I have a penchant for short, pithy phrases that project philosophical ideas that stimulate my mind. They seldom need an explanation. In addition, they usually are spoken or written by prominent individuals-past or present.
- “EVERYONE IS ENTITLED TO THEIR OWN OPINIONS; BUT NOT TO THEIR OWN SET OF FACTS.”
Senator Daniel Monahan (deceased) represented the State of Massachusetts for many years. Born on March 16, 1927, he died on March 23, 2003. Al Sharpton has said the phrase was his own creation.
- “HOME IS A PLACE WHERE WHEN YOU HAVE TO GO THERE, THEY HAVE TO TAKE YOU IN.”
Robert Lee Frost was an American poet. He depicted rural life. Born on March 26, 1874. He died January 29, 1963. His skill examined complex social and philosophical themes.
- “DIFFICULTIES STRENGTHEN THE MIND, AS WELL AS LABOR DOES THE BODY.”
Lueius Annaeus Seneca was born on 4 BCE in Cordoba, Spain and died in 65 CE in Rome. He was a statesman, orator and Roman philosopher. He and the Apostle Paul communicated with each other through letters.
4.“LIFE IS THICKLY SOWN WITH THORNS, AND I KNOW NO OTHER REMEDY THAN TO PASS QUICKLY THROUGH THEM; THE LONGER WE DWELL ON OUR MISFORTUNES THE GREATER IS THEIR POWER TO HARM US.”
Voltaire’s nom de plume, but his given name was Francois Marie Arouet. He lived between November 21, 1694 and May 30, 1778. He was a French Enlightenment writer, historian and philosopher. He was famous for his wit and his attack on the established Catholic Church and Christianity. He advocated freedom of speech and separation of Church and State.
5.“MANY PEOPLE WILL WALK IN AND OUT OF YOUR LIFE BUT ONLY TRUE FRIENDS WILL LEAVE FOOTPRINTS IN YOUR HEAD.”
Anna Eleanor Roosevelt was the First Lady of the United States from March 1933 to April 1945 during her husband’s four terms as President of the U.S.A.
Harry Truman, his successor after F.D.R.’s death, referred to Eleanor as “The First Lady of the world.” She was a politician, activist and diplomat. Mrs. Roosevelt was born on October 11, 1884 and died on November 7, 1962.
- “ADOPT THE PACE OF NATURE: HER SECRET IS PATIENCE.” I particularly like his words, “GOD ENTERS EVERY LIFE THROUGH A PRIVATE DOOR.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson was an essayist, lecturer, philosopher and poet. He was a champion of individualism. He also published his essays and gave over 1500 lectures across the United States.
- “A MAN CANNOT BE COMFORTABLE WITHOUT HIS OWN APPROVAL.”
Mark Twain’s real name was Samuel Langhorne Clemons. He was a writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher and lecturer. He was and is famous for the novels, “Adventures of Tom Sawyer” and its sequel, “The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn.” The latter is often called “The Greatest American Novel.” For many years I lectured on cruise ships and I always read his book on Alaska.
- “BE WILLING TO HAVE IT SO, ACCEPTANCE OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED IS THE FIRST STEP TO OVERCOMING THE CONSEQUENCES OF ANY MISFORTUNE.”
William James is often referred to as the “first and best” psychologist America ever produced. He also taught at Harvard University for many years. He is also noted as one of the prominent thinkers of the nineteenth century.
One of his statements that I’ve often used is, “ACT THE WAY YOU WANT TO FEEL AND PRETTY SOON YOU WILL BE FEELING THE WAY YOU’RE ACTING.”
- “OUR GREATEST GLORY IS NOT IN NEVER FAILING; BUT IN RISING EVERY TIME WE FALL.”
Confucius was a Chinese teacher, editor, politician and philosopher. He was also a religious founder and emphasized morality, correctness and common sense. His thoughts are popular today among many Asians.
- “LIFE IS EITHER A DARING ADVENTURE OR NOTHING. TO KEEP OUR FACES TOWARD CHANGE AND BEHAVE LIKE FREE SPIRITS IN THE PRESENCE OF FATE IS STRENGTH UNDEFEATABLE.”
Helen Adams Keller was an American author, political activist and lecturer. In spite of being blind, deaf and mute she earned two graduate degrees and challenged millions of people throughout the world.
Amen. Selah. So be it.