Archive for the ‘Quoting Van’ Category

Things I’ve Said Before

“The famous and worthy are often quoted, but not always accurately.  Sometimes the wording is altered, or even credited to people who did not say them in the first place.  But the greatest caution is that they may be out of context.  The dispensational process of finding a quote, that when taken out of context to be used in support of some new thesis, is not uncommon.  But just as being used that way is no guarantee that the original thinking is consistent with the new, it is not always certain to even be germane, either.  Since fame and notoriety are not issues if you quote me, please do so, and enjoy the funny looks on people’s faces when you do.”

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“The hawk is having squirrel for breakfast. Other than the swoop and grab, the squirrel is paying for the meal, gratuities not included.”

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“Often easier to cast out the line than it is to reel it back in. And even longer if something takes the bait hooked to it.”

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“I use quotes.  Sometimes from others, and even things I’ve said before.  But to decide what works best to inspire motivation varies.  Beyond the task at hand, a lot will depend on the temperament, the style, the prime need, and the primary fear of the person or persons you wish to help become motivated.”

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“Impossible is a concept.  It cannot exist in you as an idea unless you believe something to be impossible.  While it may be impossibility in fact, it will not be the fact, but the thinking it is that will keep you from trying.”

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“Never assume that a model of good behavior will be emulated, much less understood.  But you can bet they will be quoted.”

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“Look at the fruit.  An oak tree can claim to be a peach tree, but acorns ain’t peaches.”

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‎” ‘A man is but the product of his thoughts what he thinks, he becomes.’-Gandhi.  Keep that in mind if you think your thoughts are unbecoming.”

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“Those who need to be monitored for their behavior are not likely to be shining examples of honor, ethics and morals.”

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“If you intend to toot your own horn, for goodness sakes and for the sake of those who’ll have to listen, learn how to play it!”

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“Self education has to be more than a collection of other people’s explanations, because they’re not always true.”

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“When asked to help with some task you don’t care for, don’t just walk over to them, but skip and jump as you go.  After a while, they’ll ask someone else, unless they have the mind of a child.  In that case, they’ll consider you an entertainment, and you should just help them anyway.”

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“The hours I’ve spent reading books, having conversations, and solving problems has left me with very little time to pursue an education.”

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“I’m more student than teacher.  But even so, I do get distracted from what others often think I’m supposed to be learning.”

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“Dear child, ask questions.  If a parent, teacher, or other adult seems uncomfortable with your question, that means you’ve stumbled upon a good question.  Some people will tell you not to question certain things, but that means they are afraid of what you might find out, or what you might do with the information.  Oh, and read books.  And when some authority makes a list of books you should not read, read those first.”

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“Folks refer to the game of life.  But if it’s your life, you have to consider who’s allowed to keep score.”

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“Is there any idea you should not doubt or question?  Sometimes the wisest thing to question is anything some authority insists is true.”

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“A lot of the directions are not so much for ethical people, but intended for those presumed to need to be compliant.”

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“In the world of marketing gimmicks, the first rule is that the stuff is to sell, not buy.”

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Peace is not an absence of war, it is a virtue, a state of mind, a disposition for benevolence, confidence, justice.”                         ~ Baruch Spinoza

“If you follow Spinoza’s thinking, you’ll find he believed peacefulness to be a benefit of freedom. He saw that freedom had to be without mind laws, which is so much the business of dogmatic extremism. And since he also believed to best serve oneself, you cannot want to be hurtful to others, as others are the community within which your survival and your happiness often depends. He spent an adult lifetime pursuing a closer understanding of these things, which, other than one’s own survival and the nurturing of that which they love, is the principal business of the free and independently self-reliant mind.

The not peaceful, the bullies, the dominators who are empowered by deception, and those enslaved by, and even have a delusional sense of happiness in what they have misunderstood, will not easily give up their bondage to such misery–both what they inflict on others around them as well as on themselves. For it is further away from understanding that they move instead of closer to it. And even their reasons for so doing are the fruit of other things they do not, and will not allow themselves to, understand.”

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“The phobics, the fearful, and the skittish people, are constantly worrying, and feel out of control, about things they do not understand.”

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“People are often incapable of understanding themselves.  Yet one of their greatest fears is that others don’t understand them, either.”

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“One of the saddest delusions man has ever conceived of is that oppression of other people is authorized and approved of by the Deity.”

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“Rule by superstition is bad, but rule by required superstition is worse.  The hidden agenda fattens the priest.”

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“Empathy and real understanding are often the result of looking directly into the eyes and faces of those in distress or difficulty. Only hearing that it has happened “far away somewhere”, can lose focus to even the most trivial distractions.”

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“When the inability to postpone gratification trumps integrity, society becomes ill, but doesn’t know it.”

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“”Often what we need to look for is not a key to success at all, but the right combination.”

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“A recognizable measure of quality that would equate to excellence would have to come from people who care more about what they are doing than they have to.  Some do what it takes to wrap the package, and some go a bit further by putting a bow on it.”

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“A way to show respect for those killed in war would be for us to strive to make certain their grandchildren will not have to die that way.”

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“We were broke & out of food.  The mouse that lived in our pantry was sitting in the corner eating a red onion, and just crying his eyes out.”

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“Always accept blame for little things when you’re sure to be forgiven. If the mistake was devastating, learn to point. Follow the example of such a practice as shown to you by the very pillars of the community; the elected and the ordained.

If you’re caught having picked up your neighbor’s newspaper, you should return it to him as soon as you’ve finished reading it, and insist you thought it was yours. Do NOT mention your own subscription expired months ago. But when they notice a robbery has taken place, insist you were in the chapel at vespers praying for the poor at the time.

When being accountable, do so on measure by the degree of the fault. If only large errors appear on the horizon and no small fault is to be found, by all means make one. Assume liability when the repair bill is a minor inconvenience, and leave larger damages to be blamed on your neighbor or his pet goat.

But first, make sure your own goat is tied up. If the flower bed has been trampled, wipe your muddy boots, but do it out of plain view. If it appears that something has been eating the flowers, wipe your mouth.”

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“A few years back, my mother noticed me having a slight limp at a family gathering. She inquired about it. I told her I had an inflamed sciatic nerve, and that with a little physical therapy I’d soon be fine. The next day, my sister called, laughing. She’d spoken with Mom who told her I was having trouble with my ‘psychotic’ nerve. Though I suspect she never really understood, I think my mother was very close to the truth.”

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“To be passionately curious, or curiously passionate has been thought to be the undoing of cats.”

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“I’ve seen damage control before.  When a boat is sinking, the passengers and crew often argue over what color to paint it.”

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“Politics always gains its momentum from wanting folks to be afraid, thus wanting to follow leaders they hope will make them “safe”. The fears are consistently of imaginary things that are fueled by the prejudices of phobic people.”

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“Personally, I don’t mind politicians as long as they are muzzled, have had all their shots, and are kept on short leashes. I just wish our major corporations and banking institutions would act a little more responsibly with their pets so the rest of us wouldn’t have to watch our step so closely.”

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“Seems as if re-electing some politicians is similar to renewing the driver’s licenses of drunkards. But the principle difference might be that drunkards generally do not intentionally run their vehicles into ditches. Nor would they be likely to willfully cause their engine to shut down while attempting dangerous maneuvers in difficult terrain. Perhaps we should help many of our legislators find some other reasonable work…but nothing too strenuous or mentally taxing, of course.”

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“Many seem to have an ax to grind, but misunderstand the angle of approach to the grindstone.”

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“Those who live by lies are good at redirecting blame, pointing at the flaws seen in others, rather than at themselves.”

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“The intent of our founders was to establish, for the first time in known history, a system of governance that could only be authorized by the governed. When decision making is allowed to be leveraged, authority is removed to the hands that hold the lever.”

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“Some things are due to the fear of being named as unacceptable more than due to a value of integrity.”

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“Leadership without consideration for all who need help, and not just for the wishes of the leader, is without equity. It’s as if to expect the horse to pull the wagon with the brakes on.”

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“Seems hatefulness, greediness, anger, fear, and bigotry are poor ways of expressing a solidarity with the author of The Sermon on The Mount.”

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“Being true to one’s self is often praised as a high and noble practice.  But if you’re wrong about something, and will not waiver or give in, doesn’t that suggest you might be about to make some stupid decisions?”

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“Someone may be steadfast and uncompromising.  But no matter how much they insist they’re right, it doesn’t mean they are.”

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“I can follow the lessons in Aesop’s stories without once having to believe in a talking fox that likes grapes.  Unworthiness can shift from the would-be achiever to the would-be prize once it’s out of easy reach.  But I could be wrong.”

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“Disparities between what is done and what could be done are often tied to delusions about what can’t or shouldn’t be done.”

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“Think about more’n just what’s in your story, but also why you tell it.  In other words, what’s your back story?  Maybe you should tell it.”

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“Wondering if a story is true or not?  Sometimes we don’t know.  What might matter more is whether the lesson in the story is worth learning.”

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“What you don’t hear can sometimes be more significant than what you do hear: when all the birds get quiet, or when the dog does not bark.”

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“We often advance or withdraw depending on our perception of what the outcome of an action will be. Whether or not our perception is or is not accurate does not alter the fact of how we see it. A puppy barks at the appearance of a dog in the mirror, having no concept of a reflection. Nor does it even recognize it’s own self-image.”

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“If my job was to keep the people distracted and focused on nonsense, the significance of doing so might vary from time to time.”

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“Folks who don’t know what the real issues are will not be likely to pay attention to them, except in some way of misunderstanding.”

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“The presupposition (which should never be confused with fact) that whatever is wrong is the fault of someone else is a core issue with all politics. Those who become good at making it appear so, work tirelessly attempting to use such a talent (for being liars) to leverage their evil.”

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“A journalist once told me “justified copy” meant the words lined up evenly in a column, but had nothing whatsoever to do with it being worthy of print.”

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“Are you looking for the right person for the job, or the right job for the person?  Or, just hoping for a profit in spite of misalignments?”

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“How often do you feel as if you must raise your hand in order to get permission to ask questions? Who controls your agenda?”

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“What we want will often seem far more important to us than what we need.  Frequently, it will become what we think we need.  Sometimes wealth can be measured not by what we think we need, but by what we know we don’t.”

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“There is more to it than staying to either side of average just to look busy.”

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“What is so difficult for most people is to rectify the illusions that they are significant, worthy, and safe.  They fear they are not, but will kill each other in an attempt to prove they are.”

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“People feel insignificant and unworthy if they cannot protect their beliefs from becoming unraveled.”

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“Without measurement, there is no strategy.  But even the strategic can sometimes fail to measure the right stuff.”

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“If you pull the wings off a fly, then tell it to fly away, it will probably just sit there. The presumption that it must no longer be able to hear your instructions due to the loss of its wings will not be a brilliant conclusion. While deductive reasoning is critical to the scientific process, not all deductions can be presumed to be scientific.”

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“Cowards use the face of anger to look brave much as fearful dogs bark.  It’s often misdirected, and seldom results in intelligent decisions.”

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“Over the years I’ve found that when a mob salutes and says the words: ‘…with liberty and justice for all’, they don’t really mean it, nor do they have any idea what it would require of them if they did.”

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“Were you made weary by your actions to be of honest help?  Probably not, unless you felt it was not appreciated.  Thank those who help you.”

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“If you want them to buy the meal, make sure the appetizer is at least…appetizing.”

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“Yes, I do live on the edge. Sometime the couch, sometimes the chair.”

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“Biscuits didn’t turn out well.  Pro’ly needed a roll model.”

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“If you only want to catch one kind of fish, use one kind of bait all the time.  But make sure the fish likes it.  If the fish doesn’t care for it, you might as well use a rock.”

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“There is no such thing as “enforced commitment”.  It doesn’t exist.  Though it’s only a myth, it is a very powerful one. ”

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“An understanding and agreed commitment to an intent makes enforcement of compliance not only unnecessary, but makes it degrading and silly.”

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‎”There is no great genius without some touch of madness.” ~Seneca

“But there is, however, great madness without a touch of genius.”

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“I asked a girl once what sign she was born under, and she said she thought it said: ‘Hospital’.”

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“‘Not all those who wander are lost.’ – Tolkien.  Nor do all that are lost, wander. Some stay where they are, and hope to be lead to safety.”

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“Those who are all journey, have no destination; those who are all destination have no journey.”

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“Some folks allow their mind to wander–thus to wonder. The wonderfulness seeks out discovery, and is delighted when it is found. Others prefer a more passive existence, and only fill their minds with thoughts others presume to have discovered. And they too feel satisfied, if only with delusions of being made significant, worthy, and safe by the presuppositions of those they accept as intellectually and morally superior to themselves. So without any discoveries of their own, they give up the freedoms that belong to a self-reliant mind, and remain ever further removed…from understanding.”

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“A man who would offer me a hand out of a ditch isn’t required to wash it first, or wear a tie while doing it.”

