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My Mom, Pearl Brock, @Age 5

(wc 522)

My mother was known for reciting bits of poetry, entire poems, or quoting different aphorisms about life that she had memorized over the course of her years.  I thought I would share with you three of her “Fabulous Facts of Life,” and then a few facts of life from some other people who are perhaps more well-known than my mother, but none any wiser.


I do not remember a refrigerator in any of the houses I lived in with my parents that did not have this short poem stuck to the door.  All of our family knew it by heart. The author is unknown:

Isn’t it strange that princes and kings
and clowns who caper in sawdust rings
and common people like you and me
are builders for eternity?
Each is given a bag of tools,
a shapeless mass, and a book of rules,
and each must build, ere life has flown
a stumbling block, or a stepping stone.”

This is another thing she quoted often, and the originator of the aphorism is unknown, although I believe many people have been given credit for it.  It goes hand in glove with the old aphorism “Bloom where planted,” and it is:

No matter where you go, there you are.”

When she was in fifth grade, Mom made a plaque with the following inscription, again, the author is unknown.  (My brother Dick still has the plaque.)  She not only quoted this, she lived it:

The thing that goes the furthest toward making life worthwhile,
that costs the least and does the most, is just a pleasant smile.
It’s full of worth and goodness, too, with genial kindness blent –
it’s worth a million dollars, and it doesn’t cost a cent.”

Now for a few other famous and fabulous facts of life:

Advice is what we ask for when we already know the answer but wish we didn’t.”
~Erica Jong

If you don’t control your mind, someone else will.”
~John Allston

Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately, it kills all its pupils.”
~Hector Berlioz

Two things are infinite:  The universe, and human stupidity.  And I’m not sure about the universe.”
~Albert Einstein

Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain, and most fools do.”
~Benjamin Franklin

Freedom is not worth having if it does not include the freedom to make mistakes.  Always.”
~Mahatma Mohandas K. Gandhi

If you haven’t found anything you are willing to die for, you aren’t fit to live.”
~Martin Luther King, Jr.

There is no conversation more boring than the one where everybody agrees.”
~Michael de Montaigne

The optimist thinks that this is the best of all possible worlds, and the pessimist known it.”
~J. Robert Oppenheimer

And one more. . .this one again, by an author unknown:

Let your dreams be bigger than your fears, your actions louder than your words, and your faith stronger than your feelings.”


Now – go out and do some quoting and “aphorising” – but only just enough. . .

P.S.  One more thing. . .

Living on Earth may be expensive, but it includes an annual free trip around the Sun.”
~Author Unknown