Over the years, whenever I came across a wise saying I wrote it down. I have lists as long as your arm and the other day I blew the dust off and started to read through them.
Blimey, as that great cockney music-hall star Ian Dury used to sing, There Ain’t Half Been Some Clever Bastards!
Hmm, not sure about all of those but here are some sayings that really struck me second time around, loosely organised by theme …
Who am I kidding? It was like trying to herd cats!
I haven’t credited the authors but if you want to know any and can’t find them on Google, let me know and I’ll try to oblige.
- Honesty, courage, kindness, humour, wonder – the essentials. In laughter all evil is present, but sanctified and absolved through its own happiness. Active successful natures act, not according to the dictum ‘know thyself’, but ‘will a self and thou shalt become a self’. Become what you are. Invent new values. Re-enchant the world. Seek apotheosis.
- What then? No then.
- The cause of death is not disease, but birth. Where death is, you are not; where you are, death is not. Death has no place in all the meanings of an enclosed, circular world. Be faithful to the earth. Live each day for the common good as if it is your last. A life lived in fear is a life half lived. Life is neither good or bad – it is original. Nothing is true – everything is permitted.
- If not now, when?
- I is another. As if each illumination was a waking dream, as though the vision were in the beholder and the beholder in the vision. We know more than we can tell. First thought, best thought. Liberty is the mother, not the daughter, of order. Life is an art form. No artist tolerates reality.
- Don’t just do something. Sit there.
- Never criticise a man until you’ve walked two miles in his moccasins. Unity – the two that is not two. A true team is greater than the sum of its parts. I, we, all together in you. Unity in diversity. Only connect. Life is a series of successful mistakes. Compose into one and bring together what is fragment and riddle and dreadful chance. Each of us bringing himself together unites the world.
- If not you, who?
- Thought shall be the harder, heart the keener, courage the greater as our might grows smaller. In dark times the eye begins to see. The owl of Minerva flies at dusk. When the heart weeps at what it has lost, the spirit laughs at what it has found.
- Love is all you need.