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“The difference between a mere suggestion and a direct order has to do with the expectations held by the person with the authority to give it.  Orders often seem necessary for those who do not know where they are going, and what they are to do when they get there.”

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“Instead of looking for enemies, why not look for the need seen in the behavior of others that you can empathize with?  Would that work?”

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“You can make a habit of sharing the best part of your day, or sharing the worst.  Those who share the worst, tend to think their peers want to hear about it.  So, that sets the standard for the kinds of stories they look for.  If a person goes looking for the worst part of their day, they will be very likely to find it.  The opposite works as well, and it’s a lot more fun. ”

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“Friend offered to teach me the finer points of networking.  Told him the most important time to know how the networks is when you’re fishing.”

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“To post a quote implies I understand it, and think it supports something I believe to be true, whether it is or not.”

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“Sometimes you learn more about a man by who his enemies are than who his friends are.”

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“Never underestimate the value of a clean pair of socks, and maybe a piece of fruit to the person who has had neither in quite a while.”

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“Some of my manuscripts wouldn’t stand up to vetting, as the vet might want to put them to sleep.”

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“There are rules for formal writing, and should be considered by those who write formally.  But whenever I take a notion to write, it’s likely I not be fit company even for politicians, thieves, or evangelists, much less decent folk at a proper social gathering.”

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“There are some flaws in my memory bank.  But it may be due to overdrafts in my stories, as I’ve not always been entirely accurate in my accounting of them.”

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“If you strike a discord, the variance in your message could be harsh.  If that be the intent, prepare to dance alone.”

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“By all the ethical standards I was taught as a child, it’s now become government of the people, by bribery, for the bribers.”

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“Sometimes there’s confusion about the excitement you feel when what you’re about to get…is caught.”

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“It does not speak well of any culture that allows selling by deception to become an accepted practice. Ex: infomercials disguised as news.”

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“News, as is commercially sponsored, will be about those thing the target market is thought to be interested in, or about the things the sponsors want them believing or thinking about.  And, it will be adjusted to get the maximum margin of utility, profit, or both that is expected from the reaction to it.  You should not presume it to be true anymore that you would presume it to be news.”

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“Believing something to be true doesn’t make it true.  Though hard to accept of one’s own beliefs, it is often easily recognized in others.”

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“If we all wanted the same thing, there would only be one kind of bread.”

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“If you remember, Dumbo never intentionally let go of the “magic” feather.  Only when it was already gone could he let go of it.”

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“Sometimes, the most important thing a child can do is to be alone staring up into the sky, and wondering.”

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“It’s often not impossibility in fact, but believing something to be impossible, that sets the threshold of expectations.”

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“What do you think your enemy believes?  What you think may not be true, but that you think it might be why they are your enemy.”

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“Investing in a friendship often requires a downpayment.”

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“The challenge is not always how to motivate people, but how NOT to disengage the motivation they already have.  What they want matters.”

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“A genuine confidence can command respect without having to demand it.”

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“The good question seeks to discover; the bad answer just tries to explain.”

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“Dominators prefer their illusions over those of the dominated. And, they don’t teach what they wish to remain unlearned.”

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“If society really wants quality public education available to all children, make teaching a highly competitive and desirable position.”

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“No society that has, or has had slaves, shows any real interest in educating those they wish to keep in bondage.”

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“Poverty, especially when intentionally maintained as a control measure, is one of the evils man does to other men.  It seems especially evil if a child is kept hungry, not because there is no wealth, but that those who have plenty of it choose not to share.”

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“Some see a benefit to having a very large, very compliant, and very cheap work force. And the best way to have them is to make sure they do not become educated. It’s easy to trick people into believing they don’t have to do their homework. And eventually, as “efficiency” trumps integrity, they will also become persuaded to give up the arts as if such a quality of life is frivolous and too expensive to maintain. But in the long run, without the catalyst of understanding, “civilizations” corrode from within.”

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“Whatever is prohibited rather than examined will not result in understanding.”

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“There are many realities that will always remain hidden from common view.  Currently, a part of the blockage is the illusion of a shortage of money.  There is no shortage of money.  It’s just blocked, and intentionally so.  It’s locked away by those who have no real need of it.  In fact, the primary benefit they have is to make sure that those who need it don’t get it.  If the needy cease to be needy, the differentiation of ‘being wealthy’ will disappear.  One of the necessities of becoming a person of great personal wealth is the natural dependency on, and absolute requirement that certain others must remain persons of great poverty.  Regardless of whatever idiotic ideologies people choose to espouse, without that differentiation, ‘wealth’ would never be a noticeable feature in any individual’s existence.  So for those whom circumstance has left with special needs, it is quite understandable that they will remain ‘out of sight’ of those who have arranged it so as not to have to see.  Champagne tastes so much better if you’re not required to look into the face of a starving child, or the face of an old woman struggling to walk in dire need of medical attention, or the face of a young boy willing to read, but in need of a ramp in order to roll his wheelchair into a library.  How odd is it then, that modern Christendom worldwide, has arrived at the conclusion that the ‘Good Samaritan’ was a fool, and the ‘man in the ditch’ had it coming to him.”

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“As with any debate, there are those who argue for a proposal they believe will bring about a progressive change, and those who are suspect of it, are to argue to defend the status quo.  Some argue simply because they’re good at it, and others argue out of fear of it either being passed or not being passed.  But no matter which side a person is on, you can expect their beliefs to overrule any option of keeping an open mind.”

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“We are motivated by what we want, and far more so than what somebody else tells us we’re supposed to want.  Also by what we wish to avoid.”

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“It often depends on whether a person wants to find value, or wants to find fault. I’m cautious of the latter.”

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“No matter how narrow the mind, as long as it never opens, it won’t get crowded with brilliant ideas.”

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“Is there some scientifically identifiable relationship between arrogance and stupidity?  Or, is it just an amazing coincidence?”

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“It amazes me sometimes of what all can come out of a closed mind when absolutely nothing can get in.”

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“Driver of the car in front of you has their arm out the window. Does it mean they intend to turn? No, it means their window is down.”

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“Those of us not troubled much with hair, regard the rest of the hairy world’s less than flattering comments on the subject to be clear indication of pure and unadulterated jealousy.”

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“If just for once she could see herself through my eyes…”

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“A fish without a head, and a bottle without a cork can arrive at the table with only a presumption of authenticity.”

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“The reason I believe I can make a difference, is because by believing so in the past, I have made a difference.”

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“Sometimes the change needed most is tied to what we think about.”

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“Motivation is the business of theater, and it is the theater of business.  Make it your business to understand what motivates each player.”

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“If Shakespeare is right; if ‘all the world’s a stage’, what performance level do you expect out of the role you are playing on it?”

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“Most folks don’t recognize their own primary fallback behavior under stress, but others will see it if they pay attention.”

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“The labels we use often declare what understanding we have, or think we have even if it is limited. Most of us don’t recognize the limitations we place on our own minds when the options we allow are narrow. But the tension many people feel when frustrated by the lack of information our labels allow, is often the result of using a label that does not define the contents of the package we presume to be inspecting.
The alternative to self-reliant thinking, which is what freedom allows, regularly conjures up demons and other imaginary hob-goblins that drag us further away from understanding. If I call you by your given name, you’ll probably know who is being addressed. But if I call you by some label designed in the machinery of some idiotic ideology, you might think I’m talking to somebody else.”
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“You can come unto yourself in a place of brightness and cooperation, or you can go into a darker place of fear and obstruction.”

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“Those who think ‘childish behavior’ is a bad thing, may not be observing the right children. Go find your smile.”

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“Want to know what would make a child happy? Why don’t you ask the child?  It could be something wonderful that you forgot about years ago.”

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“As a child, I seldom allowed the lack of money to interfere with my imagination.”

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“Sometimes a child sees a chance for fun in an adventure, and without a spirit of meanness, that will be sought by adults with different motives.”

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“Found out early that the rules the children wanted to honor were the very ones they’d invest in.  Authority wasn’t always trumps.”

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“Sometimes, it is the perception of the image we project that says: “I will tolerate no foolishness” that keeps others at bay.  For without a little foolishness, there is no adventure, no learning, and quite frankly, very little fun at all.”

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“Sometimes when it comes to purpose, what we should give is the opportunity (and the encouragement) to find it. As parents, that can often be difficult. The difficulty can come from our presuppositions about what we are feeling (not thinking) we know. And it is quite regular for these feelings to be based on our own dogmatic certainties–prejudices, if you will, about what the child (or anyone else for that matter) should want to discover, and why they would want it. Time is a wonderful gift. But that it be full of wonder might depend on how willfully we go about making it so. Have a good day? Make it a good day.”

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“There’s no wealth in a society that cannot educate it’s children. If you can afford it but won’t, then you’re an enemy of the children.”

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“Teachers are not the cause of poverty and underfunded schools any more than doctors are the cause of disease and underfunded clinics.”

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“If you have a song that makes the children smile, then by all means, sing it!”

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“To say: ‘You kids are all alike,’ tells ’em you don’t respect who they are.  They’ll know it, too.  That isn’t to your benefit, is it?”

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“Treating folks with respect & kindness is recommended.  But you don’t have to wait ’til they’re grown, as it works well on children, too.”

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“Any society that does not respect the teaching profession tends to hold education itself in low esteem. And that results in the most expensive problem any society can have–ignorance. For it is ignorance, and not education, that causes solutions to problems to remain so obscure and even seemingly impossible to solve, and fosters a normalcy to be made up of always moving further away, rather than closer to, understanding. Understanding is what allows the freedom of mind to make intelligent decisions, and also the very place where peacefulness lives.  This is the 21st century. We now have the ability to make learning available to those who can learn, and wish to learn. Doing so would be beneficial to almost every aspect of the human condition here on this planet. So if we can choose to make such an intelligent decision, why not do it?  Perhaps the question is:
who is going to pay for it?  But a much more thought provoking question is:
who is going to have to pay for our NOT doing it–which in the long run, would be far more costly.”

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“A deeper sadness comes from realizing selfish and rude behavior that acknowledges no respect for others has become commonplace–and seems to be taught as acceptable by those who should otherwise be seen as the very pillars of our community.”

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“The haunting idea from ‘The Book of Five Rings’ is the first thing you must know…is everything.”

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“If you already know everything, and are correct in all your assumptions, you will find little entertainment in books.”

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“The smart student in college often finds out they did not learn how to study in high school. A few of those who learn how in college, go on to do just that. And when they do, it regularly surprises them to discover that so many things they thought were true while learning how to learn, were not.”

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“Knives and guns have often come up being at a disadvantage when facing a well sharpened, fully loaded typewriter.”

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“Something fashionable only hints of your significance if you’re the person who made it so.”

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“When a person finds a way to make a living doing something they absolutely love, the time spent at it defies all the normal definitions of work.”

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“The main function of the business office in a law firm is not billing clients, but to keep the lawyers who work there from suing each other.”

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“I was raised to believe there might be some benefit for telling the truth, though it often remained elusive.  From examples set by virtual pillars of the community, telling a lie seemed to be acceptable unless caught at it.  To this day, I have a natural affinity to being able to get away with infractions, and modified axioms as may prove profitable.  With some effort and research, I was able to find a mentor to teach me the value of practicing enough to become good at it.  My family and close friends are proud of my accomplishments along these lines. ”

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“I am grateful for those who would find me in their company, and smile.”

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“Recently, I agreed with a friend of mine. It upset him. One thing he holds to dearly is the firm belief that I am wrong.”

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“The joke is funny.  But when the audience doesn’t connect with your story, you become the joke they’re seeing, and you might not even know it.”

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“And there they were, deserving a smile, so I gave them one. Now, they think I’m up to something. I dare not laugh.”

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“Some folks wear way too much fun repellent.  Why?  That stuff is expensive, and smells terrible!”

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“Making a mistake intentionally to point out the imperfections of man has become my perpetual hobby.  With practice, I’ve acquired some skill, and show talent beyond most when it comes to producing a goof.  And since most folks pay so little attention, I’ve had to make them huge, obvious, and occasionally overpoweringly inconvenient so they should not get around without noticing.  To compensate for the blind, I also maintain high levels of imperfections in my speaking and singing voice, so as not to lead the sightless astray.  The only task I cannot master keeping imperfection in the limelight is dancing.  The minute the music draws me to the floor, it becomes obvious to all who see, somewhere, someone must’ve produced a perfectly fine batch of whiskey.”

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“Those who do not remember the stories, remember little; those who have forgotten the child inside themselves, remember nothing of lasting value.”

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“Any culture or society that has no respect for their caregivers and teachers will be destined to eventually receive no care, and learn very little from having lost it.”

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“I never got a good education; I spent too much time reading books.  Why, a thing like that can cause a person to arrive at conclusions without waiting to be told what to think!”

*****

“Let’s see if I got this straight: If you don’t know if the nuts & bolts are metric or standard, you won’t know how big of a hammer to use?”

*****

“Some people will be outraged by a lie if it doesn’t support the lies they already believe are true.  But they will defend the lie if it does.”

