On Learning Wisdom, Eventually

Learning wisdom

ambroochizafer / Pixabay

“We chase phantoms half the days of our lives. It is well if we learn wisdom even then, and save the other half.” – Mark Twain

There comes a time in one’s life where he may question, finally, all the distractions of youth that have taken so much time and energy, and see them for what they are: nameless, faceless phantoms of fear and want , without merit or purpose.

Even then, after one has given over half a life to such imaginary phantoms and ghosts, it is worthwhile to to finally see what is important, and then to pursue only that.

On Judging a Book by its Cover

Clothes make the man. Make a good first impression and people tend to listen to what you have to say

GLady / Pixabay

“Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence on society”
-Mark Twain

One should refrain, as much as possible, from judging a book merely by its cover. But it is also best when a book has a clean, well-made cover.

 

On Keeping an Open Mind and Freeing a Human Soul

“Loyalty to petrified opinion never yet broke a chain or freed a human soul in this world – and never will.”
-Mark Twain

Freedom begins with keeping an open mind.

On Learning to See

“You can’t depend on your eyes when your imagination is out of focus.”
-Mark Twain, A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court

It is with our eyes that we look, but only with our imagination that we see.

On Textbooks in Texas

“The very ink with which all history is written is merely fluid prejudice.”
-Mark Twain, Following the Equator

For the Texas Board of Education, America wasn’t founded on the principal of the separation of church and state, every good capitalist is actually a free-market conservative, McCarthy wasn’t really that bad, and Thomas Jefferson had nothing to do with inspiring revolution in 18th-century America.

And the ink dries on prejudice in Texas.

On Empathy and the Law of Proportion

“Nothing that grieves us can be called little: by the eternal laws of proportion a child’s loss of a doll and a king’s loss of a crown are events of the same size.”
-Mark Twain, “Which Was the Dream

All loss is profound. Comfort is found by seeing equally in other’s sorrow – and joy – a measure of our own.

On How a Little Certain Knowledge is a Dangerous Thing

“It ain’t what you don’t know that gets you into trouble. It’s what you know for sure that just ain’t so”
-Mark Twain

The more tenaciously a thought is held, the more irrational it becomes. But it ain’t necessarily  so.

On Conspiracy Theories

“I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, most of them never happened.”
– Mark Twain

Beware the boogie man in the dark corner, for he just may not exist.

On Learning to Live With Yourself – and Others

“A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.”
-Mark Twain

A man that can walk through life unburdened by the vicissitudes of others, accept his own shortcomings, and strive always to improve himself, warts and all, is an easy person to be around – for himself and others.

On Telling the Truth

“A man is never more truthful than when he acknowledges himself a liar.”
-Mark Twain

We are all sinners, liars, and cheats. Admitting it is the only hope we have that we’ll not always be sinners, liars, and cheats.