BOBBI'S FAVORITE QUOTATIONS
(Barbara Florio Graham)
(NOTE: Many of the unattributed
quotations are from The
with fond memories of Ol Jer)
is better than anger.
Hope is better than fear.
Optimism is better than despair.
So let us be loving, hopeful and optimistic.
And well change the world.
One child, one teacher, one
book and one pen can change the world.
Malala Yousafzai, celebrating her 16th birthday after being shot by the Taliban last year for
speaking out in favor of girls' education in Pakistan.
Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss
events; small minds discuss people.
Do not go where the path may
lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Ring the bells that still
Forget your perfect offering
There is a crack in everything
That's how the light gets in.
Only art penetrates &ldots; the seeming
realities of this world.
There is another reality, the genuine one, which we lose sight of.
This other reality is always sending us hints, which without art, we cant receive.
(from Saul Bellows Nobel Prize acceptance speech)
Knowledge sets us free, art
sets us free. A great library is freedom.
(Ursula K. Le Guin)
How does one become a butterfly?
You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.
That opportunities are never lost;
someone will take the ones you miss.
If you are irritated by every rub, how will you get polished? (Rumi)
Many of life's failures
are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.
(Thomas A. Edison)
Faith is the bird that
sings when the dawn is still dark.
If we encounter a man of rare
intellect, we should ask him what books he reads.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Success is not final, failure is not fatal:
it is the courage to continue that counts.
Leap and the net will appear.
What I do today is important because I am paying a
day of my life for it.
What I accomplish must be worthwhile because the price is high.
A successful man is one who
can lay a firm foundation with the bricks others have thrown at him.
When you write for magazines
you write about clever people doing interesting things.
In a newsroom, you write about stupid people doing stupid things.
The smoothest way is full of stones.
In matters of style, swim
with the current;
in matters of principle, stand like a rock.
In the confrontation between the stream and the rock,
the stream always wins - not through strength, but through persistence.
There are only two ways to live
One is as though nothing is a miracle.
The other is as though everything is a miracle.
Turn your face to the sun
and the shadows fall behind you.
Ideas never lack for words.
It is words that lack ideas.
are two means of refuge from the miseries of life:
music and cats.
Things fall apart; the
center cannot hold.
(Wm. Butler Yeats)
Thou art the Great Cat,
the avenger of the Gods,
and the judge of words,
and the president of the sovereign chiefs
and the governor of the holy Circle;
thou art indeed...
The Great Cat
(inscription on the royal tombs at Thebes)
Horse sense is the thing a
which keeps it from betting on people.
(W. C. Fields)
If you don't know how it
works, find out.
If you're not sure if it will work, try it.
If it doesn't make sense, play with it until it does.
If it's not broken, break it.
If it might not be true, find out.
The things that come to those
were most likely were left by those who got there first.
Time spent with cats is
As long as youre going to be
thinking anyway, THINK BIG.
never change your mind, why have one?
(creativity guru Edward de Bono)
Technology is the
knack of so arranging the world that we don't have to experience it.
Swiss writer and playwright Max Frisch
You don't have
to burn books to destroy a culture.
Just get people to stop reading them.
When you re-read a classic,
you do not see more in the book than you did before;
you see more in yourself than there was before.
(Clifton Fadiman, editor and critic)
If you could build a small package,
something small enough to carry in your coat pocket,
a machine which would instantly start and stop,
in which you could instantly reverse yourself or go forward,
which would require no batteries or other energy sources,
and which would provide you with full information on an entire civilization,
what would you have?
Humans have a habit of
running faster when they have lost their way.
Words are things; and a small drop of ink
Falling like dew upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
Poetry is the art of creating
imaginary gardens with real toads.
Before you make the key,
study the lock.
There have been great
societies that did not use the wheel,
but there have been no societies that did not tell stories.
(Ursula K. LeGuin)
You never change things by
fighting the existing reality.
To change something, build a new model that makes the existing model obsolete.
(R. Buckminster Fuller)
We should consider every day lost on which we
have not danced at least once.
And we should call every truth false, which was not accompanied by at least one laugh.
I don't know the key to success,
but the key to failure is trying to please everybody.
The most solid advice . . . for
a writer is this, I think:
Try to learn to breathe deeply, really to taste food when you eat, and when you sleep, really to sleep.
Try as much as possible to be wholly alive, with all your might,
and when you laugh, laugh like hell, and when you get angry, get good and angry.