*****

“Our sense of humor is relative to our sense of emotional balance.  Don’t take yourself too seriously, else the imbalance trip you up.”

*****

“The appearance of being deep in thought is often a deception never intended. Sometimes it happens when we get still and take on a posture brought on by nothing more than indigestion.”

*****

“Humans are a funny species to watch.  There is often a great disparity between what they say they are doing and what they do.”

*****

“I have never heard of a sincere apology in politics.  I think it is logically impossible. The entire business of politics is a scramble to control privilege and power.  It has nothing whatsoever to do with ethics.  Therefore, it is seldom any surprise to see a politician display behavior disorders, which become the best definitions you can find for evil.”

*****

“What the circus clown and the American politician share in common is the ability to behave foolishly, and have their audience approve of it.”

*****

“Wouldn’t it be nice if people would adopt the ethical core of the philosophies of their teachers instead of opposing them?”

*****

“How does your office handle incoming calls? Are your customers treated as if they are a nuisance, or as a pleasure? What would they say?  If your office sounds a bit too busy when a customer calls, they might look for someone else who has time to listen too them.  Never allow the subtlety your client hears over the phone when talking to your office to be that someone is having to ‘handle’ their call.  Every day, someone’s ‘loyal’ customer takes their business elsewhere.  Just how much of that can your business really afford?  Right now, you’re thinking about the frustration you felt last week when trying to get help from someone who should’ve appreciated you as a client.  But instead, they treated you as an interruption.”

*****

“The ability to empathize leads to commitments, which never need enforcement.  True mercy cannot reduced to compliance.”

*****

“Mere compliance often isn’t even that.  Moreover, commitment doesn’t even need compliance.”

*****

“The compliant will stop following whenever they think they can; the committed will help you reach your dreams.”

*****

“Are the things checked off your “Do It” list actually done? Or, did you just check ’em off just to say you did? Sounds silly? It is.”

*****

“It is an observation, with the added experience of having to deal with it on a personal level, that if the duration of a distraction had no consequence, our concept of it as an interruption would be altered.”

*****

“Under a two party system, one side claims: ‘Cows eat grass.  My horse, Buddy, eats grass.  Therefore Buddy is a cow.’  The opposition claims:  ‘Buddy is a horse!  All horses eat grass, therefore  my cow, Bessie, is a horse.’  Such nonsense could lead to people forming ideologies around those propositions with those leaning towards wanting a ride calling Bessie a horse, and those wanting milk calling Buddy a cow.  There would be neither truth nor satisfaction from believing thusly, but that has never been much of a handicap to some other beliefs.”

*****

“It is with a similarity that I view all those whose purpose in life is to control not only what I think, but what I’m allowed to think: critics, missionaries, congressmen, humorists, all.”

*****

“If I ever run for congress, it would be on the platform: if elected, two years from now, me, my family, and a few close friends would definitely be better off than we are today!  I have trouble thinking this is not also a strong motivating factor behind most political campaigns.”

*****

“While I am willing to question my own opinions, I’ve found that if I speak my mind in public, I get abundant and generous help with it.”

*****

“Should you challenge job applicants to a game of marbles before the interview?  Only if you’re pretty sure you’ll beat ’em.”

*****

“Louis Braille was only 12 when he invented the Braille reading system for the blind.  Philo Farnsworth invented the concept of electronic television at age 14.  I was similarly active at a much younger age.  I invented the alibi when I was about eight and a half months old, but used it sparingly the first year.  After that, habits took over.”

*****

“Imagination may be in need of exercise or stimulation, but once it is rehearsed, it moves from imagination to performance.”

*****

“Some of my ancestors descended from Cain.  And some others from Abel.  The family gathers about once a year, and whoever wins the fight gets dessert.”

*****

“When I was a small child, my mother taught me early that taking a nap every afternoon was not only good for me, but it was my duty.  Though I am grown now, and she no longer forces me, I still take that moral responsibility with great seriousness. I take naps often; up to three or four times a day, and have conditioned myself to do it even in the face of almost overwhelming temptations to work.”

*****

“We’ve all experienced opinions that, when placed in juxtaposition with a changing background, will take on textures and flavors not recognized earlier.”

*****

“Various qualities of individuals can be seen to have value in accordance to the perception of the circumstances of which they are observed to be a part.”

*****

“If you show others a brightness in dark times, and help them find their way, the light could reflect back on your pathway, too.”

*****

“To treat others with reason is reasonable.  To not, is not reasonable.  Lead dogs do more than just eat first–they too, must pull weight.”

*****

“Beliefs!  People believe all kinds of things, and they will kill you because of what they believe.  But for what people believe to be true to in fact be true, is not now, nor has it ever at any point in human history been required.”

*****

“If I think something is true, am I not likely to build on that, and use it as a measure to test other things that I am not so sure of?  Exactly!  If we think it true, we may not be able to think it theory.  If we think it theory, we may not be able to think it true.”

*****

“Self analysis, for most people, is quite difficult. Sigmund Freud, among others, thought it impossible. Further, it is not to be confused with introspection, which is dependent on feelings of knowing emerging from our subconscious. So with that, we can expect conclusions to be whipped into shape forcefully by preconceived notions imbedded by dogmatic conditioning–a thing that has little respect for empirical evidence, or the lack of it.”

*****

“There is no limit to what people will believe as long as you don’t ham-string them with the truth.”

*****

“Of those who wish to instruct me on the importance of their beliefs, I’m particularly cautious of those who would want their dogma to become the instructional formula for writing laws.”

*****

“Wisdom does not come by insisting that what is already believed true, must be true.”

*****

“I’ve often referred to memes as being contagious, but also highly susceptible to mutation.  But whether they mutate or not, they are generally responsible for all kinds of belief disorders, many of which are quite delusional.”

*****

“When you transfer blame to those who applaud you for it, you’ve mastered a skill that will destroy you if you can’t get free from the lie.”

*****

“Always look for a place in your heart where trust is respected, and respect is trusted.”

*****

“An open mind?  Most are not, except to the kinds of ideas already in there, which is not a compliment.”

*****

“Superstition is like standing in the middle of the tracks staring down a locomotive, and wishing for a can of train repellent.”

*****

“I arrived at a conclusion about ten minutes early due to extremely light traffic.”

*****

“To be early is to be on time.  To be on time is to be late.  The only time early is questionable is when arriving to conclusions.”

*****

“I reckon a good enough sermon could stop a lynching, though almost always required to start one.”

*****

“Recognition for some is applause.  For others, it is the welcome sense of value when allowed to be autonomously creative.”

*****

“What empowers others to have control over you, is often a questionable definition that you accept of what you are.”

*****

“Dominant faces adversity, & knows when to walk away. Phobic never faces adversity, and always runs away wishing for a hero.”

*****

“Dominators are never heroes, but fearful people are always hoping that those who control them will be heroic.”

*****

“Fear is a factor in conflict and controversy. It does not fuel resolution, but it does authorize external controls.”

*****

“Move on ahead.  Reach your goal rather than back away from it.  Besides, fuel economy is terrible over long distances in reverse.”

*****

“If a thing appears phenomenal to me, it doesn’t mean that it isn’t natural.  It just means that I might not understand the nature of it.”

*****

“The average guy on the street has no concept of the value of keeping an emergency clown nose in the glove compartment.”

*****

“So many humans hope to find intelligent life in other parts of the universe, but without any clue whatsoever of what they’re looking for.”

*****

“If we can learn anything of lasting value from all the other life forms on this planet, it would be the tremendous benefit that cooperation gives to the principal survival trait of being able to adapt. And if we pay close attention, we’ll see it not only among those that are alike, but within variations of a species, and with other species as well.”

*****

In the spring of 1859, a 23-year-old Samuel Langhorne Clemens received his steamboat pilot’s license. It was his hope for a career beyond anything else he had ever wanted up to then.  A boyhood dream became realized, but short-lived. It was only to be almost immediately shattered by a war that would shut down the river to normal commerce and travel.  The war changed forever what had been before, and the shifts and travels of a young Mr. Clemens helped him find the “Twain” inside of himself–a powerful humorist, not just in spite of a great sorrow, but also because of it.”

*****

“There is a benefit to visiting remarkable people in the pages of books.  When I first met Samuel Langhorne Clemens, I was enjoying the company of pieces of him that would show through the stories he told of himself and others.  By the time I understood who he was, I realized I’d spent most of forty years trying to know who he was while he was wearing the mask of Mark Twain.  I carry a copy of that mask, and put it on from time to time, and often for the same reasons he did.”

*****

“Mark Twain said:

‎’We’ve got so much taxation. I don’t know of a single foreign product that enters this country untaxed except the answer to prayer.’

Well, I say the tax on the perceived answers to prayers will be a variant scale determined by sincerity, and the measure between commitment and compliance.  Compliant prayer, of course, has no value no matter which direction it travels.”

*****

‎”Never tell the truth to people who are not worthy of it.” – Mark Twain

“I understand what he meant by it.  The fact remains that he often told the truth, but in a way that the ‘unworthy’ usually had no idea what he was talking about.  Liars can be dangerous if they realize you know they’re lying.  Just being caught in a lie makes them just as angry as if you’d called them a liar.”

*****

“George Washington, as a boy, was ignorant of the commonest accomplishments of youth. He could not even lie. I am different from Washington; I have a higher, grander standard of principle. Washington could not lie. I can lie, but I won’t.” ~ Mark Twain

“It’s not lying that bothers me unless others do it in a way that makes me stumble. But if it appears to be to my benefit to lie, what will bother me about it is the prospects of being caught at it. Cowardice is one of my nobler virtues.”

*****

“…the liberty of the Press is called the Palladium of Freedom, which means, in these days, the liberty of being deceived, swindled, and humbugged by the Press and paying hugely for the deception.” ~ Mark Twain.
Some countries have law that prohibit the media from knowingly making false statements intending to deceive the public. But here in the USA, you can lie all you want to in the press. In fact, it is big business here. But I must admit I’m a benefactor of the freedom to lie. For had it been treated as a serious crime, I would’ve been hanged before I was old enough to go to school…and several times since.
*****

Mr. Twain said to: “Never argue with stupid people, they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”

“The problem with stupid is that it is the measure of a decision made more than the intelligence capacity of the one who made it.  So when I make a stupid decision, and I have, people should be forgiven for arguing with me, as they might be tricked into thinking that some incredible blunder on my part was an accident, and that I’m not normally capable of it.”

*****

“Twain often suggested that if the Deity were to rank prayers in priority, the subtle supplications of the heart (where greed abounds, & men hate each other), will always outweigh the loud and lengthy public prayers said in such a way to show off, or impress your neighbor who might otherwise be trying to catch you at something.”

*****

“One thing that makes Mark Twain connect with readers, is that he didn’t forget about what it’s like to be a child like most people do.  And, he could tell his story in a way that could make it become yours.”

*****

“Mark Twain said: ‎‘Loyalty to petrified opinions never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world — and never will.’

And to that, I say: ‘Religion holds no exclusive rights to petrified opinions.’  Closed minds do not avail themselves to seeking any dialogue that leads to conflict resolution.  Instead, closed minds demand that others either  acquiesce, or go to war.”

*****

“Mark Twain recognized that “common wisdom” isn’t always wise, and when it is wise, it is not so altogether common at all.”

*****

Mark Twain said: “Let us endeavor so to live that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.”

“Well, since my plans are not to be taken under, I’m sure the undertaker will be disappointed enough as it is without requiring any righteousness on my part.  Besides, at my age, taking up habits of notable unselfishness would be noticeably odd, and I’d be clumsy at it.”

*****

“When we remember we are all mad, the mysteries disappear and life stands explained.”  ~  Mark Twain

“Madness, or at least actions motivated by delusions, does explain a lot of things we see in life. But most of that kind of behavior is human, or an infliction by humans upon the domesticated. The rest of what makes up life seems quite sane in comparison. To play games that entertain children and help them be happy is often the sanest thing we do.”

*****

“Mark Twain is credited for saying: ‘The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.’

I think however, some have a difficulty with knowing if they are past those two points, or just still between them.”

*****

“Mark Twain often worked in creative ways to “instruct” us about the differences between truth, and just that which is ‘believed’ to be true.”

*****

“Mark Twain had a low opinion of professional politicians, but had he lived another century, I’m sure he’d be able to amplify those opinions to deafening levels.  It is rare to hear of anyone who actually seeks the office to have any morals that have not atrophied due to abuse and neglect.”

*****

“Mark Twain noticed that when slavery was lawful, he recalled, abolitionists were ‘…despised and ostracized, and insulted — by patriots.’  It’s still true today, all over the world.  It’s just subtler if you don’t use the word “slavery”.  Though it isn’t a popular word, it is a popular practice, and with just as high margins of profit as it did a hundred and fifty years ago.”

*****

“All good things arrive unto them that wait — and don’t die in the meantime.” ~ Mark Twain

“Mr. Twain recognized that there is a difference in being patient, and being indecisive. While the lesson to live while still living would seem so unnecessary, it isn’t.”

