Saturday, 15 October 2011

15.10. Quotes of Wisdom

I have written two posts earlier this year about famous quotes and I can see from the visitor statistics that these two posts are frequently visited. I regularly look around for new quotes and collect them in a folder on my computer, you never know when a quote from a famous person could come in handy, so tonight I thought I would make another post about wise words and sayings.

A lot of people say important or wise things, but most known quotes or those found on the Internet are from famous people, naturally, as how else would they get to be known to everyone else. That doesn’t mean that completely ordinary people can’t declare wonderfully phrased and insightful expressions or sayings. It’s just that normally the rest of us won’t hear them, unless they are published in some way. So I am going to start this post ‘Quotes of Wisdom’ with quoting my son, at an age of around 3 –an age when he said a lot of very well thought of stuff that had us in stitches on a regular basis, not just because it was funny, but because it came out of a 3 year old boy’s mouth.

“When someone switches off the light outside, we can go to sleep.”

“First you are a baby, then a boy, then a man, then an old man and then……a fireman! 
(A firefighter)

“Q: When are you going to stop using your dummy? A: When I become a Daddy!”



I am pleased to report that my son, now 25 years old stopped using his dummy many, many years ago, in fact not long after we had this conversation, age 3 and a bit :-) He has not yet become a father, but I have written down this and many other things he said in a book, and when he gets his own children I will give him the book so he can continue writing down what his own children says, no doubt there will be many more golden opportunities when that time comes.

The next person with ‘Quotes of Wisdom’ is a bit more famous than my son, but he is also Norwegian as my son and I am; he was a major Norwegian playwright of the late 19th century and wrote among other ‘A Doll's House’ and ‘Peer Gynt’. His name was Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906) and he had a lot of opinions and things to say, both within his plays and outside them as well. Here follows just a very small sample.


“You should never have your best trousers on when you go out to fight for freedom and truth.”
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

“The majority is always wrong; the minority is rarely right.”
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

“The strongest man in the world is he who stands most alone”
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

“Marriage! Nothing else demands so much of a man.”
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)

“To really sin you have to be serious about it.”
Henrik Ibsen (1828-1906)



Next I’ve got two Americans who also said a lot of wise words, too many to put all of them here, but I have made a careful selection. Some of these quotes I am sure you have heard before, but perhaps you didn’t know who actually said them? I think that a quote always makes more sense or is more meaningful when you know who said it, as a quote or a saying needs to be put in context; to the time it was written, by the person it was written by and the social, political or other environmental factors that would make an impact at the time. First up is Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790), American statesman, scientist, philosopher, printer, writer and inventor. 


“The Constitution only gives people the right to pursue happiness. You have to catch it yourself.”
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

“In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.”
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

“Half a truth is often a great lie.”
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

“Fish and visitors smell in three days.”
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)

“Remember not only to say the right thing in the right place, but far more difficult still, to leave unsaid the wrong thing at the tempting moment.”
Benjamin Franklin (1706-1790)



And another great American, Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865), American 16th US President said many great wise words that have stayed with us, I am sure you have heard some of these.

“Most folks are about as happy as they make their minds up to be.”
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.”
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

“It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.”
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)

“You may fool all the people some of the time, you can even fool some of the people all of the time, but you cannot fool all of the people all the time.”
Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865)



I am going to finish this list with a great European man, Albert Einstein (1879-1955), he was a German born American physicist who developed the special and general theories of relativity and got the Nobel Prize for Physics in 1921. He said a lot of great things, some of them quite funny, although I don’t know if he actually meant to be funny! Here is a very small selection.

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“If you can't explain it simply, you don't understand it well enough”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“If we knew what it was we were doing, it would not be called research, would it?”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“The difference between what the most and the least learned people know is inexpressibly trivial in relation to that which is unknown.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“Everything that can be counted does not necessarily count; everything that counts cannot necessarily be counted.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“Women marry men hoping they will change. Men marry women hoping they will not. So each is inevitably disappointed.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“Put your hand on a hot stove for a minute, and it seems like an hour. Sit with a pretty girl for an hour, and it seems like a minute. THAT'S relativity.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)

“The wireless telegraph is not difficult to understand. The ordinary telegraph is like a very long cat. You pull the tail in New York, and it meows in Los Angeles. The wireless is the same, only without the cat.”
Albert Einstein (1879-1955)



When I read the last bit, the bit about ‘the wireless’, I laughed so I cried! I wonder what the good Mr Einstein would have said, had he still been among us, to explain the Internet, a laptop, an iPad, an e-book or some of the many other gadgets we have acquired the last 20 years or so :-)

That’s it for tonight; hope you enjoyed my selection, next time I hope to produce a list with similarly great female quotes – just got to have a few more hours on the Internet to find the best among the good ones :-) Bye for now, see you next time, take care.

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