Bits of Wisdom

Here are some bits of wisdom I picked up over the years from people, books and film. Wherever possible I’ve made attribution.

“Never make a decision when you’re high in the sky or down in the dumps.” – my high school principal.

(On relationships) “If it isn’t fun in the beginning – forget it.” – female coworker

“When you first get married you should be having sex in every room of the house.” – same female coworker

“Marriage is society’s recognition of a deep spiritual and psychological process that occurs between two people. Most couples skip the process and just get married.” – my therapist

“Don’t get too wrapped up in dogma. Who knows? When we get to heaven there might be a Big Buddha laughing at us while we’re all running around going ‘Oh shit……!’” – a Catholic bishop

“The biggest asshole in a community is the guy who doesn’t change the toilet paper.” – a Trappist monk

“Look out for Number One.” – an old cop

“I never trusted a man who never smoked or drank.” – Abraham Lincoln.

“It’s easy to love people in China. It’s tougher to love the person living next door.” – I heard that one in confession

“Sometimes pathology matures into ability.” – a psychiatrist

“Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.” – Yoda

“It’s just a feeling. You don’t have to act on it.” – spiritual director

“Depression is anger turned inward.” - my shrink again.

“Sex isn’t life. But life’s impossible with out it.” – unknown

“Beware of the guy praying loudest in the amen corner.” – Harry S. Truman?

“Fighting should always be the last resort. But sometimes you just have to punch a guy in the nose.” – Unknown.

“No amount of money in the world is worth not being able to look at yourself in the mirror.” – Dad

“Some times the right thing is the terrible thing.” – unknown

“Love isn’t a feeling. It’s an act of will.” – spiritual director

“Count to ten.” – Mom

“Hell hath no fury like a woman scorned.” – William Congreve

“Never underestimate the power of giving a girl flowers.” – Unknown.

“No man is an island; but some are peninsulas.” – Robin Williams

“When you stare into an abyss for a long time, the abyss also stares into you.” – Nietzsche

“Suggesting evil is human doesn’t mean we can always understand it.” – Kanan Makiya

“With or without religion, you would have good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, that takes religion.” – Steven Weinberg

“When you’re young you want to change the world. When you’re older you just want to understand it.” - Unknown

Please feel free to leave your own little nuggets of wisdom in the comments section…………….


Bits of Wisdom — 98 Comments

  1. Life is infinitely stranger than anything which the mind of man could invent. We would not dare to conceive the things which are really merely commonplaces of existence.
    ~ Sir Arthur Conan Doyle

    It’s cool, Honey Bunny, we’re still cool.
    ~ Pulp Fiction

  2. “You cannot open up your heart without ever being hurt. The lady who doesn’t want dust in her house can board up the windows and doors, and then she’ll never have to dust, but she’ll be alone.” -Dr.Laura, a psychiatrist.

  3. The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself.
    ~ Friedrich Nietzsche

  4. “We are all born into this world as nothing more than
    a lump of clay. Purgatorium moulds the wicked man.”
    -Thomas P. Evans

  5. “I think any white guy who uses “yo” in public conversation should be kicked in the balls at least once a day” — WAITER!

  6. Deep in the human unconscious is the pervasive need for a logical universe that makes sense. But the real universe is always one step beyond logic. — Larry Niven

  7. “Any idiot can face a crisis — it is this day to day living that wears you down.”
    – Anton Chekhov

    (And by the way, Dr. Laura is NOT a psychiatrist. She’s not even a psychologist.)

  8. It is not the goal but the way there that matters, and the harder the way the more worthwhile the journey. ~ Wilfred Thesiger

  9. “Sometimes, you have to get punched in the nose to save yourself from getting kicked in the balls.”
    A friend’s dad

  10. “The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation.” -Henry David Thoreau

    “Freedom’s just another word for nothing left to lose.” -Janis Joplin

    “What doesn’t kill me makes me stronger.” -Albert Camus

  11. “Happiness resides not in possessions and not in gold; the feeling of happiness dwells in the soul.”
    – Democritus

    “The greatest thing you’ll ever learn is just to love and be loved in return.”
    – Moulin Rouge!

  12. “You are born into this world with only two things; your naked ass and your good word. If you get to a point where your word is no good, then your ass ain’t worth a damn either.”
    – My Mom

  13. “How do you teach a bear to ride a bicycle? Nail his feet to the pedals and beat the shit out of him with a stick…” – Jackie Martling

  14. the path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and tyranny of evil men….