*****

“I’ve spent a lot of time with many things Mark Twain said.  So much in fact, that I can no longer determine which quotes I like the best. But no doubt, whatever he may have said that could make me squirm a little bit would probably be worthy of a higher ranking than others that just allowed me to chuckle smugly.”

*****

“It is thinking, some concept that motivates taking action. It has to be something more than just knowing a problem exists.  There must be some desire to solve it. But let’s not discount the intelligence, for it is that quality that can lead to a decision that is good for all effected by it.  Whereas, a stupid decision tends to hurt all effected by it.  And sometimes it is nor quite stupid or intelligent, but just hapless.  Sometimes a part of the problem is just misunderstood.  In the matter of learning from their mistakes, cats are superior to humans and dogs.  But even dogs don’t learn about cars and snakes.  Yet few dogs ever experience more than one hangover in a lifetime.”

Mark Twain once said: “The cat, having sat upon a hot stove lid, will not sit upon a hot stove lid again. But he won’t sit upon a cold stove lid, either.”

*****

“I have been studying the traits and dispositions of the “lower animals” (so called) and contrasting them with the traits and dispositions of man. I find the result humiliating to me.” ~ Mark Twain

“No living thing other than man himself makes a sport of forcing other living things into mortal combat. Humans even do it to each other. And that the pit bull has such strong survival instincts as well as stamina and ability, it has been maligned and abused by evil people for a long time. What if those convicted of such horrible animal abuse would be locked together in a cage, and told that the last one left alive would get a biscuit?”

*****

“Sam Clemens had affection for cats. Some of it must have been out of respect for a quality he’d admired since childhood. A dog can be trained to follow you around and have need of pleasing you; a cat has the ability to remain on it’s own agenda regardless of your rules. So in some way, Huck Finn was a cat.”

*****

“I often suspect that I’ve said several of the things Mark Twain is falsely accused of saying.   But that could be due to mistaken identity caused by costuming, and some other similarities.  You see, both of us have been know to have made some terrible business decisions.  When it came down to anticipating a profit that would remain forever unrealized, Mr. Twain and I both faced retirement still in need of a paying audience.  And as well, a travel regimen better suited for younger men with fewer vices.”

*****

“In a letter to Howells, Mark twain said:  ‘Damn these human beings; if I had invented them I would go hide my head in a bag.’

I think some of Twain’s disappointment in his fellow man was not so much that they were mean, but for the instances where they seemed proud of it.  I see some of that, too.  And while I’m seldom surprised, I am disappointed.  What some folks seem to need for instant gratification, doesn’t always warrant any display of arrogance afterwards.  It’s no great accomplishment to withhold a kindness.”

*****

“Mark Twain once wrote:  ‘Well enough for old folks to rise early, because they have done so many mean things all their lives they can’t sleep anyhow.’

This is particularly true in my case, although my performance of meanness, which I’m sure was significant by some standards, is more a matter of history than it would be for planning any current or future agenda.”

*****

“Mark twain once said jokingly:  ‘If I cannot smoke in heaven, then I shall not go.’

Well, to that I say there is no reason to prohibit all the pleasures of life in Heaven, as so many are disposed to believe they will be.  The point being immortals in a perfect place cannot possibly be harmed by any of them.”

*****

Only one thing is impossible for God: to find any sense in any copyright law on the planet.” ~ Mark Twain’s Notebook, 1902-1903

“A person can put up a fence, and claim a piece of land forever.  But artists, musicians, and writers have only a short while to call their work their own, and must go to great expense to prove their claim even during the brevity of their rightful declaration.”

*****

“Mark Twain said:  ‘what is joy without sorrow? what is success without failure? what is a win without a loss? what is health without illness? you have to experience each if you are to appreciate the other. there is always going to be suffering. it’s how you look at your suffering, how you deal with it, that will define you.’

And it does.  But it also matters how we deal with the suffering of others when we see them struggling.  Once a stranger stopped to help me change a tire in the rain. I was grateful. At first, I thought his conscience had made it a responsibility for him. Maybe it did, but the smile on his face, and that all he’d take was a handshake assured me what he saw in it was an opportunity.  The help he gave me by showing me that side of a caring human being was far more than just changing a tire.”

*****

On the matter of colorful language, Mark Twain said in his biography: “Blasphemy? No, it is not blasphemy. If God is as vast as that, he is above blasphemy; if He is as little as that, He is beneath it.”

“With that presumption in mind, I’ve learned some of my favorite expressive language by way of examples from the clergy, and other fine pillars of the community. After all, a person being wished into perdition should not have to take a boring road to get there. And I do add emphasis and color, so mere words will not appear undecorated or shabby.”

*****

“Albert Camus said:  ‘Integrity has no need of rules.’  And that is true.  But the lack of integrity doesn’t want there to be any rules, except that others would have to obey them.”

*****

“In homes where the near friends and visitors are mainly literary people–lawyers, judges, professors and clergymen–the children’s ears become early familiarized with wide vocabularies. It is natural for them to pick up any words that fall their way; it is natural for them to pick up big and little ones indiscriminately; it is natural for them to use without fear any word that comes to their net, no matter how formidable it may be as to size. As a result, their talk is a curious and funny musketry clatter of little words, interrupted at intervals by the heavy-artillery crash of a word of such imposing sound and size that it seems to shake the ground and rattle the windows. Sometimes the child gets a wrong idea of a word which it has picked up by chance, and attaches to it a meaning which impairs its usefulness–but this does not happen as often as one might expect it would. Indeed, it happens with an infrequency which may be regarded as remarkable.” ~ Mark Twain

“I was an exception to that rule. Often picked up words and used them because they sounded fun, without bothering to assess the importance of any definition. And pronunciations were also licensed to bring about surprise, confusion and awe seen in facial expressions of those who kept a proper handle on words in their toolboxes, and would never use a saw for a hammer.”

*****

“No matter how skillfully I convince others of my worthiness, the conscious thoughts that live inside my own head cannot hide from me.”

*****

“Grateful is not passive.  It begins in attitude, but it profoundly effects positive activity that gives birth to positive results.”

*****

“Be grateful for the artist who has gone beyond apprentice, journeyman, and master craftsman.  It is a vision that inspires them to learn how to use their tools.  With that knowledge, they can create, which is an inspiration to us all.”

*****

“The dog represents all that is best in man.” – Etienne Charlet

“The Dog represents on occasion some of the character flaws of it’s owner, but that is due to conditioning.  Left to himself, a dog wouldn’t take up such behavior.  To represent the best of man is easy enough; a frog or a spider could do it.  A dog could do it in his sleep.  As for man, who seldom improves anything when awake, sets an example of his finest morals when not.”

*****

“An act of integrity is willful. It is based on commitment, and never just compliance. You have to value it for the sake of doing the right thing, and not for any reward or fear of punishment. For this reason, it is often a misunderstood virtue.”

*****

“Dealing with the world the way you think it ought to be is not the same thing as dealing with it the way it is.  Reality is often a sobering medicine for those who drink too much fantasy and illusion.”

*****

“To make or do, trusting that you can has some merit.  But hope without work is an IOU written by your imagination.  It never pays off all that well if the work is not applied.”

*****

“Conservation of our land, forests and water sounds sensible.  Since I think it sensible, others are sure to find something wrong with it.  Being conservative about the natural recourses of our planet earth appears reasonable to me because I live here.  So do my children, and their children.  We don’t have anywhere else to go.”

*****

“That land is a community is the basic concept of ecology, but that land is to be loved and respected is an extension of ethics.” – Aldo Leopold, 1949.

“This is a concept stated over six decades ago.  It is parallel to moral teachings that are thousands of years old about responsibility and stewardship. Yet it is not endorsed or even recognized by a society that sees itself as economically dependent to a global petroleum based economy. The irony is that the worship of oil epitomizes the mantra of those who think of themselves as conservatives who conserve nothing.”

*****

“And a child said: ‘The Emperor has no clothes.’  I’m often amazed that when the emperor is so presented, the followers clamor to be fitted up similarly, and at premium prices.  The image may be an illusion, but it is available in many sizes.  More than one nudist colony is populated with slaves to fashion.”

*****

“You cannot go back and change history.  But you can change the stories about it around so that it means whatever you want it to mean.  People do it all the time.”

*****

“I often retire to an attic between two ears.  It only has two windows, and they are both on the same wall, but can be turned to face in most any direction.  There are many toys in the attic, and lots of old books.  Sometimes I can close the windows, and the attic can become any place I want it to be.  Sometimes I find some images from childhood there, but they cannot always be seen now the way they once were.  Sometimes we restrict what they are with words, when before there were no words.  So those childhood fantastic episodes will not be replayed for any but the child.  Finding the child is often very hard to do, unless you do it often enough.”

*****

“Asked my English professor for advice on a term paper I was writing for another class.
He said: ‘Turabian.’
Even though he was speaking French, I took his enthusiasm as a definite ‘yes’.”

*****

“Tell a story.  That’s what people will remember.  It needs to either be one from your own experience, or one that you understand well enough to get your point across.  You don’t have to cut yourself to know that a knife can be sharp.  How we learned something may not always be nearly as important to others as much as would be our ability to communicate it.”

*****

“The best story is when nobody else but you could’ve told it.  Now, just who is that person? And who is hearing it?”

*****

“Sometimes it amazes me how many folks wait their whole lives hoping someone else will tell their story for them.”

*****

“You should want to tell your story, but they should want to hear it, too. How will it make them feel?”

*****

“Some folks know what it’s like to hear a poorly delivered speech, yet not always recognize when it is they themselves who delivered it.”

*****

“A good attitude leads to celebrating for just having washed the dishes.  A great attitude is to be excited that it’s your turn to wash them!”

*****

“That there is in fact a war on extreme fear, dread, and horror, is about as real as the illusion that there is a war on chemicals that adulterate the mind.  You can substitute other words for either.”

*****

“Did the sun come up this morning?  Actually, it didn’t.  But the expression goes back to a time when that seemed to be a plausible explanation to those who thought the earth was the center of the universe.”
*****

“If yesterday is a memory, and tomorrow only a concept, the only reality is right now.  Isn’t it great that we are spending reality together?”

*****

“Nobody climbs a ladder even one rung higher than they think they can go without falling off.  I call the place you stop ‘the freezing point’.  Unless whatever it is that made you fearful is overcome, when you thaw out (if you thaw out), you will slowly begin your descent.”

*****

“In math, (+) and (-) represent your bearing on a number line. Even when things seem negative overall, you can still head in a positive direction.”

*****

“Would others be surprised if you followed the statement: ‘You won’t believe what just happened to me!’ …with a story about something good?”

*****

“What did you accomplish by some intentional willful act in the last few days that gives you great satisfaction? Other than yourself, who benefitted? How does it measure with what you do on the average?  Are you working to beat your average, or just working to maintain it?  Some folks never know what their average is, but they will tell you when they fail, that they were doing their best. Saying stuff like this often makes folks uneasy, so if it hits you that way, pretend I’m saying it to someone else.”

*****

“You have to really believe in yourself.  You won’t make a habit out of reaching for things your mind tells you are out of reach.  So while it is important to face up to what is attainable, it is critically important for you to also believe it is realistic.  The caveat to that is: just because you believe something to be true does not make it true.”

*****

“I’m a person who took advice long ago from all kinds of people. Some encouraged me because they liked me; some because they wanted to sell me their achievement package, some discouraged me because they had other plans for how they intended to USE me, and some because they thought I just wasn’t good enough. I must encourage young people to recognize these categories, and not be in denial about the relationships just because you want to believe or disbelieve what they are telling you.”

*****

“It is good to get honest unbiased critiques to help you your determine if your threshold of self expectation is set either higher or lower than what is real.  A good measure of real is what you actually do, and NOT just what you say you are going to do.”

*****

“Some dreams become goals.  A goal is not a goal without a deadline.  Think of a deadline as the expiration date.  Some dreams never become goals, but float around in a sea of ideals.  Some just get trapped in pools of wishful thinking, where they take up space, but not really alive.  It is only when we know how to bring them to life, and by taking the action steps required, can a dream transform into an objective.”

*****

“Just because a dream is not yet a goal doesn’t mean we shouldn’t have dreams.  And just because we have a dream doesn’t mean it should become a goal, either–especially when we don’t really want to do what it takes to make it come true.  But it is important to know the difference between real destinations and fantasies.  And yes, over time, we sometimes forget about dreams, or fail to recognize them when they become covered in cobwebs, and pushed to the dark corners of our minds.”

*****

“For all of us as speakers and actors, we have to remember that each performance is for, and about the audience.  If it doesn’t work for them, it just doesn’t work.”

*****

“It’s one thing to write; it’s another thing entirely to be read.  But for either to take place, that the truth be at all present is not a prerequisite.”

