I’ve recently started using “Quotes” as one of my tags for posts I write. Most of the times I’ve got a quote in a post, I’ll tag it with “Quotes,” so it’ll be easy for you to find all the posts where I’ve used famous quotes. On that same note, I thought it was time for me to do a post of quotes.
Throughout high school and most (okay, all) of my undergrad, I was semi-obsessed with quotes. I thoroughly enjoyed finding concise bits of wisdom from a famous person to express myself clearly. After undergrad though, quotes just seemed to fade as a priority for me. They became less and less a focus of the things I did. Maybe that was because I was in the midst of a PhD program and found myself reading oodles of academic journal articles. Regardless of the reason why, recently, I’ve remembered the value of a short sentence that can speak “volumes.” Today, I thought I’d recount some of the quotes that I’ve come across recently that have made an impact.
One of my current favorite quotes is one that is often misattributed and maybe that’s partly why I like it so. It’s not as famous as the misattribution of Marianne Williamson (to Nelson Mandela), nor is it as famous as the accidental addition to a Martin Luther King, Jr. quote, but I’ve seen it written many times to the wrong name. I don’t remember where I first saw the quote, but I know that I like it. From Howard Thurman:
Do not ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive, and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.
It feels like it speaks to the heart of what I think we should be doing on the planet.People should be passionate about what they do. Find your passion — fulfill your passion. I understand that sometimes people think this is not an option for them (doing their life’s passion), but I believe, there is room for us all to be doing our true passion.
Another good one that I found was at a restaurant that my partner and I were eating at this past winter. It was written on a chalkboard in pretty big letters (and the restaurant is famous for its organic food, as they have a farm on the property). When I saw it, I thought, of course! From Ymber Delecto:
If organic farming is the natural way, shouldn’t organic produce just be called ‘produce’ and make the pesticide-laden stuff take the burden of an adjective? – Ymber Delecto
Doesn’t that just make sense? Too often we have a word for something and then we have to develop a modifying word to better understand the initial word. Produce was originally just produce — why do we need to call it organic produce? Another strange one on this topic, specifically in the food category, is the way we talk about sugar. Refined sugar equals bad, but unrefined sugar equals good. We have sugar to begin, but then we add the word refined (to explain that it’s been worked over), but then we need to add the prefix ‘un’ to tell us that the sugar has in fact, not been worked over. Shouldn’t it just be sugar?
One last one that I had found for a presentation I had to give recently. From Jim Collins:
In a truly great company, profits and cash flow become like blood and water to a healthy body: They are absolutely essential for life, but they are not the very point of life.
This comes from Collins’ book, Good to Great. I think it speaks to a fundamental (pathology, if we want to invoke the documentary, The Corporation), with the way the majority of business operates today. Clearly, Collins does not think business should be pathological. He’s been lecturing on sustainability for quite some time now.
So what about you. What are some of your favorite quotes?