Try to be alive. You will be dead soon enough.
When someone shares something of value with you,
and you benefit from it,
you have a moral obligation to share it with others.
We write to communicate to
the hearts and minds of others what's burning inside you.
And we edit to let the fire show through the smoke.
Criticizing another's garden doesn't keep the weeds out of your own.
Life is the art of drawing
without an eraser.
(John W. Gardner)
To be persuasive we must be believable;
to be believable we must be creditable;
to be credible we must be truthful
(Edward R. Murrow)
A lie told often enough becomes truth.
(Vladimir Lenin, later quoted by Joseph Goebbels)
A lie can travel halfway around the world while
the truth is putting on its shoes.
Most people are
mirrors, reflecting the moods and emotions of the times;
few are windows, bringing light to bear on the dark corners where troubles fester.
The whole purpose of education is to turn mirrors into windows.
(Sydney J. Harris)
There are many forms of stupidity;
and cleverness is the worst.
A pessimist sees the
difficulty in every opportunity;
an optimist sees the opportunity in every difficulty.
An eye for an eye only
ends up making the whole world blind.
War is what happens when language fails.
effective speaker can do more damage or more good in a well-stated minute
than an angry klutz could do in half an hour.
The true measure of a man is how he treats
someone who can do him absolutely no good.
Life is not about waiting for the storm to pass; it's about learning to dance in the rain.
We are what we repeatedly do.
Excellence, then, is not an act, but a habit.
Formal education will make
you a living; self-education will make you a fortune.
Writing is not like painting where you add.
It is not what you put on the canvas that the reader sees.
Writing is more like a sculpture where you remove,
you eliminate in order to make the work visible.
Even those pages you remove somehow remain.
Everybody is a genius.
But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree,
it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.
Artists invent things as a
way of telling the truth.
Life is a dream for the wise,
a game for the fool,
a comedy for the rich,
a tragedy for the poor.
When you get to the end of
the rope, tie a knot and hang on.
(Franklin D Roosevelt)
Those who say it can't be done shouldn't
interrupt the ones doing it.
When you innovate youve
got to be prepared for everyone telling you youre nuts.
The secret of business is to know something that
nobody else knows.
A friendship founded on
business is better than a business founded on friendship.
John D. Rockefeller
I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells.
Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living,
its a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope.
Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at lifes realities.
from the Gnostic Gospels:
If you bring forth what is within you, what is within you will save you.
If you do not bring forth what is within you, what is within you will destroy you.
Confidence is contagious. So
is lack of confidence.
A man who views the world the same at fifty as
he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.
is nothing but a dream with a deadline.
When you have come to the edge
Of all light that you know
And are about to drop off into the darkness
Of the unknown,
Faith is knowing
One of two things will happen:
There will be something solid to stand on or
You will be taught to fly.
Envy is the art of counting
the other fellows blessings instead of your own.
key is not to prioritize whats on your schedule, but to
schedule your priorities.
Janice Kennedy, who writes with insight and grace in The Ottawa Citizen, described the current cultural climate as the ascendancy of the unenlightened, which dismisses experience, education, and sophisticated thinking. Could that be a result of the dominance of television, where the inexperienced and uneducated are celebrated on reality shows?
Never wrestle with
You both get dirty and the pigs love it.
All our dreams can come true,
if we have the courage to pursue them.
( Walt Disney)
By three methods we may learn wisdom:
First, by reflection, which is noblest;
Second, by imitation, which is easiest;
and third by experience, which is the bitterest.
A business that makes
nothing but money is a poor business.
A friend who is far away is sometimes much
nearer than one who is at hand.
Prejudice is easy;
tolerance takes effort.
(Barbara Florio Graham)
If youve been fortunate
enough to live out your dream in the profession of your choice,
then you have an obligation to send the elevator back down.
For attractive lips, speak words of kindness.
For lovely eyes, seek out the good in people.
For a slim figure, share your food with the hungry.
For beautiful hair, let a child run his or her fingers through it once a day.
For poise, walk with the knowledge you'll never walk alone.
The space between anxiety and boredom is where creativity flourishes.
Like stones, words are laborious and unforgiving,
and the fitting of them together,
like the fitting of stones,
demands great patience, strength of purpose,
and particular skill.
Worry: interest paid by those
who borrow trouble.
(Thomas Jefferson, quoted in The Worrywart's Prayer Book)
Make the least of what goes
and the most of what comes.