*****

“I check the news about every week or so to see if there is a major outbreak of sanity happening anywhere.  If such as that ever happens, I’m sure a program will develop to put a stop to it.  So far, no immunization campaign seems necessary.”

*****

“Enlightenment seldom involves bright suns beaming so that everyone can see instantly, but rather it is a small candlestick carried into dark caves in search of treasures not easily found by those who won’t make the effort to even try.”

*****

“I’ve often thought money was attractive, but the feeling has not been mutual.  So, as my plain looks became resigned to the unrequited love, I found some things far more beautiful that could love me back.  What I found out was, that this is not about settling for less.  Sometimes when you’re thirsty, a glass of water is fine.  Some other drinks cost more, but can leave you still thirsty.  The lure and enticement is often anticipating the taste.  But the marginal utility of anything who’s value does not exceed taste, is simply the time it takes to drink it.”

*****

“A great teacher commanded us not to judge each other; to be kind, forgiving, and understanding. Some of the harshest judgement, the severest unkindnesses, the most unforgiving mindsets, and unappeasable misunderstandings often come from those who claim committed to the following of that teacher; believing in that teacher, and claim those same beliefs to be more important than anything else. I know that may sound odd, but I am not the first to have noticed it.”

*****

“If your words say you worship a God of love, but actions say you worship a God of hate, guess which one I believe tells the truth about you?”

*****

“Who decides if the slave has had enough to eat?  The slave?  And what is done with the slave that is injured when the price of mending approaches buying another slave?”

*****

“Folks who have never been hungry or denied some service they felt was needed for themselves or their children, or have not spent many hours working with people in such circumstances, have no real understanding of poverty.  Those who think it is a gravy train seem to not notice how desperate most are to get out of it, even when they have no idea how to do it.”

*****

“If evil is an emotional disorder (and it is), then the roots of it will be found in how we conceptualize our relationship with those from whom we take, and to whom we give.”

*****

“In the book, The Road Less Travelled, M. Scott Peck said:  ‘Loving is an action. It is the act of participating in the growth and development of someone other than yourself, spiritual or otherwise.’

Parental instruction for the benefit of the child, not to be confused with bullying for the convenience of the bully, is what parents should see as a very high priority right up there with other important functions of care and nurturing.”

*****

“You cannot appreciate an exceptionally joyful moment without having something to compare it to, even if it is only measured by the way things were before.  A glass of water never tastes so good as it does when you’re thirsty, and  the price will seem reasonable if you’re thirsty enough.  But think how happy you’ll be next time if you find it half price.  Numbers here are unnecessary: it’s all relative.”

*****

“Faced with an upcoming musical on Broadway, the director and producer were talking about the question of hiring actors who could be taught to sing, or singers who could be taught to act.  The choreographer added that it would be easier to teach dancers to sing and act than it would be to teach actors and singers to dance.  When they asked for my opinion (and I thought they never would), I told them to decide which was the most important to them: the two big production numbers, the song, or the story?  If the story is lame, better hope the audience remembers the song.”

*****

“The essence of the integrity to any play is that the entire cast of characters, by representation of the actors who play them, know honestly what is going on.  The suspension of disbelief is for the audience, not the players.  The public is the audience to those who’s business it is to fool them, or to just help them believe something that isn’t quite as real as they would think.”

*****

“Regardless of subject matter or topic, teaching children that suppositions are facts borders on abuse, or at least stupidity.  Society’s disappointing methods of coping with “belief disorders” suggest it is time for some good, old fashioned enlightenment.  But I won’t stand around waiting for it to happen any time soon.”

*****

“It is customary for me to wear a helmet when I ride my motorcycle–not because it is the law (here in Georgia) but because it makes sense to me. The idea that any of us can be set free from law will only happen when a commitment to the intent of the law is understood–and agreed with.”

*****

“We make rules, and attempt to enforce them to create the illusion that we have some common commitment.  And we might, but it would not have anything to do with the forced compliance to rules.  If we were really committed to do anything, no one would have to make us, would they?”

*****

“We often think about the difference between what is, and what could have been.  Best we look to what is likely to be, and what could be, and consider how we think about it.”

*****

“We can see colors before we learn what words other people use to describe them. But even without the words, the colors are just as real.”

*****

“It has never been required that what might be detected by sight or sound will be understood.  Misunderstanding can occur from a lot of different angles.  Without certain truthful information, almost any point of view remains ignorant.  But in spite of that phenomenon that tends to trip us all at one time or another, Helen Keller, who could not see or hear, developed a brilliant understanding of a tremendous part of the world around her.”

*****

“If you send someone down to the ocean to fetch a pail of water, don’t punish them when you find the water tastes salty.”

*****

“If I’d known then what I know now, then would be now. Well, now and then.”
*****

“Did the story you just tell make folks feel excited about what they were about to do, or did you just leave them confused?”

 *****

“The problem with having a candidate elected who would meet with my approval is directly associated with my fear of being in a majority…the very thought of which makes me cringe. I often find the combined intelligence of majorities to be merely stupid. So, it is with the illusion of being safe from the criticism of such majorities, that while I often state my opinions, I work hard to keep them as ambiguous and as difficult for others to pin down as possible.”

*****

“It seems to me, that whenever the name of any contributor is made known to any candidate who is to be the beneficiary of such a gift, the ‘contribution’ then becomes a bribe, doesn’t it?  If that is true, then our whole system is corrupt.  Since I cannot afford to buy a politician, then I am not represented by those who will represent their benefactors.”

*****

“I find it interesting that so many people miss the point of the dangers to a free society when the theocrats take power. But some theocrats don’t misunderstand it: some of them manage it very effectively from an incredible position of strength, and control over the thinking of their congregations. Such manipulation is shameful and deplorable behavior. ”

*****

“The popularity of “Dudeism”, that has been growing since the movie “The Big Lebowski”, is a curiosity.  I look forward to future debates between the Dudeists and the Pastafarians when eventually these two tongue-in-cheek “religions” actually develop into full blown cultural belief disorders like all of the others.”

*****

“The closest we get to truth comes from the humorists and comedians in our society, and not from our duly elected government officials.  George Carlin and Chris Rock have been very blunt and direct about it, but come closer to truth than you’ll ever get from “city hall”.  Your politicians do not care about you. Their agenda, if analyzed closely, seems to be about making sure education does NOT happen. The powerful do not appear to want an educated public.”

*****

“Because of a diminished value of an educated public, many who have much to offer, cannot afford to teach in a culture that does not value teaching. Sadly, this “power” group includes many who are at the top of hierarchies within our schools and our departments and boards of “education”.  It is all about who gets control of the money, and those people do NOT care about you or me.  Further, they do not care about our children beyond how they can use, and control them.”

*****

“If you wish to see jobs created, convince consumers to want to buy more of the goods and services that are being offered.  That demand will create a need.  But if buying is stagnant, the fact that some of the buying generates a profit has no reason to call for increased production.  To think it does is delusional.  And that delusion is the result of indoctrination through perception management techniques, not innocently applied, but intended.”

*****

“I watched my grandson looking at some roses. The flowers were fresh and new, and lovely, just as he was. The rose bush was old, and he couldn’t see the flowers that blossomed before. But that day the petals of red were as lush and stunning as the crops gone to history. The rose bush was the teacher who showed the new generation of blooms to a new generation of eyes.”

*****

“I’ve often found it interesting that the people who read a lot of Twain are usually not mean people.  Mean people don’t care for Twain’s ideas very much, but they will quote him whenever they find a passage that suits their purpose.  It is the same with many famous authors, and particularly of religious books.  Some of the folks who quote a lot of scripture references don’t seem interested in any commitment to the intent of their text.  Nowadays with the internet, people often just make up quotes and assign them to whomever they think might be popular enough to have a following. Although such a practice is unethical, that it is used often to promote political dogma means that it will continue unabated…forever.”

*****

“How proud man must be sometimes when he considers what is required to entertain himself.”

*****

“I have a cousin who thinks dependency problems are tax deductible.”

*****

“If you wish to keep a large population in servitude, understanding their phobic nature will allow you to have them constantly battle each other–each one fearing the other is going to take their scrap of bread.”

*****

(on performing as Mark Twain:) “It is interesting sometimes, to be a caricature of a man who was often a caricature of himself.”

*****

“In the theater, good performance depends on both the director and the actor understanding the motivation behind every piece of business.”

*****

“An older blind gentleman once told me: ‘Van, I wish you could just hear what I hear, and feel what I touch. Folks with eyes often miss out on some of this worlds more subtle beauties.’ Although completely blind, he could tell if a bill was a 1; 5, 10, or 20 just by holding it between his finger and thumb.  When asked about the local campaigns for the mayor’s office, he said:  ‘You have to listen to what they’re saying.  What they are trying to look like never confuses me about what they really are.’  I thought about that in the light of how the first televised debate between Nixon and Kennedy back in 1960 immediately changed the polls.  I’ve also heard it said that if television had been around a hundred years sooner, Abraham Lincoln would never have been elected.  Maybe it’s true.”

*****

“Legislators, who may have never mastered anything well enough to teach it to others, make laws about how to operate schools and how to teach.  There are many things that people who make rules for others to have to abide by do not understand.  Besides about education in general, it is true also about health and nutrition services, maintaining infrastructures, as well as history, art, and science. It is also true of just about everything good craftsmen, and good artists, and good scientists, and good teachers spend their time thinking about.”

*****

“Politics like fashion, goes through phases of popularity.  Styles change, but often no long lasting utilitarian benefit emerges from it.  Each generation dances around the campfires slightly different from the generation before.  Changes, and even variations of the old, are not always innately good, nor are they always innately bad, either.  Sometimes, as with other things in our culture, they just sound, look or seem different in some way, and often little more than that.  Mrs. Wood, who taught music in elementary school, once gave us an exercise in “variations on a theme”. She said: ‘Until you take a chance and try, you’ll have no idea how far you can go with it.’ I often wondered if she knew how far some of us wanted to go.”

*****

“Art is art.  I can appreciate beauty without an opinion of what the artist had for breakfast, how he chopped wood, or even consideration of what he may have wished for.  As an example: that Hitler felt inspired by Wagner’s music is no credit or discredit to Richard Wagner in and of itself.  That Wagner’s brilliant compositions are truly art is not derivative or dependent on the political or religious opinions of those who would hear it.  Nor, is it necessary to know of his personal flaws or accomplishments to appreciate it.”

*****

“When I see children laughing, and often do, I suspect they will have some memories of good times to share in some future moments.  It won’t be my memories they will be sharing, but their own.   But that I can see them laugh now, is something that becomes a part of mine.”

*****

“The oil supply is finite as far as we know.  The long-term solution to petroleum dependency is alternative energy (fact or supposition?).  I suspect A global petroleum based economy will not convert easily, nor will it be likely to cooperate with research, much less production, of anything less profitable than what is now being done.”

*****

“To make energy affordable to mass populations of working people to the extent that it is very cheap is as unlikely as is imposing a tax on our carbon footprints.  But I said: ‘I suspect’.  I have to remember that treating suspicions and suppositions as facts (even and especially when they are mine) cannot always be relied on to be the most direct pathway to truth.”

*****

“I have listened to the candidates, and they have all convinced me.  Each one says those who oppose them are wrong.  Each one says their opponents are not worthy, and we should all be fearful of allowing them to get their hands on the power afforded by holding public office.  Each one has been successful in helping me to believe that none of the others will stand by promises made in the debates, and in their speeches.  I am persuaded that what they say of each other is true in that none of them share my values, and none of them can be trusted to lead due to a series of previously well documented violations of rules of law, common sense, and integrity.”

*****

“People are regularly silly when they claim to be either social liberals or social conservatives.  They are being driven by their feelings, and not their thinking.  What they wish to allow, or disallow, depends on their own comfort zones established by their dogmatic beliefs.  Should motorcyclists wear helmets?  While it is probably a good safety practice, that decision should be made by the individual rider.  Society at large may sense a need to provide an education about it, but should not force compliance.  I feel the same way about most other matters affecting individual personal behavior decisions whether it is concerning what they eat, drink, or smoke, or how they wish to conduct themselves in the privacy of their own bedroom.”

*****

“Legislation about gun control is often about shifts in the power leveraged (revenues) by social control.  It is about measurable compliance, and has absolutely nothing to do with the people’s commitments to do well by each other.  If you don’t want to shoot anybody, don’t point a gun at them.  But then, that same attitude continues for a lot of personal and private choices people choose to make.  A hammer is just a hammer until you hit somebody with it.”

*****

“Quite frankly, it is appalling to consider all the rules some would wish to impose on everybody just to satisfy their own prejudices and superstitions.  People often get confused when they think wanting to restrict the behavior of others is an open-minded position; it isn’t.”

*****

“I made a few speeches, and was okay at it. Most of them were back when I didn’t have a clue that I didn’t know anything. But my strong sense of confidence must have intimidated the others who didn’t know anything either, because some of them said I was pretty good.  I think if I were to try those same speeches today, even an idiot would see right through me. The only education I really have is learning that I cannot be absolutely certain of anything, much less everything I’ve been told was true.  Some of it, as it turns out, isn’t.”

