Archives for posts with tag: quotes

Everybody is a genius. But if you judge a fish by its ability to climb a tree, it will live its whole life believing that it is stupid.

Albert Einstein (attributed), Germany/United States, 1879-1955

If you read all those quotes from Albert Einstein, his aphorisms alone already make him a genius – you don’t even need relativity and all this scientific stuff we ordinary humans understand so little about.

It is disputed whether Einstein actually said this (which reminds me about another quote, attributed to Abraham Licoln: The trouble with quotes on the Internet is that it’s difficult to determine whether or not they are genuine), but that is not the point for now.

The point is, often we are trying to make fish climb trees, and get frustrated with them when they are failing. At least, I feel too often like a fish in a tree.



To be sane in a world of madmen is itself a kind of madness

Jean-Jacques Rousseau, Switzerland/France, 1712-17

Last week, I went to the alumni day of my Master’s programme. Alumni days and school reunions, wisdom teaches, are always risky business. To put it blatantly, there is always a chance that you actually never liked turn out to be more successful than you are. Fortunately, the annoying people didn’t show up, and the content of the day was surprisingly good. This included a lecture where the professor quoted almost a dozen of philosophers. My favourite one was this one by Rousseau. Indeed, sometimes it is better to be mad and to go with the stream than to keep sanity and be isolated.

Writing, to me, is simply thinking through my fingers.

Isaac Asimov, Russia/United States, 1920-1992

One of things WordPress uses to motivate people to maintain their blogs, is to formulate goals: the first goal is to have five posts, the second objective is to have ten. The count is kept via a field that appears once you have published a new post. They often include a quote in relation to writing.

The other day, it was the one above by Isaac Asimov. Writing naturally is a talent I have always admired. I wished to be a natural writer, for whom the words stream straight from the head to the fingers, onto the paper. Unfortunately, I have to do way more effort. But trying to keep my discipine, for myself or for the posts of wordpress helps. And maybe one day, I will have learnt to naturally think through my fingers.

People make life interesting

I have a younger sister. But I also have an ‘adopted’ sister, who’s not really my adopted sister (although I once cheekily  convinced a friend I do have one), but ‘just’ a very good friend of mine. Anyway, in some way we came to this quote as our shared life motto. Because it is true. Jobs can be interesting. Travelling can be interesting. The people we know can hurt us. But in the end, it is our partners, friends and family, the great intense moment we live with them, that make our lives so worthwile.

The error of youth is to believe that intelligence is a substitute for experience, while the error of age is to believe experience is a substitute for intelligence

Oscar Wilde, Ireland, 1854-1900

This quote was cited by an (older) speaker at a (youth) conference I recently attended. I felt it was good enough to note it down. Sometimes older people tend not to take youth seriously because of a lack of experience; sometimes younger people do not respect older ones because of a lack of understanding of the modern world: technology, globalisation, social media.

You see things as they are and you say, ‘Why?’ But I dream things that never were; and I say, ‘Why not?’

George Bernard Shaw, Ireland, 1856-1950

This is probably one of my favourite quotes. I aspire to have the attitude to look at life, and say ‘why not?’ whenever I have a certain idea, plan, or ambition. It is so much easier to ask ‘why’, to break down ideas of others or yourself. Asking ‘why not’ is the key to an interesting, adventurous life.