Most of the shadows of this life are caused by
our standing in our own sunshine.
(Ralph Waldo Emerson)
Life is pretty simple:
You do some stuff. Most fails. Some works.
You do more of what works.
(Thomas J. Peters)
If you want to
succeed, double your failure rate.
(Thomas Watson, a pioneer at IBM)
road to success is always under construction.
It's not that I'm so smart, it's just that I
stay with problems longer.
education isn't how much you have committed to memory,
or even how much you know.
It's being able to differentiate between what you know and what you don't.
Almost all new ideas have a certain aspect of
foolishness when they are first produced.
(Alfred North Whitehead)
There was never a good war
or a bad peace.
From Lakshmi Sundaram:
Think before you add fuel to a fire. How large are you willing to have that fire become?
We react to what we recognize and judge what we are afraid of.
Pay attention to where you spend your energy.
If you put your energy into fishing, then regardless of how you earn your living,
you will be a fisherman.
If you want a kitten, start out by asking for a horse.
(Naomi, age 15, writing in Kid's Instructions for Smart Living.)
When information is brushed
up against information, the results are startling and effective.
If at first you dont
succeed, you are running about average.
Writing isn't a big thing. It's a million little things.
(Roberta Beach Jacobson, author and humorist)
The ultimate measure of a man
is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience,
but where he stands at times of challenge and controversy.
(Martin Luther King, Jr.)
We are so vain that we even care for the
opinion of those we don't care for.
(Marie von Ebner-Eschenbach)
Try not to become a man of success
but a man of value.
When you were born, you cried and the world rejoiced.
Live your life so that when you die, the world cries and you rejoice.
The art of living is to
enjoy what we can see and not complain about what remains in the dark.
(Henri J. M. Nouwen)
Making the simple complicated is commonplace;
making the complicated simple, awesomely simple, thats creativity.
(Charles Mingus, jazz musician)
Having intelligence is not as important
as knowing when to use it,
just as having a hoe
is not as important as knowing when to plant.
In our instant pudding world, everything is
sweet, smooth, very convenient and fast.
There are lots of assorted flavors, but they're all artificial.
(wildlife artist Robert Bateman)
How far that little candle
throws his beam!
So shines a good deed in a naughty world.
If you've experienced zero,
every tiny gain is a triumph.
(Barbara Florio Graham)
When facing a difficult task, act as though it
is impossible to fail.
If you're going after Moby Dick, take along the tartar sauce.
(H. Jackson Brown, Jr.)
Cats are so unpredictable: you just never
know how theyll ignore you next.
I write down everything I want to remember.
That way, instead of spending a lot of time trying
to remember what it is I wrote down,
I spend the time looking for the paper I wrote it down on.
Two paradoxes are better than one; they may even suggest a solution.
(physicist Edward Teller)
Ask "why" until
there is no more "why."
(actress Laura Linney, about how she prepares for a role)
The future belongs to those who see
possibilities before they become obvious.
(John Sculley, former CEO of Apple)
There are some secrets which
do not permit themselves to be told.
(Edgar Allan Poe)
Online journalism has rendered us all news wire hacks
get it posted fast, forget about context or nuance or interpretation,
and errors will be fixed on the fly.
(Rosie DiManno in The Toronto Star)
Welcome to the future of journalism:
No training, no ethics, no law, no mores, few skills.
Simply journalism by the mob...and a subculture on the Internet...
(Ken Gray, in his blog: www.ottawacitizen.com/bulldog)
I would trust a citizen journalist as much as I would trust a
(Morley Safer, 60 Minutes)
Your vision will become clear only when you
look into your heart.
Who looks outside, dreams. Who looks inside, awakens.
(psychologist Carl Jung)
But words are things, and a small drop of ink,
Falling like dew, upon a thought, produces
That which makes thousands, perhaps millions, think.
(George Gordon Byron)
need to be crafted, not sprayed.
They need to be fitted together with infinite care.
Leave out the parts that readers tend to skip.
Books are the carriers of civilization.
Without books, history is silent, literature dumb,
science crippled, thought and speculation at a standstill.
(Henry David Thoreau)
Words have a magical power.
They can bring either the greatest happiness or deepest despair;
they can transfer knowledge from teacher to student;
words enable the orator to sway his audience and dictate its decisions.
Words are capable of arousing the strongest emotions and prompting all men's actions.