*****

“It is regular that I hear commentators and politicians quote our ‘founding fathers’ incorrectly, and out of context.  It is often done to make a point antagonistic to the intent of the person they are quoting.  Over the years, I’ve found that many folks, when faced with actual historic facts about our founders, refuse to accept them, and defer to their own preconceived notions that sustain the belief systems they’ve been taught to accept about them.  There is also another phenomena: it is the assumption that to admit some fact about what Jefferson actually wrote (which is easy enough to prove) carries a requirement that you’d have to agree what what he’d said.  So, it is easier to just deny he said it in the 1st place.  Some of the denial is indicative of a belief disorder”

*****

“Right now, intellectual giants are not popular, because there is no general acceptance of ‘thinking’ over ‘believing’.  And this void is not just in the so called conservative camp, but in the so called liberal camp as well.  A good debate should have intelligent points in the arguments both defending status quo and seeking progressive change.”

*****

“Politics today is reduced to hatred and name calling and is not likely to get better anytime soon.  It is a shame, but Americans generally don’t think too deeply, and thus have become their own worst enemy.  Paul Tillich recognized that politics is the business of transfer of power, and ethics is not involved.  H. L. Mencken saw it as the manipulation of irrational fears.  And it is all still true today.”

*****

Trashy fuel makes a car engine run poorly. Consider what happens when we allow fear instead of understanding to fuel our brains.

*****

“To paint the boat red or blue is an argument that continues while the boat sinks. Neither side is willing to bail water or patch the hole.”

*****

“To truly embrace our culture, we must embrace the world, else we leave out so much of who we are.”

*****

“There is a sick popularity among people who set their hats based not on principles stood for, but on what prejudices and hatreds are waved about, as if they would be something to be proud of.  What’s worse, is that folks who do that, think their bigotries are principles.  I wish I could work up some enthusiasm for some party, but I am no longer a true believer in the nonsense.”

*****

“To behave in a way that is wrong, when you know it’s wrong, may be a behavior disorder.  To believe something to be right even when it isn’t, might be a belief disorder.  But to know something is wrong, and do it anyway because you don’t care if it’s wrong, is an emotional disorder.  Further, the skillful manipulation so that whatever wrong is done is always someone else’s fault could be close to a clinical definition of evil.  It is the daily practice of politics everywhere.”

*****

“I’m often disappointed to hear of lies, cheating and cover-ups.  I am disappointed, but seldom surprised.  People cheat on their taxes; on their spouses, on contracts, expense reports, budgets, certifications, inspections, and testing standards.  Agencies created to protect the public approve things they should not if extreme (economic; political, social) pressure to do so is brought to bare.”

*****

“The disparities between what folks say they do, and what they actually do will continue as long as the belief in the mythology of enforced commitment is so widely taught.  Once in a while, something comes to light that calls for a reform.  What is likely to happen whenever cheating is exposed, will be the introduction of new compliance regimens that will appear to work for awhile until a way to skirt them is found.  The big lie will be that we will call it ‘commitment’.  But it won’t be: it will only mask the appearance of ‘compliance’, and eventually, it won’t even be that.”

*****

“The spell of the myth, and the belief disorder of an ‘enforced commitment’ must be broken.  We need to teach ourselves and our children that when they ‘do the right thing’ only when forced to, they have not done the right thing at all.  That only happens when there is a real, personal, deeply internalized desire and commitment to doing the right thing.  Almost all of our institutions are driven by the lie of the myth.  Changing it will be most difficult, and all probabilities are stacked heavily against it ever happening.”

*****

“Most difficult it is when we begin a process that can open pandora’s box.  It starts out easy enough, but for what most will have to call into question are those things here-to-fore always true, yet upon closer examination, are not.  Some would rather be dead than face them.  For those who cower in the face of such challenges, know that others will become ecstatic with their new found freedom.”

*****

“One advantage of sticking with absolute presuppositions is the chance of a success by duplicating tried, and heretofore successful, practices. This can work as long as nothing ever changes, but dependence on that can be foolish. The consistency will be admired by others, however. They often will have a disdain for imagination, and a preference for what seems to have worked in the past rather than the truth. That anything ever worked very well at some time in the past is not nearly as important as that they ‘believe’ it has.”

*****

“All of us were raised to believe what we were taught to believe.  It is quite rare to find a single soul that has arrived with conclusions fully thought out on their own without precedent.  And whenever such a thinker is found out, they are liable to be ridiculed, censored, punished, and according to what history tells us, are also likely to be imprisoned, killed, or both”

*****

“To see things as they are instead of how we want them to be, requires we let go of some previous explanations that could be wrong.”

*****

“Coffee can increase the acceleration on a motorcycle especially when it reaches your bladder about ten miles from the nearest rest area.”

*****

“It is a lie to say you can enforce commitment, but the belief that you can has a huge church.”

*****

“People and other animals are often in situations that are humorous only when observed by someone else.  When the hot coffee and the shirt we are spilling it on are ours, laughter will usually come from somewhere else.  That we will appear to not know it is funny will make it even funnier to others.”

*****

“A man should know to be thankful for anniversaries of his birth, and embrace the day with joyfulness. To be thankful for what we understand, and even what we do not–knowing the enrichment that comes from the life long chance to grow and learn. And for gifts received, don’t forget the one your mother gave you. No other mortal will ever match it. So then, send her the cake & the flowers. After all, she did all the work.  Turn your eyes and thoughts of this day to your mother, in who’s honor it is that she gave the gift of you to those who love you.”

*****

“As storms build in the Atlantic, our thoughts turn to hopefulness for the safety of our many friends who might be in harm’s way.  And to the hopefulness for safety of friends in all places, our thoughts also turn in the face of storms that build in the hearts of men.”

*****

“Historically, war is bad for farmers, and good for cannon makers.  It’s usually not very kind to small children, or old people.  The ecology of Earth receives very few bonuses from war outside of a slight (and temporary) population reduction.”

*****

“In a culture that allows efficiency, competence, & the bottom line to to all trump integrity, thinking becomes subservient to believing. Human beings become irrationally fearful if they think their beliefs are under attack, & they will kill each other to protect them.  But for what they believe to be true to in fact be true, is not now, nor has it ever been required.”

*****

“Any experienced tree surgeon or lumberjack might laugh at you if they thought you intended to determine the weight of a tree simply, and with no other measure than how tall it is.”

*****

“Statistics: something consumers hear about from folks who only took one course in stats, and for some reason, because they had a course in it, think they know what they are talking about.”

*****

“What kind of man takes pride in that he’d want to keep others in servitude to be used for his own self gratification?”

*****

“The pathway to evil is full of certainties about processes that will get us what we want when the consequences to others are not considerations.  Most of these certainties are not so true as much as they are believed to be true. In time, evil will allow a person under such a spell to discount the truth altogether.  For the truth will no longer matter to the person who has succumbed to the drug of being satisfied that what they want (and primarily because they want it) must be good. It is equally bad for the electorate and the elected in the long run.  But even so, the elected will hope that it is not…at least for them personally.”

*****

“An understanding of the political process can be accelerated if your teachers understand it, and impeded if they don’t.  I’ve had some good teachers, and some pitiful ones.  My respect has not always been divided among them evenly.”

*****

“As a boy, I watched some frogs by a pond. The one I picked up and put in my pocket turned into a teacher.”

*****

“What patience I have learned was learned best from impatient people; I’ve probably learned more about peacefulness from angry people.  I had to become one to begin to understand the lesson.”

*****

“The business of becoming an angry person does not indicate wisdom.  But reflection on the emotion might help one to recognize the fear that got them angry in the first place.  It is identifying the source of the fear that could add light to who benefits politically from your anger.   Only a few of my teachers ever let me know they understood this.  It was rarely a part of any approved lesson plan.  Once in a while, it is the subtleties of a quiet suggestion that carries more learning weight than the iron-clad lesson plan they are required to present.”

*****

“A friend of mine has mastered the German and English languages; and has a doctoral degree in Education.  But he dare not suggest or recommend a book to a student for fear that the board of education find out: they’d have him fired if that book is not on their narrow “approved” list.  More often than not for me, it was the books that were suggested more than the books required that became profoundly inspirational.”

*****

“It is reasonable to admit that some of the very good teachers cannot be held at fault for what I did not learn right away.  Some things take a while to sink in.  A few things they wanted me to learn were committed to memory fairly early in the process, but took decades for me to understand.”

*****

“Sometimes the coach and the teacher are only a step ahead of their average student, and a step behind their brightest.”

*****

“I am amazed at how silly and superstitious folks are about their beliefs!  This whole political thing is becoming a huge pain in the neck (or somewhere).  Sometimes the pain is unbearable.  It gets worse if you try to watch debates between ignorant and incompetent fools.  That they are serious, and can be put into office causes the pains that may have begun lower to now go to my head.  Seems there is no sensible or sane way to deal with it.  And there is no avoiding it: it is everywhere you turn.”

*****

“Good to seek adventures and challenges, but go for those things you want to do, and not just because they are ‘different’. But as you do, be prepared to deal with others who might think the change in behavior is “eccentric”, and know that the fear of negative feedback often cripples creativity.”

*****

“Sometimes, there is a significant benefit in recognizing our own eccentric traits and habits. In some instances, we might see some corollary between method & madness.  But it is seldom a virtue or a bonus to amplify some non-conformity just for the sake of being different.  Creativity occurs now and then in spite of peculiarities, as well as because of them.  Sometimes a fence is keeping something in, and sometimes it is keeping something out.  Sometimes it is a poorly constructed fence that does neither.”

*****

“If you found that you were a character in a story, would you want to find the author? Then, why don’t you do just that.”

*****

“A poorly constructed or poorly repaired fence is equally useless from any direction.”

*****

“Just because I think I’m singing does not mean that everyone around me will hear music, or want to dance. Performance should be for them.”

*****

“I use character analysis to help others understand that part of themselves that is “on stage” every day. It’s about motivation.”

*****

“The biggest problem I’ve seen with self assessments is the lack of knowing how we’re perceived by others.”

*****

“A guitar in the hands of of a young person can begin to open up visions of diverse pathways that those who leave it alone will never see.”

*****

“Entertainment career goals are just like other goals: you have to know what action steps to take, and then you have to take them. If you pay attention, you should be able to understand what the people around you are encouraging or discouraging.  You may think you understand what motivates you, but you need to really ask yourself: ‘What is the motivation I’m getting?  What is being expected of me, and why?’

Years ago, Mick Jagger was asked if The Rolling Stones had become like a family to him.  He replied:

‘I don’t feel like a family, it’s like a. . . The great difference is that people confuse families and gangs. A gang is a rather immature group, whereas a family is rather mature group. And you have to make the transference from being in a gang to being in a family. The gang never likes the fact that you have a family — and vice versa; the family never likes the fact that you have a gang. It’s hard in life to have to balance that. But definitely, the Rolling Stones is not a family — it’s a gang.’ *

* Quote taken from:  Stones UPDATE Pt 2! – Classic Rock 97 LAV

Mr. Jagger is very correct.  All of you need to understand the relationships around you.  If you set serious goals for yourself, be prepared for the reality that many of the folks you associate with right now are not going to be happy about it.  Why?  It’s simple: it means you might just go off and leave them behind.  And it is true.  If you strive towards, and begin reaching your goals, you will do exactly that.”

(note: This was added September of 2011.  The body of this was from comments to young actors.)

*****

“After a certain high level of technical skill is achieved, science and art tend to coalesce in esthetics, plasticity, and form. The greatest scientists are artists as well.” ~ Albert Einstein
“Music is an art form that combines feeling with mathematics. Art is the level beyond craftsman that begins to understand attainable possibilities not previously recognized.”
*****

“Facing the task at hand, I’ve often looked about to see who else might be wearing gloves.”

*****

“If I have not aggravated or offended you today, please don’t think I don’t still love you, or that you’re not still stupid.  It’s just that I’ve been busy.” ~ (Said that to my boss once. I don’t work there anymore.)

*****

“Introversion/extroversion is a scale that is often misunderstood.  I’ve been studying temperament & style models for decades, and one of the best things to be found in any of them that can help anyone, is to identify their own social liabilities & assets.  Success is often the reward that comes from accenting what we do well, along with being aware of habits & tendencies that might cause us to skip over something important.  First, we need to know what actions need to be taken, and understand what might be a part of who we are that could cause us not to do that.  Sometimes sales seems easier for those who are energized around others, or it at least appears so to those who need to back off more regularly to recharge their batteries.”

*****

“I know all kinds of people with widely varying temperament types and social styles who are successful.  Generally, the happier ones have a realistic understanding of who they are, and how they come across to others.  On the other hand, a person may have all the apparent traits to be successful, but fail because they aren’t aware of a few things that their mirror is not telling them.  In drama, what makes a tragic flaw tragic, is that the character often doesn’t recognize it as a flaw.”

*****

“Was there ever a first place in the first place?  If there was, from where would you start out to get there?”

*****

“You want me to teach sociopaths how to skirt ethics issues? I think it is unnecessary (they already know how), so please hire someone else.”

*****
“Sometimes, you can have an influence on others that could be a part of the reason they might want change something.  That influence can work by showing others either something to respect, or something to disrespect.  Politicians often choose to promote disrespect.  Perhaps it is easier to convince people that the competition will do them harm.  A man speaking on his own behalf about his good motives (even if it’s true) will be viewed with much more suspicion than if he were to offer a slander on somebody else .”

*****

“Though it isn’t honorable, one of the tricks to telling a successful lie is telling one that your audience is anxious to hear.”

*****

“In order for communication to work, understanding is critical. But you have to listen.  More than that, and you have to want to listen.”

*****

“Your listening will not be open to understanding as long as you’re postured to listen only defensively, and while preparing your rebuttal.”

*****

“A closed mind does not benefit from education, and is at risk of making stupid decisions.”

*****

“Distractions equal interruptions.  The weight of anything that interrupts you is measured by the time you allow it.”

*****

“Plagiarism, like botulism, often leaves residual toxins.  We should all take care with what we serve up to our friends.”

*****

“An obsession to dominate over others can be evidence of cowardice, and a lack of the ability to be dominant over one’s own affairs.”

*****

“Sometimes it is easier to comment on sharp curves in the road behind us than of those beyond a horizon we do not see.”

*****

“Once upon a time, a philanthropist became famous due to the practice of only helping a hungry child when he was sure to get credit for it.”

*****

“If everybody is talking at the same time, it’s doubtful if anyone is listening.”

*****

“A man who is not afraid is not aggressive, a man who has no sense of fear of any kind is really a free, a peaceful man.”
-Jiddu Krishnamurti

“There is no pathway to peacefulness. Krishnamurti knew that. So did Jesus. So did Gandhi. It is either already in you, or it’s right there under your feet. It is in the now. Trying to transcend yesterday, where life does not tarry, into tomorrow, which does not exist other than as a concept, will keep you ever vigilant trying to find something that is neither behind you, or in front of you.

That vigilance is full of stress and fear, and will almost always lead to mean, bigoted, and hateful practices. These practices become the foundation for political and religious anger, and will move their most fervent followers further and further from what they claim is their goal.”

*****

“Too much resistance can cause burn out.  Resistance can be caused by more than one source.  Do you understand the resistance in your team?”

*****

“When relationships fail, companies fail, too.  A company has no emotion on its own, and therefore no commitment.”

*****

“The significant thing about man-made rules is that they all give someone else the authority to tell you that you’re wrong about something.”

*****

“Being creative isn’t pretending.  It’s an exploration that leads to performance.  When performance becomes real, you’re beyond pretension.”

*****

“Enthusiasm seldom compensates for a lack of competence. And I’ve found I can’t make up the difference with volume!”

*****

“Incompetence thrives in the chaos caused by misunderstanding.”

*****

“Attitude effects activity. Activity effects results, which effects attitude. Up or down, positive or negative.  Performance is tied directly to these points. In business as in theater, performance is everything. The motivation for each character (and there are many styles) is dependent on what they THINK they want, fear, believe, and are capable of. When the leader or director understands those things, they will know how to get the engine turning. The ignition switch is often in the attitude, but if recent results have been too low for too long, the battery might be run down. I’ve got jumper cables.”

*****

“Imagine a little store right by the ocean selling vials of sand and salt water.  As silly as it sounds, the business model is quite common.”

*****

“A positive attitude tends to be honest, but a negative one will try to wear a mask.”

*****

“Character analysis lets us understand motivation.  The director shares this with the players.  This understanding leads to performance.”

*****

“People talk a lot of what performance is about.  But more than anything else, it’s about the audiences.  Good performers know that.”

*****

“A man learns to love a cat when he finds one that will become his teacher.”

*****

“A counterproductive distraction for an audience is demonstrating that poor performance is acceptable, even when the audience is just you.”

*****

“For a time, Dumbo believed in the the feather. Though there was no magic in it, belief got him going.  I prefer to use the big ear theory.”

*****

“Some folks who have no imagination think happiness is dependent on controlling & censoring those who do.”

*****

“Is it your performance that brings the customer back in after intermission?  If not, what makes you more valuable than a vending machine?”

*****

“Many claim to be able to sell you the key to success.  But to unlock it, you may find what is needed instead, is the right combination.”

*****

“If a man behaves honorably, I will trust him to be honorable. If a man tells me he is honorable, I’ll watch him like a hawk.”

*****

“When bandit decisions compromise with hapless decions, the result is often a series of stupid decisions.”

*****

“As we face another Veteran’s Day, I am reminded of brothers who did not turn their backs on each other. I’m alive today because of them. Once back home, some of us held in our hands different instruments, and joined other brothers. I salute those who believe in peace even enough to die for it, and sometimes harder, to live for it. But I do not salute, nor do I stand by those who only see their goal to be the profits of war.”

*****

“Once upon a time, the squirrels stayed in their nests wishing someone would bring them some nice acorns.  No, actually that never happened.”

*****

“The value or quality assigned to what you want is subjective.  Therefore, let no other person determine it for you.”

*****

“Once upon a time in a mythical age, there was a culture of men that behaved properly without supervision.  They had no need of policing.  Does your behavior require you to be monitored by police and standing armies? Think about your answer.  Would everybody say that?  What if they could?”

*****

“The visionary and the practical man together found what’s afoot, and what’s ahead, thus making the specific dream realistic and attainable.”

*****

“In theater, directors & actors know that character analysis is required to understand motivation.  Performance is the product.”

*****

“The business of theater is driven by the motivation of the characters. The theater of business is too, for those who expect performance.”

*****

“The image in the mirror is not real.  It is a reflection.  More than that, it is only a reflection from a particular point of view: yours.”

*****

“How many of you keep a red rubber clown nose in your glove compartment just in case of emergencies?  And you call yourself prepared?!?”

*****

“People are eager to buy a piper’s tune if he’ll tell ’em it’s ok to be themselves.  It takes the pressure off any likelihood they would need to learn something they don’t already think they know.  We live in a country where the population is scientifically illiterate, mathematically illiterate, and have little respect for intelligent literature.  So, it’s easy and popular to sell superstition and pseudo-science.  And it’s also quite dangerous to remain the people who buy it.”

*****

“People talk a lot of what performance is about.  But more than anything else, it’s about the audience.  They are, after all, the customers.”

*****

“All things said to a mother by her son that can be taken positively, should be.”

*****

“Thomas Edison said: ‘If we all did the things we are capable of doing, we would literally astound ourselves.’

Well, I think we should do something because it’s the right thing to do, and not just because you can.  We’re all capable of doing things we shouldn’t.”

*****

“Set moral code for compliance; set moral example for commitment.  My sons are now all extraordinary men in spite of me.”

*****

“What do you mean what does he mean?  If he knew that well enough to communicate it properly, you wouldn’t have to ask.”

*****

“Folks think they have no story unless the race they’re watching has a bad wreck in it.  Then, they think it’s their story.”

*****

“A geologist might study a rock attentively, and draw all kinds of conclusions.  But he might look at it a bit differently if it is thrown at him.”

*****

“The difference between taking credit and taking responsibility is, a man should take responsibility for his children, but give credit to their mother.  After all, she pretty much did all the work of getting them here.”

*****

“Our actions tell a story, and sooner or later, someone is watching your performance. Performance is critical to theater, and to business.”

*****

“The motivation – why an individual would do something positive or negative, is the important business of theater.  And believe it or not, it’s also  the critical theater of business.”

*****

“Sometimes you say something, and someone you care about listens, then acts on what you said.  And when it works…how powerful is that?!?”

*****

“As long as we believe the lie that people will commit to do the right thing just because we say it is a rule, we will continue the practice of encouraging, and even teaching people to lie.  And as we do, the horrors of abuses in our society will increase incrementally along with a heightened acceptance of narcissism.”

*****

“We often must first learn to forgive ourselves in order to know how to forgive others.  Not forgiving ourselves causes our judgements of others to often be much harsher than it should be, if even it should be at all.”

*****

“What if your team believes the “what’s in it for them” is right up there with the “what’s in it for you”?  What if they don’t believe it?”

*****

“A half truth is not a truth at all.  It’s a lie, and the intent of it is to lie.” – T. V. Brown (my grandfather)

*****

“I went into the forest with the master woodsman. I struggled to keep up. Anytime he wanted me to see him, I could. But at other times he would be invisible to me. And it was so that the other animals in the forest knew what the master did. Though right in front of me, I could not see them at all especially if what I was looking at was the bushes, rocks, and trees.

“You can eat that.” the master said later as I watched two squirrels. Then to my question he answered: “Oh yes, the fungus, the nuts, and the squirrel, too. Be careful about the mushrooms.” He reached down, gave a slight tug, and handed me some wild garlic. And the two squirrels just disappeared. 

I learned from a stream, from stumps, sticks, rocks, vines and trees. I studied some birds who spent very little time studying me at all. But on one day with many questions, the master guided me to some understanding that may have taken me years to do on my own. For an hour, we sat in a tree and did not say a word.”

*****

“Is there some reverse correlation between the nutritional value of a snack, and the brand being able to sponsor a football game on TV?”

*****

“Maybe all of us need to listen out for some sense, in case any comes calling. The hard part is going to be learning how to recognize it.”

*****

“If you listen, you can hear a person’s back story in a good way that they’ve not thought about.  Help them see it.  It’ll lift them up.”

*****

“I arrived at a conclusion early due to light traffic, thinking I was first.  But all the seats were taken, and there was no place to park.”

*****

“All things to all people?  I just want to be something to someone, and once in a while, anything to anybody!  You’re supposed to laugh now.”

*****

“Great secrets are found in books.  It’s the safest place to keep them since the hiding place will be so rarely discovered.”

*****

“You won’t be telling jokes in Heaven.  Those who would hear them, having been transformed to perfection, will always be able to predict the punchline rendering it useless, and of no benefit.  There are many pleasurable things besides humor.  According to clergy recently queried, none of those activities will be allowed either.  But don’t worry.  Most people, by the very standards they insist to be in place for admission, won’t ever be bothered with an invitation.  These people will often claim ‘actions speak louder than words.’  They claim the invitation comes from using words to declare they believe in something that their very actions, consistently and daily, prove they don’t.”

*****

“The visualization is important for the goal oriented.  But for the visionary, it’s a way of life.”

*****

“Your prime prospect is too busy?  Maybe their prime competitor needs to hear from you.  And when you call, tell ’em why.  They’ll love it! ”

*****

“If you’re calling ’em to buy something and they’re busy, call their competitor.  If you’re calling to sell ’em something and they’re busy, call their competitor.  And when the competitor answers, tell ’em why you called.”

*****

“After placing the horseshoe over his door, a man spent the day trying to convince his neighbor who carries a rabbit’s foot to do the same.”

*****

“The lucky horseshoe, the four-leafed clover, and the rabbit’s foot had a meeting.  Each one was certain the other two were wrong.”

*****

“Seems as though some people are following each other in circles. But I guess if the circle is big enough, a lot of folks won’t notice.”

*****

“People who have stinky ethics never seem to notice the odor.  They see nothing inherently evil in lying.  They can’t smell it.”

*****

“When people who call themselves Christians see no evil in causing children to stumble, think the Samaritan was a fool, and the man in the ditch had it coming, you will not expect them to treat women with respect when they support an ideology that sees them as little more than property.”

*****

“The fox who can’t or won’t reach the grapes thinks them not worthy?  What we learn is more than just how we did.”

*****

“He reached out his hand to his enemy who had fallen into the ditch, and did so without any expectation that the favor would ever be returned.  For it is not by striking your enemy that you win, but that you know how to transfer, thus manage the energy in such a way that the enemy cannot strike you.  And it is that you will not be struck or withdraw compassion that gains the respect of the adversary, unless they be truly evil.  Once on level ground, each views the other.  Greatness is for the one who knows that he himself was seen by the other as the other, and still won by understanding the power of respect.”

*****

“We cannot question any idea that has not yet come into our minds.  So perhaps some people have little need to question anything at all.”

*****

“A question being asked of my professor began: ‘A penny for your thoughts…’ was interrupted with the declaration that I’d grossly misunderstood the terms.”

*****

“In all matters of prejudicial determination that might warrant a desire to be held in a higher station than others, there is a requirement that these others, and always for entirely bigoted reasons, must be held in a lower one.”

*****

“I talk to strangers.  That doesn’t mean I don’t know who they are, it means that some of the people I talk to are strange.  In a casual conversation with a neighbor, I mentioned that one of the contributors to the economic downturn was the unregulated derivatives market.  She told me she didn’t shop there, and wasn’t even exactly sure where it was.  But she was glad they contributed, because everybody should do their part.  You can quote me on this.”