    -Jules…Pulp Fiction

  15. But then again, there’s no point living if you can’t feel alive?—renard ( the villain in a james bond movie- the world is not enough)

  16. @mikokit: Are you sure the quote is “Love as thou wilt”? I’m not sure that makes sense. I ask because St Augustine said, “Love, and do as thou wilt.” Which is nice.

    Oh, and @kml: Janis Joplin may have sung “Freedom’s just another word for nothin’ left to lose,” but Kris Kristofferson’s the guy who wrote it.

  17. “When someone asks you if you’re a god, you say yes.” – Winston in Ghostbusters

    “It’s good to be the king.” – ‘Mel Brooks: History of the World, Part I’

    “The life of this world is nothing but a game and a distraction.” – Livestock, Line 32, Qur’an

  18. “It’s supposed to be hard! If it wasn’t hard, everyone would do it. The hard… is what makes it great!”

    Jimmy Dugan – A League of Their Own

  19. “Be yourself. Everyone else is already taken” – Oscar Wilde

    “not all who wander are lost” – JRR Tolkien

    “Once the game is over, the king and pawn go back in the same box” – Italian proverb

  20. “Don’t take life too seriously; no one gets out alive anyway.” – Unknown

    “Love the life you live, live the life you love.” – Bob Marley

    “You laugh at me because I’m different. I laugh at you because you’re silly.” – Kai

    “Awesome sauce is sauce that is awesome. Awesome sauce.” – Dan L.

  21. “There’s no greater act of revenge on an enemy than an act of kindness.”

    I don’t remember who said it, but watching an asshole’s face change to shock in an instant is worth every forced out word.

  22. “If you never do anything else with your life, learn to love yourself.” –high school econ teacher

    “When I think of normal, I think of mediocrity, and mediocrity scares the fuck out of me.” –Gillian Anderson

  23. “To affect change: survive and subvert.” – Graduate School Education Professor

    Explaining why ostriches have wings but cannot use them: “That which does not kill you, leaves you alive.” “And you have to be alive to sexually reproduce.” – High school Biology Teacher

  24. “Today is the tomorrow you worried about yesterday” unknown.

    “Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem” my dad.

  25. Once in your life – if you are very lucky you will meet the person who divides in into the time before you meet them and the time after

  26. ‘When the Tree of Life is planted in expectation, its’ only fruit is burden, and disapointment.’ -Douglas Adams (Dirk Gentley’s Holistic Detective Agency)

    Be kind to other people, they out-number you six billion to one(6,000,000,000:1).- The Principia Discordia {Fnord}

    ‘If you always do the right thing, you will always be beyond reproach.’ -Mark Izard

  27. “God grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.” ~ Reinhold Niebuhr

  28. I love Nietzsche…

    “For believe me: the secret for harvesting from existence the greatest fruitfulness and greatest enjoyment is – to live dangerously.”
    –Friedrich Nietzsche


    “You can’t lick the system, but you can certainly give it a damned good fondling!”

    “Any day spent above ground is a good day.”

  29. “Are you going to bark all day, little doggy, or are you going to bite?”

    “We come into this world not knowing, why should we enter the next any differently?”

    “Be the change you’d like to see in the world.”

    “Karma is a BITCH!”

  30. Human beings are like parts of a single body; if one part is wounded, the rest hurts. You, unmoved by the pain of others, are not worthy of being called human.
    -Saadi (12th century Sufti poet)

  31. “Only two things are infinite: the universe, and human stupidity. And I’m not so sure about the former.” – Albert Einstein

    “You must not lose faith in humanity. Humanity is an ocean; if a few drops of the ocean are dirty, the ocean does not become dirty.” – Mohandas K. Ghandi

    “God is a comedian playing to an audience too afraid to laugh.” – Voltaire

  32. “Then the little boy with his lollipop ran happily after the ice cream truck, ate shit, and died. The world continued on.”

  33. “When love beckons to you, follow him,
    Though his ways are hard and steep.
    And when his wings enfold you yield to him,
    Though the sword hidden among his pinions may wound you.
    And when he speaks to you believe in him,
    Though his voice may shatter your dreams
    as the north wind lays waste the garden.
    For even as love crowns you so shall he crucify you.” — Kalil Gibran, The Prophet

  34. “Be who you are and say what you feel because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.” Dr. Seuss

  35. Intelligence and knowledge are not synonymous. Intelligence is evinced, through a judicious application of knowledge and intuitiveness. –Dr. B.T McClelland (My High School Electronics Teacher)

  36. “Come what, come may, time and hour runs through the roughest day.” -William Shakespeare

    P.S. bought your book yesterday after reading a page or two in the bookstore. Your a very gifted writer. Being a former waiter for many years, I absolutely love your insights. I can totally relate to every story.