The successful person has the habit of doing things failures
dont like to do.
They dont like doing them either necessarily.
But their disliking is subordinated to the strength of their purpose.
Albert E. N. Gray
Imagination is more important than knowledge.
For knowledge is limited,
whereas imagination embraces the entire world,
stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution.
As for discipline it's important, but sort of over-rated.
The more important virtue for a writer, I believe, is self-forgiveness.
Because your writing will always disappoint you. Your laziness will always disappoint you.
You will make vows: Im going to write for an hour every day, and then you wont do it.
You will think: I suck, Im such a failure. Im washed-up.
Continuing to write after that heartache of disappointment doesnt take only discipline,
but also self-forgiveness ...
The other thing to realize is that all writers think they suck...
The point I realized was this:
I never promised the universe that I would write brilliantly;
I only promised the universe that I would write.
So I put my head down and sweated through it, as per my vows.
(Elizabeth Gilbert, author of Eat. Pray.Love):
A mind, once expanded by a new idea, never returns to its original dimensions.
(Oliver Wendell Holmes)
There is a tide in the affairs of men.
Which, taken at the flood, leads on to fortune;
Omitted, all the voyage of their life
Is bound in shallows and in miseries.
On such a full sea are we now afloat,
And we must take the current when it serves,
Or lose our ventures.
(William Shakespeare in Julius Caesar Act 4, scene 3)
Words, like glasses, obscure everything they do not make clear. (Joseph Joubert - 17541824)
Put it before them briefly
so they will read it,
clearly so they will appreciate it,
picturesquely so they will remember it and,
above all, accurately so they will be guided by its light.
The job of the newspaper is to comfort the
afflicted and afflict the comfortable.
(Finley Peter Dunne, a Chicago-based humorist,
whose column was one of the first nationally syndicated newspaper features)
Suit the action to the word, the word to the action. (WilliamShakespeare)
Often success brings arrogance and complacency.
You make a living by what you get.
You make a life by what you give.
You never stand beside the same river twice; you have to keep
(Donald Keough, former President & Chief Operating Officer with Coca Cola)
Life is like a snowball. The really important thing is to finding wet snow and a really long hill. (Warren Buffett)
One of the secrets of life is to make stepping stones out of stumbling blocks. (Jack Penn)
We have met the enemy and he is us (Walt Kelly's character, Pogo)
Life is not a journey to the grave with the
intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well-preserved body,
but rather to skid in broadside, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and proclaiming, "What a ride!"
I never said most of the things I said. (Yogi Berra)
Never miss an opportunity to just shut up. (Reese Witherspoon)
In books, I have traveled, not only to other
worlds, but into my own.
I learned who I was and who I wanted to be, what I might aspire to,
and what I might dare to dream about my world and myself.
(Anna Quindlen, Barnard, 1974)
A room without books is like
a body without a soul.
(Marcus Tullius Cicero )
Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery, today is a gift. (Eleanor Roosevelt)
Reading aloud recaptures the physicality of words.
To read with your lungs and diaphragm, with your tongue and lips,
is very different than reading with your eyes alone.
The language becomes a part of the body,
which is why there is always a curious tenderness, almost an erotic quality,
in those 18th- and 19th-century literary scenes where a book is being read aloud in mixed company.
The words are not mere words.
They are the breath and mind, perhaps even the soul, of the person who is reading.
(Verlyn Klinkenborg in the NY Times)
Science gathers knowledge faster than society gathers wisdom. (Isaac Asimov)
Building a personal library is an exercise
We are known by the books we keep.
In Bernard Shaw's play, Man
and Superman, Anna is dismayed to find that she's landed in Hell,
despite living a virtuous life. She says,
If I'd known I was going to end up here, I would have been so much wickeder!
Knowledge is free, but you have to bring your own container. (author unknown)
Unless we change our
direction, we are likely to end up where we are headed.
A word to the wise is sufficient. For others, use more.
Like stones, words are laborious and unforgiving,
and the fitting of them together, like the fitting of stones,
demands great patience and strength of purpose and particular skill.
TheMoving Finger writes; and,
moves on: nor all thy Piety norWit
Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it.
(Omar Khayyam, translated by Edward Fitzgerald)
A genius is a talented person who does his homework. (Thomas Edison)
He who has a "why" to live can bear with almost any "how." (Friedrich Nietzsche)
A.E. Housman talks about people too unhappy to be kind.
