We don’t really need most of the things we buy. We just imagine we’d be happier with them.

…we don’t really need most of the things we buy. … We just imagine we’d be happier with them. – Virginia Postrel What does that mean? Sometimes the research on the quote is the most interesting part.  It was a quote that started with “As many a social critic has preached, …”, so it was […]

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A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life.

A man who views the world the same at fifty as he did at twenty has wasted thirty years of his life. – Muhammad Ali What does that mean? To me, this talks about how our experiences (especially when taken across 3 decades) should change our view. For a person still think the same after […]

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I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed.

I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life and that is why I succeed. – Michael Jordan What does that mean? This quote seems to imply the fruit of success grow from the ashes of failure.  How does one fail their way to success?  Well, outside politics, that is.  Well, you can […]

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A single question can be more influential than a thousand statements.

A single question can be more influential than a thousand statements. – Bo Bennett What does that mean? To me, it means that you can talk all you want.  All that does is reinforce what you already know, what you already think, what you already believe.  Telling other people this will reinforce it in them, […]

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Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about.

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing about. – Benjamin Franklin What does that mean? To me, it means (paraphrasing here) “get up off the couch and make something of yourself” or something to that end.  Either that, or you need to write something… not like this blog, something really interesting, something […]

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Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding.

Anger and intolerance are the enemies of correct understanding. – Mohandas Gandhi What does that mean? While the term “correct under-standing” shows up repeatedly in Buddhist writings, I am told by a reliable source (a Zen Assistant-Priest) that the English words mean exactly what you’d expect.  So, let’s start out with a definition of the […]

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The root of joy is gratefulness… For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful.

The root of joy is gratefulness… For it is not joy that makes us grateful; it is gratitude that makes us joyful. – Brother David Steindl-Rast What does that mean? To me, it means most people have it backwards.  We are generally grateful for something joyous, rather than taking joy in a situation that we […]

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By desiring little, a poor man makes himself rich.

By desiring little, a poor man makes himself rich. – Democritus What does that mean? Once again, we start with a quote that has been translated from another language, and many liberties will be taken by this author as to what might have been the meaning behind the original words, as translated by another.  Your […]

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Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character.

Weakness of attitude becomes weakness of character. – Albert Einstein What does that mean? To me, this talks of acquiescence to greater and greater ills.  Weakness in attitude: attitude towards what?  The second half, speaking of character, points to the weakness being in moral attitude. But how does this weakness apply to character?  My view […]

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You won’t help shoots grow by pulling them up higher.

You won’t help shoots grow by pulling them up higher. – Chinese Proverb What does that mean? Shoots, being a term for young plants, need to grow to be useful.  So the sooner they grow tall, the sooner you get to harvest them.  However, as this saying states, pulling on them doesn’t make them taller, […]

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As for me, all I know is that I know nothing.

As for me, all I know is that I know nothing. – Socrates What does that mean? This is probably one of the most famous quotes in all the world, as it was the one that caused Socrates to be declared by the Oracle at Delphi as the wisest man in the world.  In a […]

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You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.

You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation. – Plato What does that mean? I don’t know about you, but I don’t rush into friendships.  I tend to be guarded in my speech, cautious around topics that are controversial, and fairly mellow in public company.  […]

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For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream.

For my part I know nothing with any certainty, but the sight of the stars makes me dream. – Vincent Van Gogh What does that mean? What do you know with certainty?  Have you checked with Socrates about that? (that’s a joke – if you don’t get it, I’ll get around to it shortly)  More […]

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Its amazing what you can accomplish when you do not care who gets the credit.

Its amazing what you can accomplish when you do not care who gets the credit. – Harry S. Truman What does that mean? One of the things that seems to matter to important people, is the very status of being a very important person.  Tautological, yes, but true.  To some people, the idea that someone […]

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Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil.

Fear is pain arising from the anticipation of evil. – Aristotle What does that mean? Fear.  That’s a powerful word, if you let it be.  Think of the things you are afraid of.  Not all are “evil” in the classic good/evil viewpoint.  If we go with that, it really does fall apart pretty quickly, as […]

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