe Diem’.

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“The arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends towards justice.” — Dr Martin Luther King, who paraphrased it from a sermon by the Unitarian Minister, Theodore Parker.

I have leaned on it often, and in the current state of our world, I now lean on it daily.

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