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.”
“If you don’t control your mind, someone else will.”
“Time is a great teacher, but unfortunately, it kills all its pupils.”
“Two things are infinite: The universe, and human stupidity. And I’m not sure about the universe.”
“Any fool can criticize, condemn, and complain, and most fools do.”
“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.”