shortbread

short, sweet, and to-the-point — by Keith Elder

“What Steinbeck, Gibran, and Jesus have in common”

“I was born lost and take no pleasure in being found.” – Steinbeck

“Perplexity is the beginning of knowledge.” ~ Kahlil Gibran

“Don’t rush me…I’m waiting on the last minute.” — anonymous

I am a quote-aholic. The above are quotes I cut-and-pasted just this morning from people’s Facebook quotes. I have boxes filled with spiral-bound notebooks filled with incidental words of wisdom, humor, and inspiration.

I’m not sure where it started. Maybe with the little plaques on grandmother’s walls—strategically placed for maximum readership—in bathrooms, over kitchen stoves, on den or living room walls, on top of television sets.  Quotes ranged from “This is the day the Lord hath made….” to “All fishermen are liars except you and me—and sometimes I’m not so sure about you.”

My Mom and aunts picked up the subliminal teaching/programming technique as there were always meaningful quotations around the home.

“If you run out, please don’t shout.  Just pick me up, I’ll help you out.” (on a crocheted, emergency toilet paper roll cover.)

And even more meaningful quotes:

“Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; unrewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts. Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent….”—Calvin Coolidge.

Jesus quoted—God mostly. “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word (quote) that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”

What is that all about—I mean, the whole ‘quoting’ thing?  Maybe, we feel it validates us. Law is based on precedent—i.e., quoting from previous quotes in previous rulings. Maybe a quote resonates with our life struggles or joys and just “says it for us” at a particular moment in time.  Maybe it gives us a place to stand or a springboard to writing our own to-be-quotes.

They inspire. They provoke. They affirm. They connect. They support. They leave a person’s “Kilroy was here” on the cave walls of history.

What words will you leave?

The title of this little rambling is, “What Steinbeck, Gibran, and Jesus have in common.”  Answer: they’re all in my spiral-bound notebook.

Keith   2/28/2013

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