I remember doing research on a paper I was writing for a graduate class in English many years ago. I came across a quote that I didn’t write down, but it stuck in my mind indelibly for some reason. It said something like, “The seventeenth century definition of wit was the ability to hold two opposite ideas in one’s head and not judge either.” I wish I could find that because if that’s the definition of wit, I’ve got it. The following sayings have been gathered from my journals over the past 30 years. If some seem to contradict each other, just chock it up to my being witty.
A house divided makes a pretty good duplex.
I’m not all good, but I ain’t half bad.
I have found that all of my problems tend to resolve themselves as soon as I have taken care of them.
What lies behind us and what lies in front of us pales in comparison to what lies within us.
Being naive has never hurt me, at least not that I know of.
A good neighbor makes a good fence. I put one up. Haven’t seen my neighbor since.
Humans do battle with each other because they do not do battle with themselves.
Everything that looks effortless requires great effort.
Birds of a feather flock together because if they only have one feather, it could get really cold.
A picture is worth a thousand words. In your case, I’ll take a thousand words.
If a man fell alone in the woods without anyone else around, would any of the trees hear him?
One whose eyes are fixed on his own injustices will never see God. One whose eyes are fixed on God will never see his own injustices.
All the great thoughts in your head are not worth diddly until you write them down. THEN they’re worth diddly.
Life is a boat with a slow leak. It starts to sink the day we’re born and we’ve only got a limited amount of time to learn to swim to stable shores.
A dead end street is just a place to turn around.
I used to be an optimist, but I knew it couldn’t last!
The captain of a ship cannot always be in the boiler room shoveling coal.
I have a photographic memory, but they stopped making the film for it years ago.
I have a photogenic memory.
Q. What do you want to be when you grow up? A. Young.
I’m not an adult. I’m not! I’m not! I’m not!
Maya Angelou knows Why the Caged Bird Sings. I know Why the Grown Man Drinks!
For Sale by Neighbor!
Bumper sticker: No Hoking! Driver sleeping.
Loose lips may sink ships, but loose women float my boat!
I checked the map. Easy street doesn’t lead anywhere I want to go.
It usually takes two to make peace, but only one to make war.
Strike while the iron’s hot, but don’t use your fist.
Life’s like a nose: Don’t blow it in public.
It must take a lot of money to feed your high horse.
Jack of all trades, master of self.
THE END IS REAR!
The term “necessary evil” may be an oxymoron.
We’d be better off apart! If I was a part of you and you a part of me.
Want not, want not.
Perhaps what concerns God the most is not whether an action is right or wrong, but whether your heart is.
Learning history is useful. Learning from history is invaluable.
Do what you dream, not just what you think you’re capable of.
I’ve been meaning to form a procrastinator’s support group.
Honesty is the best policy, as long as you’ve done nothing wrong.
Lies are cheap. That’s why I bought so many.
40 is a tough age. It’s a time when you realize you’ve done nothing with your life and squandered all that potential. What a great relief that is!
Changing your situation isn’t the same thing as changing your life. You may change jobs, spouses, or houses, but still have the same life, filled with turmoil. A new life is inward, not outward.
My God, My God. Why have you remembered me?
My car runs on Penzoil. My marriage runs on turmoil.
What the Chinese need is Ruskin!
Using your intelligence to see God is like using a flashlight to see a star.
Relationships seem to be balanced precariously between the said and the not said.
Work is its own reward. It helps pass time that would otherwise not pass easily. And like kidney stones, you want time to pass easily.
People are not made for each other. They remake themselves for each other.
Believing you’re happy is the same as being happy, but believing you’re rich isn’t the same as being rich.
That’s about as useful as a barrel of ape farts.
Tombstone: He said nothing. But he said it very well.
When the concert was cancelled my friend asked if I was angry. I said, “No, but I am pretty disconcerted!”
Learning new things has never been a problem for me. Remembering them has.
The best way to change the past is to rearrange the present.
As I once told Einstein, I don’t think you understand the gravity of the situation.
Beauty fades, but so does ugly.
Many things that can’t be done by brainpower can be done through faith.
If you find yourself faced with the choice to commit suicide or go jogging, go jogging.
There’s more peace in self control than there is pleasure in self-indulgence.
If you want to be happy, you must set aside your physical desires for your emotional and spiritual needs.
Wishful thinking can also be called positive thinking.
I’m not lazy. I just get comfortable very easily.
Life is a symphony, and people, its instruments. Sometimes we play the bad, low, slow, sad parts. Other times we play the fun, flying, fancy parts. Sometimes we play the solo. But we all must play, and at times well-placed discord is as beautiful as harmony.
We are limited more by a lack of diligence than by inability.
Talk to a woman about money. Sit on a keg of gun powder smoking a cigarette. Had I known they were the same, I’d have chosen the latter.
When I married two girls at the same time, some people thought it was very small of me. But actually, it was bigamy.
On my life-insurance application, under “What else should we know about you?” I put: “Never been dead before.”
Life is like floating down a river. You look downstream a bit and plan to go somewhere, but as your goal approaches the current takes you somewhere else and you just have to make do with where you land. Or pull your boat back upstream.
Old McDonalds never die. They just become disenfranchised.
Danger! Inflammable temper. No smoking within 20 feet.
I’m afraid I’m your fearless leader.
Money is no object. The lack of it is!
Making money is an act of skill. Saving it is an act of will.
Though friends may come and go, there is always a wonderful emptiness to fall back on.
Putting the children to sleep is quite different from putting the dog to sleep.
It is much easier to handle not knowing exactly what it all means if you know exactly where you belong.
Question: What am I, chopped liver? Response: No. I actually like liver.
Love and lose indeed? Is this way truly better? I lost my love and friend one day. It felt best before I met her.
Why is it that when you’re in kindergarten, you get time out for bad behavior but in prison you get time out for good behavior?
The Oaf’s Oath Do you promise to tell the truth, the half truth, or everything but the truth? Everything but, your honor.
The one thing in my nature that has remained consistent throughout my life–through thick and thin, sun and rain, health and pain–has been my waffling.
To paraphrase Robert Kennedy, “Most people see things as they are and ask, ‘why?'”
My wife sees things as they are and asks, “Who did this? Who did this? Who did this!?”
Take your time. But don’t take mine!
Favorite quotes from others:
“Broken promises don’t bother me. I just wonder why’d they believe me in the first place.” –Jack Handy (I think).
“Oh! What a poor thing is human life in its best enjoyments! Subjected to imaginary evils, when it has no real ones to disturb it.” –From Pamela, widely considered to be the first novel in English.
Virtue is but the pedagogical prelude to the culminating insight which goes beyond all pairs of opposites. –Joseph Campbell Hero with a Thousand Faces
Certainty is fleeting. That’s why we must have faith. –Sister Juliene in Call the Midwife.