Ten Quotations I’ve Rediscovered

As a compulsive journal keeper, I frequently collect random bits of news, information, articles, and events (even memories) that find their way into my writing. Last week I uncovered a page of quotes I collected in the ‘60s or early ‘70s.

The four-page collection of 23 quotations reignited my reflections on themes and ideas I hadn’t journaled about; though; I may have dropped a line in here and there. Almost half of these are lifted from Garrison Keillor’s daily delivery of The Writer’s Almanac. But I’ll not resurrect those; If you want to see them, visit Lake Wobegon.

Here I list for your bemused browsing, several that jumped from the page for me as I read them standing in my home “office.”

1) Cited in an e-mail signature line from a former teacher colleague was this inspiring alert directed at educators and attributed to the Irish poet of the 1920s and ‘30s, William Butler Yeats:
Education is not the filling of a pail but the lighting of a fire.

2) Daniel Russell is a senior research scientist at Google whose posts and lectures educated me in the strategy of web searching and information scavenging. In a lecture at the U. of California in San Francisco, Russell gave us this four-word nugget of advice:
Synonymization is your friend.

3) I used to do freelance editing for the National Governors Association in Washington, and it was there I came across a speech by professor Steve Blank, a Silicon Valley writer and entrepreneur, in which he said:
There’s no possible way that you could write down in a document, sitting in your office or your library or with consultants, what the real world looks like. The real world is chaos.

4) Paul Brians, the author of *Common Errors in English Usage,* gave us this challenge to ponder:
—Events may progress in time, but time itself does not progress—it just passes.

5) Here’s a touch of Latin, found on the shield of the Canadian Province of Newfoundland and Labrador (where both my parents were born and raised) :
 —Quaerite Prime Regnum Dei (Seek first the Kingdom of God).

6) In his 1968 text, A Dynamic Psychology of Religion, the late Paul W. Pruyser, a Menninger Clinic psychologist, wrote:
—There is no focus without fuzzy edges.

7) The 18th-Century Christian writer and apologist G. K. Chesterton left us this habit of conversational prayer:
—You say grace before meals. All right. But I say grace before the concert and the opera, and grace before the play and pantomime, and grace before I open a book, and grace before sketching, painting, swimming, fencing, boxing, walking, playing, dancing and grace before I dip the pen in the ink.

8) James C. Schapp is a retired writing professor at Dordt College in Iowa, a hotbed of Calvinist (Kuyperian) Dutch Reformed theology, and a faithful, frequently funny blogger at “Stuff in the Basement” (siouxlander.blogspot.com).
Schapp also is a rare Calvinist who attends to the words of “the little bride of Christ” in his book Reading Mother Teresa.
—We cannot do great things on this Earth, only small things with great love.
—cited by Schapp in “Stuff in the Basement” in 2013.

9) Novelist and short story writer Anne Beattie penned this stunning observation:
 —What we hear by accident often has more credibility than what is said to us directly.
—-cited on the city guides website Matador Network

10) Finally, I offer a quote that I’ve frequently repeated by often mixing up details but retaining the punch line, as it were. In 2003, the evangelical magazine Christianity Today published a profile on Tony Campolo, a sociology professor and evangelist at Eastern University in St. Davids, PA. There can be little doubt it was the first time the magazine ever quoted a taboo four-letter word. Campolo told his audience:
—I have three things I’d like to say today. First, while you were sleeping last night, 30,000 kids died of starvation or diseases related to malnutrition. Second, most of you don’t give a shit. What’s worse is that you’re more upset with the fact that I said shit than the fact that 30,000 kids died last night.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply