Archive | understanding

Teachers open the door but you must walk through it yourself.

Teachers open the door but you must walk through it yourself. – Chinese Proverb What does that mean? The world is a big place. There are many things to do, and many places to visit. But what if you don’t know about it, or have fears or worries about what you do know? This is […]

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When anger enters the mind, wisdom departs.

When anger enters the mind, wisdom departs – Thomas à Kempis What does that mean? Anger. In moderation it can be somewhat useful as a motivator. But how rarely is it used in moderation? It seems to run past moderation rather quickly, on the path to excess far too often. That is the warning of […]

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I am responsible for what I spoke, but not for what you understood.

I am responsible for what I spoke, but not for what you understood. – Unknown What does that mean? To me, this is a tale of responsibility, and to whom it belongs. We are responsible for the words we say, but not for how others choose to hear them. Others might hear what you say, […]

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Good judgement comes from experience. Experience comes from bad judgement.

Good judgement comes from experience. Experience often comes from bad judgement. – Mulla Nasrudin What does that mean? This quote about judgement is hard to source, having been attributed to dozens of people all the way back to the 13th century. But through the centuries, it rings true. The quote, usually in two parts, says […]

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Ab uno disce omnes. – From one, learn all.

Ab uno disce omnes. – From one, learn all. – Virgil What does that mean? This has usually been translated to mean that we would be well served to learn the general rule which governs most situations. We must also remember that where there is a rule, there is always an exception, and that we […]

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There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope.

There is no hope unmingled with fear, and no fear unmingled with hope. – Spinoza What does that mean? To me, this quote describes the simple duality of the future. Hope and fear, they are the two sides of the same coin. Anticipation, expectation, or our view of the future; that is at the heart […]

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It would help if there were greater understanding that anger never helps to solve a problem.

It would help if there were greater understanding that anger never helps to solve a problem. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? This quote, to me, is about the futility of anger. Anger is many things to many people, but it is rarely useful in solving problems. More precisely, if anger is used in the […]

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The events of life bear most harshly upon the inexperienced; the yoke is heavy to the tender neck.

The events of life bear most harshly upon the inexperienced; the yoke is heavy to the tender neck. – Seneca What does that mean? This is another great quote, but which had to be trimmed substantially in order to fit on Twitter. Based on a slightly different translation, a longer version is: “Cruel fortune bears […]

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It is as foolish to fear death as it is to fear old age; for just as old age follows youth, thus death follows old age.

It is as foolish to fear death as it is to fear old age; for just as old age follows youth, thus death follows old age. – Seneca What does that mean? This is another quote shortened for use on Twitter. The full text of Section 30 (or XXX in Roman Numerals), “ON CONQUERING THE […]

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The talk of the ignorant is like the rumblings which issue from the belly.

The talk of the ignorant is like the rumblings which issue from the belly. – Demetrius the Cynic What does that mean? I like this quote. It is one of the snarkier bits of Ancient Wisdom with which I have ever had the pleasure to be acquainted. Can you feel the burn? I’m glad I […]

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If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to.

If you realize that all things change, there is nothing you will try to hold on to. – Lao Tzu What does that mean? This is another Twitter friendly short quote. The longer version of the quote goes into the ultimate change, and why not fearing it leaves you free to do anything: “If you […]

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Love and compassion are qualities that human beings require just to live together.

Love and compassion are qualities that human beings require just to live together. – Dalai Lama What does that mean? I like this quote as it talks about a fundamental truth which we often ignore, despite knowing it to be true. Even as children, we understood this. We all live together on this planet. In the […]

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A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided.

A real decision is measured by the fact that you’ve taken a new action. If there’s no action, you haven’t truly decided. – Tony Robbins What does that mean? This is a quote I first heard years ago, and it really hit home. Why don’t we take action after we make a decision? Because we […]

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He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words.

He who does not understand your silence will probably not understand your words. – Elbert Hubbard What does that mean? Life isn’t just about talking. Sometimes, we just sit in silence. Sometimes it’s in the library, other times it is at home. But silence often speaks louder than words. And I’m not talking only about […]

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“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?”

“Should old acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind?” – Robert Burns What does that mean? This is a line from an old Scottish poem and song. It is a traditional ‘ending’ song, asking the rhetorical question “what if we forgot our old friends?” The usual answer is that we won’t, we’ll remember them, and raise […]

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