  37. It’s great to eat your cake and have it too, but who wants an old, stale, moldy, mouse-eaten cake sitting around?

    Those who come to New York to avoid being the village idiot may find that in a city of 8 million, they are still the village idiot

    Seek mastery over eminence. Those who seek only eminence will go to their grave seeking, never having achieved mastery

  38. “push this generation of kids to stand and fight for the right to say something you might no like” -eminem

    “the race is long, and, in the end, it’s only with yourself” – baz lurman

  39. “We must all fear evil men, but there is another kind of evil which we must fear most. And that is; the indifference of good men.” Monsignor — Boondock Saints.

    One of my favorite quotes. I love it. and it is very, very true.

  40. “You can do anything you want to do. Pray, believe, have faith, visualize, dream, trust, and work your ass off.”
    -Maddie Paguyo, 14 years old

  41. “a friend is there for you when they rather be somewhere else”

    “If you thought what you did yesterday was great, you have not done enough today”

    “if you don’t get the results you want, you simply didn’t work hard enough” – no matter how much effort you put into it, it still wasn’t enough

  42. “There’s only one thing we can truly control – whether we are good or evil.” – Oma Desala

    “There is a greater darkness than the one we fight. It is the darkness of the soul that has lost its way. The war we fight is not against powers and principalities, it is against chaos and despair. Greater than the death of flesh is the death of hope. The death of dreams. Against this peril we can never surrender. The future is all around us, waiting in moments of transition, to be born in moments of revelation. No one knows the shape of that future, or where it will take us. We know only that it is always born…in pain.” – G’Quan & G’Kar

  43. The first person to raise a fist is the first person who has run out of ideas. — Malcolm McDowell as HG Wells in “Time After Time” (slightly paraphrased)

    We have done the impossible, and that makes us mighty. — Nathan Fillion as Capt. Reynolds in “Firefly”

  44. Money lost- Nothing lost.
    Health lost- Something lost.
    Character lost – All lost.

    Never make significant decisions when you’re naked.
    — Old dude i met at the mechanic

  45. Maximize your options- My Dad
    Patience is a virtue, learn it if you can. Seldom found in women and never found in men- My old English teacher
    Hate isn’t the opposite of love, apathy is.- My 11th grade English teacher

  46. “I have so much hate that it has turned into love”
    “I am so beautiful that sometimes, people weep when they see me. And it has nothing to do with what I look like, really, it is just that I gave myself the power to say that I am beautiful, and if I can do that then maybe there is hope for them too. And the great divide between the ugly and the beautiful will cease to be, because we are all what we choose.
    –Margaret Cho

    “When adults say, “Teenagers think they are invincible” with that sly, stupid smile on their faces, they don’t know how right they are. We need never be hopeless, because we can never be irreparably broken.”
    –John Green

    And, something from one of your own entries that I thought was beyond amazing:
    “I like looking at the back of the tapestry because it’s a lot like real life. A mess. There seems to be no order or beauty…No one is unimportant. We all play a part in designing life’s tapestry. You never know what your effect on people is going to be. When you think the world is ugly, makes no sense, remember there is always another side.” from your Byzantine monk god father.

  47. “Where words fail, music speaks.” – Hans Christian Andersen

    “A man is not finished when he is defeated, he is finished when he quits.” – Richard M. Nixon

    “How we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.” – Anne Dillard

  48. “Ok your 2 minutes are up. Stop your crying and tell me what your going to do to fix this.”-Mom

    “If you can’t win the race make the person ahead of you beat the record.”-Poster in History class

  49. “It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living.”
    – Terry Pratchett

  50. “The more I learn the more I realize I don’t know” – I don’t know who said it first…

    “A Kiss is a lovely trick designed by nature to stop speech when words become superfluous.” – Ingrid Bergman

    “Fatigue makes cowards of us all” – Dad

    “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all” – Mom (if ONLY it were that easy)

  51. “when i was 14 i though my father an imbecile. upon turning 21 i was amazed at how much he’d learned in 7 years.” -Sammuel Clemmens

  52. “No sympathy for the devil; keep that in mind. Buy the ticket, take the ride…and if it occasionally gets a little heavier than what you had in mind, well…maybe chalk it off to forced conscious expansion: Tune in, freak out, get beaten.”
    ― Hunter S. Thompson, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas

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