May 19, 2010
What quotations are most meaningful to you?
How many times have you read or heard a joke and in five minutes you couldn’t remember it if your life depended on it? I suspect that is also true for most of us when it comes to quotations like this one.
You’ve undoubtedly read a quotation that comes right before a chapter in a book. It is related to the topic. You find it inspiring and important it at the time. But later you aren’t likely to remember it.
That’s not a critical problem in the midst of all the many things we have to remember. We can all live without recalling quotations if we have absorbed the lessons they convey, though it would help if we remembered jokes a little more often.
However, I believe some quotations are worth considering for more than a few moments. As I said in a recent post, Can You Speak Only Love for 24 Hours?, where I said that, “There is no doubt that words have the power to draw us closer or tear us apart.” Some of those powerful words — the ones that draw us closer — can come from our own hearts. Others are spoken, or written, by other people who are able to use words that convey an idea that reaches into our soul and inspires us to lead a kinder, gentler, more peaceful life
It is these that I want to focus on today and in future posts from time to time. They are the quotations, affirmations, or scripture verses (from all religions) that express and encourage qualities of the human spirit.
I’ve long wanted to include a feature on the blog of just such quotations. Then yesterday I was visiting the website of Linda Graham, a marriage and family therapist I met at a conference in Washington a couple months ago. She was one of those I decided to e-mail rather than simply add her to my list of people I would e-mail in the future. (See When Perfectionists Need to Stop Making Lists.)
That was when I discovered a number of wonderful quotations on her site — written on what looks like torn pieces of paper, much like one would write a quotation you heard and didn’t want to forget. They seemed to clearly express who she is and her approach to change and transformation. And that’s when I decided to use the quotation from her site as a kick-off of a feature I am calling “Quotations Worth Considering.”
Rather than notice a quotation at the beginning of a post that you will read and then forget as you continue down the page, I suggest on posts of Quotations Worth Considering that you answer yourself these five questions:
1. Have I heard or read this quotation before?
2. Do I agree with the idea it expresses? Why?
3. Am I willing to remember it for the rest of the day?
4. How would the world be a better place if I told someone about it?
5. Am I willing to do that?
Good quotations are like good news that needs to be shared so others will benefit from the ideas they express. Imagine what might happen if everyone reading this blog consciously told others about the famous, and not so famous, quotations they find here, words that express qualities like love, compassion, generosity, peace, forgiveness, and serenity.
If you read a sentence or phrase that is worth considering in a book or magazine, or hear it on television, please send it to me. Let me know where you found it. I would love to pass it on, just as I hope you pass on this quotation by Ralph Waldo Emerson. Such words can make the world a better place.