*****

“Have trouble understanding the difference between aggressiveness and assertiveness?  Leadership involves lending a hand, not a foot.”

*****

“In the fable, it was a child that pointed out the emperor didn’t have on any clothes. That’s how folks can connect with the story. The innocence of the child was a clear sign of not being afraid to say what it was seeing. Others struggled with the idea that they themselves were probably fools, not risking to discount some absurd premise they’d been instructed to believe. But if in the story, an adult had made the observation about the emperor’s nakedness, folks would expect that individual to be ridiculed, cast out of society, or even executed. Some similar points of a lesson might have emerged, but the deeper, more practical interpretation that would linger and have profound influence on social control, would be the deep rooted fear of being seen as not conforming. Furthermore, that to not conform would be a sign unworthiness.”

*****

“Some people like to talk about what offends them.  Overall, I’m more disappointed by what doesn’t.”

*****

“Equitable leadership begins with the ability to recognize how others want to see themselves, as shown by how they behave.”

*****

“There are many kinds of pigeon hole systems used to categorize people, some more interesting or valid than others. When discussing cars, a group of men used terms such as:

Ford, Lincoln, Chevrolet, Buick, Chrysler, Mercedes, Bentley, and Rolls Royce.

In another group, some women called them:

Red, Blue, Green, Yellow, Gray, White, Black, and Magenta.

I once worked with a man who said:

‘There are only two kinds of people:Those who divide everything into two groups, and those who don’t.'”

*****

“Folks have hobbies usually involving trouble or expense.  I try to keep the expense part to a minimum, but trouble sets its own standard.”

*****

“The sequel to one boring story is often another.”

*****

“I guess it’s nice to have a pretty bowl, but isn’t the quality of the soup more important?  Seems like a lot of folks just look at the bowl.”

*****

“One of the best features of a good meal is that it improves the flavor of the cigar that follows it.”

*****

“Those who will untie are opposed by those who will knot.”

*****

“Those who’ve quit learning prefer to live in the past.  But how far back depends on when they quit learning.”

*****

“True story:  I went to pick up a ‘to go’ order, and the bill was $ 18.12.  I casually mentioned we’d fought a war in 1812.

The cashier asked:   ‘Really? Which one?’
Me:   ‘The war of 1812.’
Her:   ‘Oh.  (pause) Was that the one with Abraham Lincoln?’

Even though it wasn’t table service, I handed her a twenty, two nickels and two pennies, and told her to just put the change in the tip jar.  She put the 12 cents in the jar, and put the 20 in the cash drawer.”

*****

“How do people, who make decisions all the time that only bandits would make, look other people in the eye?”

*****

“In 21st century America, political decisions will be motivated by the same principal reasons they were in the 20th century:
a.) Reactionary misunderstandings of the truth;
b.) Calculated greed fueled by keeping the truth misunderstood.”

*****

“The more the world seems to want to compress thought into smaller packages, the more I’m inclined to take a walk. Take a long walk without a stopwatch or stride monitor. If a side path looks interesting, take it. See of course, but touch and smell, and listen. And if you decide to paint a picture of your walk with words, use all the colors you want, with a variety of brush strokes as your story compels. And, use as large a canvas as is required to hold them. But if all you feel you need to draw resembles a postage stamp, use Twitter.”

*****

“I’ve tried farming and I’ve tried golf.  I did better with a small garden of beans, corn, squashes and peppers than I ever did with a driving range, and came to harvest time sooner than it would take me to finish 18 holes of golf with a score even worth mentioning.”

*****

“In order to sell, it must serve.  Folks pull into service stations when they feel they “need” something, not just a desire to buy something.  We like being served more than we like being sold to.  Recently, I took my mother to a cafeteria.  She was eyeing some fruit salad and almost walked on by, when a lady behind the counter moved the biggest one with the most strawberries closer to the front.  She smiled when making eye contact with mother.  Mother smiled back, and put the salad on her tray.  The sale was in the service…and of course the added value of two extra big ole strawberries.”

*****

“Respect is often a function of trust. Loving is an action. It isn’t easy if trust is not in place, and when it isn’t, respect lurks in a dark hallway looking for an exit.”

*****

“The medium of exchange for some things is money, but the exchange between friends that confirms the deal is often just a smile.  Friendship Dues are paid in full when you realize they aren’t even necessary.  But a downpayment may be required.”

*****

“You can make friends with an O’possum. But it’s a good idea not to grab one until you’re fairly certain the friendship has firmed up.”

*****

“And forgimmus our trespossums…”

*****

“A bridge out behind you is important if you must return, or become aware of others who might need to know about it.  Otherwise, look ahead.”

*****

“Not all become artists in any discipline. Bill was 55 years old.  He’d had 3 months driving experience 160 times.”

*****

Some CMO’s seem to have forgotten that what marketing is intended to do is to find a way to bring the buyers and the products or services in contact with each other so that an apparent fit will seem plausible.

*****

In the 80’s, some businesses ran into issues because the programmers who wrote their software loved programming so much, and loved playing with all the things computers could do.  The child of that became a world of overworked and underpaid IT people; the grandchild is the beautiful website that does everything except help the person who went to it find what they were looking for.

*****

Don’t confuse the strategic with the tactical.  Marketing is intentionally strategic.  Closing the sale is tactical, and when sales is all short-term focussed; all about the now, their tactics can tear down all the strategic bridges necessary for the company to reach it’s objective with the “market share”.

*****

“For me, marketing is seldom more than stopping by the store to pick up a loaf of bread, and to see if anything has been marked down in the meat department.”

*****

“I’ve noticed lots of “religious” people spend a lot of time focused on hate. And for some reason, when it is reciprocated, they cannot for the life of them understand why.”

*****

“Have televangelists clamored to tell us the snow and ice plaguing several southern states is God’s punishment for the way they treat orphans, widows, the jobless, the homeless, the mentally ill, and the poor in general? No, they have not. Since the subject seems to have little to do with sex, they lost all interest in it.”

*****

“The greatest thing people fear about new information is that some of it might be true, and especially so if any of it challenges either their belief disorders, or their wishful thinking.”

*****

“Seek out the obscure and esoteric. Sometimes, artists you’ve never heard of before can be quite refreshing.”

*****

“We might be still and even be quiet.  But while our minds are preparing what we intend to say next, we won’t be actively listening to much of anything else.  The risk of not hearing is to risk misunderstanding.  Then, the logical points of an argument we didn’t even hear could cause our own rebuttal to, not only look foolish, but become a declaration to all others around that in fact, we were just not listening. To be certain we are right even when we’re not is no indication of an open mind.”

*****

“There are often at least two sides to an argument, and it is not so unusual that all of them are wrong.”

*****

“Some folks wait all their lives hoping someone will tell their story for them. But often the best person to tell it is…you.  And when you tell it through some action, especially one of kindness to a total stranger, they might learn to make it their story, too.  And if the story you tell is attached to some unkind act, consider those things about you that are likely to be remembered.”

*****

“Freedom is a byproduct of moving closer to understanding. For without it, self-reliance, which is dependent on active thinking rather than passive acceptance of only things others have decided for you, will not happen. Those who allow themselves to be ruled my mind laws are slaves inside their own heads. Bigotry on the other hand, has a foundation of misunderstanding, not just the behaviors of others, but of the very nature of the world around them.”

*****

“To choose a happiness over sadness is the opportunity afforded by moving closer to an understanding of those things, when left misunderstood, will cause us to be fearful, angry, and therefore hurtful to ourselves and others. Peacefulness is the purest form of freedom to be experienced by a self-reliance determined to find it. And some who would wish for a good day, will choose instead to not make it one.”

*****

“To not make waves, rock the boat, or speak out, could imply you’re satisfied withe course your boat is taking and how it is being sailed.  But often what we see, instead of corrective dialogue to find solutions, is that the passengers and crew argue over what color to paint the boat…while it sinks.”

*****

“Happy Columbus Day?  With the aid of guns, germs and an insatiable appetite for the instant gratification of delusional moral superiority; the itch caused by greed and the covetousness of the wealth of others, invaders from the Old World” managed to kill 95% of the population already living here in the “New World”. But according to some, this genocide was a part of “Manifest Destiny”, which was supposed to be the direct will of a gentle and loving deity, thus the slaughter and of men, women, and children, and the destruction of good bit of the nature that sustained them, was justified. The remaining 5% were robbed of all their resources, oppressed, and forced into poverty so the conquerors could send missionaries into their camps to make absolutely certain those natives would never again rise to any greatness as a people.”

*****

“There’s a wealth to be found in loving offered by a child. And if it be withheld, a poverty exists that would starve happiness to death.”

*****

“At times I feel some of the abomination aimed in my direction was earned by due diligence and hard work.  Often especially proud of it if it is the product of some rare occasion when I’d have a go at a kindness, and not expecting to be paid.  For in such times as that, those who treat me disparagingly and hold me in contempt validate my efforts far greater than I could do alone, only armed with the presumption of morality as a weapon.  Such a tool as presumption is often dangerous otherwise, as using it often wields great harm to all concerned…including the wielder.”

*****

“It’s not what you look at that matters, it’s what you see.”                                        ~ Henry David Thoreau

“It is what we think we see that motivates how we react to it.  But what we think we see can at times be just an illusion.  The chance of overcoming that is directly related to our commitment (or lack of it) to want to move closer to understanding.”

*****

“Fear does not steer as well as understanding, and tends to take impulsive risks instead of calculated ones. Therefore those who allow fears, often irrational, to drive decision making, are inclined to increase the chances of harm done to themselves and to other people and things. It’s very difficult to get much of a war or a riot, or a lynching started without it.”

*****

“Some folk’s idea of “positive thinking” is little more than sitting on the railroad tracks holding an imaginary can of train repellent.”

*****

“Casually observing driving behaviors here in Georgia suggests Hell may soon be running out of bats.”

*****

“The artist who understands what we are inclined to see can alter our perceptions, and take us intentionally to visualizations quite different from reality. And while they do it by employing crafts and skills, the art of it occurs when their imagination is a step beyond just mastering applications.”

*****

“I never hire anybody that can’t beat me in an honest game of marbles. One of the first indications is that they can find theirs.”

*****

“Throughout history, about the worst behaviors committed by human beings, and often displayed with a great deal of cruelty, are direct manifestations of things they claim to believe. But when their beliefs are analyzed in light of those behaviors, the only logical resulting conclusion possible is that both their beliefs and their behaviors are based entirely in absurdities.”

*****

“Some think the world is flatter than others think it is. Some wish to modify the concept of flatness, and consider doing so to be a reformation of sorts. Then there is the question of corners, some feeling they are very sharp, with others clinging to the notion of rounded corners. Purists reject the idea of rounded, as such could lead to questions about the earth itself being round–a belief held by an odd group who believe paying attention to facts is a reasonable thing to do. The Right-Angle Squarists are angry with the Parallelogramists (often arguing with the Rhomboid denomination within their own sect) , and both are at odds with the Pentagramists who believe in five corners. Since man is thought to be the most intelligent animal on the planet, it is fairly certain they will go to war over their differences, all of which are completely idiotic nonsense. I’m sure antelopes would do it too, if they were smart like we are. As it is, their small cerebral cortex has little room for superstition.”

*****

“The details of ignorance are often compiled in a list of things being ignored, so they should not be presumed to be intentional.”

*****

“When a person believes all wrongs are the fault of others, the only filter left that postpones desires for instant gratification, is fear.”

*****

“When greed connects with food, it becomes gluttony. Some think it is a selfishness, but I suspect it is the antithesis of that. Gluttony misunderstands what is good for the self, thus makes a habit of damaging self. Entire cultures and societies have indulged in practices that cause long term and irreparable harm, which is not a pursuit of happiness, but a misconception of it. Those who are under the spell of such a delusion will always kill the goose that lays golden eggs. They will gather unto themselves far more than they can eat, then stand guard over what remains until it rots rather than share it.”

*****

“Sometimes a tune comes into mind, the source of which is not immediately recognized. Perhaps it has been locked in the subconscious since childhood when some teacher played a record with the volume turned up. I think Bach and Handel’s works are now public domain. Some Baroque was hard driving 4/4 time, and some was 2/2 which is the binary forefather of MIDI. To steal an idea would be to try to take credit for it. Often the only things I ever really own are…my mistakes. But I’m younger than that now.”

*****

“This time of year, many get confused about when to clock their setbacks.”

*****

“Work can have personal benefits.  And when you know it also proves helpful to others, it can be considerably less tiresome.”

*****

“Peacefulness results from the process of moving closer to understanding, which cannot be accomplished without an open mind.”

*****

“Psychiatrist told me to lie on the couch. So, I sat down there, and started making up stuff, none of which was even remotely true.”

*****

“Often intrigued by the number of folks that don’t realize confidence and competence is not an equation.”

*****

“Be clean, be safe, and be nice. Think that about covers it.”

*****

” ‘Better than it has to be…’ might not be good enough, unless you know everything, and I don’t.”

*****