Mar. 12, 2019

Quoting Wise Ideas

She (as my critic and self-appointed judge) asked in what seemed to be a conspiratorial manner, "Why do you use quotes"? I could have responded, "Why do you ask"? I did the next best thing...I thought about her question. 

Reading good books or watching fine movies tend to change our way of thinking as we relate to others if we are constantly trying to improve our lives. Some quotes by a heroic character who puts the bad guy in his or her place stick with us and builds our arsenal of ideas to use in our own journey of life.

Have you ever noticed that the people you hang around tend to shape our lives and foretell our future? People tend to put us in a position where they can control us. My critic had good intentions. But her question is worth exploring. First, I am conscious that we could misuse quotes simply to appear smart. But, I guess it's good to imitate smart people while being careful not to act the part of a smart alec. Assuming one is genuine and has a great attitude toward themselves and others let's answer the question. Here's a list of some of my reasons to use quotes in communicating with others:

  1. Time-wise: One can get a point across almost instantly. I like to explain things but quotes often work to maximize what little time available in our busy world.
  2. Practice is good: Using quotes lets us practice what we learn and helps us remember the point we're trying to make while setting a good example for others to follow.
  3. Assistance helps: While one may not have a big name we can call upon the wisdom of a person who, Shakespeare, Emerson, Jesus or any other person who engaged the practice to effectively tell their story. 
  4. Respect always in order: It is a compliment to people when we give them the opportunity to see our point of view and they arrive at a similar conclusion as we did. They are being given the courtesy of being considered intelligent enough to see our point of view on their own. Don't forget to give the quote proper credit to its author if known.
  5. Natural appeal: At least if you're in the business of regular communication and a quote "says it all", why not use a memorable quote to make the point?

How powerful, memorable and effective is the quote made by the "Duke" for those who love him? You can see a whole philosophy of being courageous in a powerful way. The message is clear and well-stated in a few words. Follow through even though you may be fearful. and just do not give up in your worthy cause, no matter what! This brings to mind Susan Jeffers book, Feel The Fear And Do It Anyway. Fear? Yes! "Keep on keeping on" (Anonymous). "Stay with it" if it's worth it. As Winston Churchill stated, "Never give in. Never give in. Never, never, never--in nothing, great or small, large or petty--never give in..."

Your true friends will appreciate your wise and occasional use of fitting quotes. Your critics may not.