We either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves strong.
You're braver than you believe, stronger than you seem, and smarter than you think. (A.A. Milne)
Bernhard Schlink, who wrote The Reader,
comments on the Nazi mentality:
Once you step over the line, you have crossed a significant boundary and can never go back.
From then on, continuing these transgressions is easy.
This is how child soldiers are trained, with tiny progressions of cruelty.
The individual's moral sense is too weak to resist.
Institutions like the church help strengthen morality.
In Germany, however, institutions were weak and insufficient to stand up to the state.
I have missed more than 9,000
shots in my career. I have lost almost 300 games.
On 26 occasions I have been entrusted to take the game winning shotand missed.
I have failed over and over again in my life.
And that is why I succeed.
I believe in an open mind,
but not so open that your brains fall out.
(Arthur Hays Sulzberger, former New York Times publisher)
The profound immoralities of our time are
injustice and the use of others as means rather than ends in themselves.
Sydney J. Harris)
When spiders' webs align, they can chop a lion. (Somali proverb)
The hardest thing
in life to learn
Is which bridge to cross and which to burn.
Sometimes our light goes out
but is blown in flame by another human being.
Each of us owes deepest thanks to those who have rekindled this light.
A candle loses nothing by lighting another candle.
The best way to predict the future is to invent it. (Alan Kay)
Only when the last tree has
died, and the last river been poisoned,
and the last fish been caught will we realize that we cannot eat money.
(a Cree elder)
The loser tries to change the wind; the winner changes the sail.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, every problem will look like a nail. (Abraham Maslow)
There are no shortcuts to anyplace worth going. (Beverly Sills)
Just because the water is calm doesn't mean there aren't any crocodiles. (Malayan proverb)
You can't always judge by appearances: the early bird may have been up all night.
A compromise is an arrangement whereby someone
who can't get exactly what he wants
makes sure nobody else gets what they want. (probably another by Jerry B. of The Prairie Rambler)
You are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream. (C.S. Lewis)
In the midst of great joy do not promise anyone anything.
In the midst of great anger, do not answer anyone's letter.
A man is not old until regrets take the place of dreams. (John Barrymore)
Success seems to be largely a matter of hanging on after others have let go. (William Feather)
I expect to pass through this world but once;
any good thing therefore that I can do, or any kindness that I can show to any fellowcreature,
let me do it now; let me not defer or neglect it, for I shall not pass this way again.
(Stephen Greliet - 17731855)
If you are going to make a book end badly, it must end badly from the beginning.
Only the hand that erases can write the true thing. (Meister Eckhart - 12601326)
Ships that pass in the night, and speak each
other in passing;
Only a signal shown and a distant voice in the darkness;
So on the ocean of life we pass and speak one another,
Only a look and a voice; then darkness again and a silence.
(HenryWadsworth Longfellow - 18071882)
Do not write so that you can
write so that you cannot be misunderstood.
When I use a word, it means what I choose it to meanneither more nor less. [Humpty Dumpty]
Writing is an occupation in
which you have to keep proving your talent to those who have none.
(Jules Reynard - 18641910)
The seven root causes of evil, according to Mahatma Gandhi:
wealth without work
pleasure without consequence
knowledge without character
commerce without morality
science without humanity
worship without sacrifice
politics without principles
We're still trying to do the wrong things better than we did them before. (John Carver)
If you don't know where
you're heading, any direction will do.
(Oliver Doyle, professor at Sir Sandford Fleming College)
An insincere and evil friend
is more to be feared than a wild beast;
a wild beast may wound your body, but an evil friend will wound your mind.
If you stand up to be counted, from time to time
may get yourself knocked down.
But remember this: someone flattened by an opponent can get up;
someone flattened by conformity stays down for good. (Thomas J. Watson, Jr.)
You write to find out what you're writing (e.l. doctorow, who calls himself a graphomaniac because he writes all the time, about everything) Doctorow also says he usually starts with an image, then writes to discover who these people are, and what's going on. He adds: When I was young, I knew a lot about writing. Now I just do it.
Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence.
Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent.
Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb.
Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.
Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.
The slogan "Press On" has solved and always will solve the problems of the human race.
You are as young as your
faith, as old as your doubt;
as young as your self-confidence, as old as your fear;
as young as your hope, as old as your despair. (Samuel Ullman)
Four Traditional Native Virtues: Courage, Strength, Wisdom, Generosity