What are your favorite quotes, sayings, and words of wisdom?
Goodness, there are so many inspiring and profound statements and questions to choose from. I think that what comes to my mind first are the sayings of my parents, grandparents, and other wise souls. I also think of Bible-based excerpts that I draw upon for strength, comfort, and encouragement. I’m just going to share several that come first to mind.
FROM MY FAMILY
Many of these you have probably heard of and said. There seems to always be slight variations across the US and around the world.
From my maternal grandfather: “A person can have all of the book smarts in the world but not have a plumb nickel of common sense“
From my maternal grandfather: “Make sure when you walk you look down to keep from stepping on a snake or something.” My grandfather said that he could always tell when “city folks” like me were around, because we never looked down while walking, but “country folks” know to look down and look around. He taught me that when I was a child and I always think of him while walking and seeing objects and dangers right in the nick of time, and almost always before other city folks! 😬
From my mom: “You’re not a toilet seat. Don’t let people crap on you!”- now that is a great reminder and an even better visual. I don’t know why that’s the first thing I thought about when I thought of my mom’s “Motherisms”.
From my mom: “It doesn’t hurt to ask, the only thing they can tell you is ‘no’“- my mom truly believes this and lives by this principle.
From my dad: “When trust is lost it’s hard to regain…”- this reminds me to be responsible with the trust that I’ve earned and not to risk destroying it, as it’s difficult to rebuild.
From my dad: “Clean while you cook”- I know you may be saying, “What, why is this a favorite saying?” Well, it’s simple, it has been the guiding tip for me as I cook. I rarely finish cooking and have a dirty and cluttered kitchen. Cleaning as I cook helps reduce the workload after a meal is finished. This is extremely beneficial when you’re the one cooking and cleaning.
From my dad: “Don’t say you can’t, just say you don’t want to“- when dad knew I could do something this was always his response. It irritated him when I said “I can’t” as it signified I had given up.
From my dad: “Is this the work of an A, B, C, D, or F student?”- this was usually a question posed to me after I thought I was done doing my chores. He would also ask me this when I would give him my homework to review. I used to roll my eyes and say under my breath, “It’s the work of an I-got-it-done student.” I never said it loud enough for him to hear. But I did make the mistake of saying one day, “It’s good enough” and I clearly wasn’t thinking when the words flowed from my mouth. Dad did not play when it came to doing things with excellence. He didn’t accept mediocrity.
From my dad: [said to me in high school] “There will come a time when you will be able to count your friends, on one hand, everyone else is associates”
[said to my sister when she was in 3rd grade] “All of those kids aren’t your friends they’re your associates”- and that was in response to my sister rattling off “my friend ___ and my friend ___ and my friend____”. So was it a surprise when my sister returned to school and when she got into an argument with a classmate, who told her “You’re not my friend anymore” my sister said, “We’re not friends, we’re associates” and then when the teacher confronted my sister, she received the same reply? Ummm…nope. That’s what happens when adults forget that children are human tape recorders and will replay everything you said.
From my dad: “Women crack me up, you think you will learn about a man in three months, six months, or whatever. Men tell you everything you need to know when you first meet them…We tell you our goals, character, what, and who we value...” [paraphrased]- this was prompted after overhearing me and my friend Shari talking about guys we were dating and our three, six, twelve-month game plan for figuring out if they are boyfriend-husband material. Clearly, in the 80s and 90s, there was some nonsense circulating, probably through our favorite magazines, that men are complicated enough to require several months to figure out if they have a good or crappy character. Of course, I didn’t believe my dad and kept trusting this other way, and then decades later I had to admit, “Dad was right”.
From my paternal grandmother: “There are no accidents“- I used to struggle with this statement. Now I know that my grandmother knew and declared that there is nothing God doesn’t know and doesn’t see coming, so there are no accidents. It can be difficult to wrap your mind around, as it was for me, but once you do it’s freeing.
From my paternal aunt: “Just apply. If you can learn it, take a class for it, then you can do it. Don’t wait until you have mastered it. They will teach you their way, their method anyway, so apply…“- this sage advice is something that intimidated me in my 20s when my aunt told me, but as I got older and wiser I began to understand how true this is, and I noticed that men are more apt to practice this than women. Women tend to apply if they are 90% to 100% qualified, while men will apply if they have 40% of the qualifications. I’ve polled dozens of men who have said they would apply with less than 40%, while the majority of women I’ve polled cringed at the idea.
FROM THE BIBLE
Luke 1:37 “For nothing will be impossible with God”
Luke 17:21 “… nor will people say, ‘Here it is,’ or ‘There it is,’ because the kingdom of God is within you”
Matthew 4:10 “Jesus said to him, “Away from me, Satan! For it is written: ‘Worship the Lord your God, and serve him only.”
Matthew 6:34 “Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
Isaiah 1:17 “Learn to do good. Seek justice. Help the oppressed. Defend the cause of orphans. Fight for the rights of widows.”
Proverbs 21:5 “Good planning and hard work lead to prosperity, but hasty shortcuts lead to poverty.”
Proverbs 21:30 “No human wisdom or understanding or plan can stand against the Lord.”
Proverbs 31:10-31 [this is about the woman of noble character, or as many of us say, “The Proverbs Woman”] It’s too long to share here. Search online if you don’t have a Bible, and read it for yourself.
Other sayings (original sources unknown)
- “Common sense isn’t that common“- this is a reminder to me to take into consideration that someone’s words and actions may not be driven by common sense, and to give them a pass.
- “Why don’t we just agree to disagree“- sometimes it helps to diffuse escalating conversations and sometimes the people struggling with common sense choose instead to keep arguing with me. I did warn them!
- “C-Y-B, cover your butt“
Feel free to share some of your favorites!