On Seizing the Day

“Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
-Mark Twain

To all there comes but once chance at each day, and then the opportunity to live it to its fullest is gone. For most, regret is of lost opportunities, not mistaken actions. Seize the day!

On Abraham Lincoln

Mark Twain on Lincoln: He was the man for his times.“It was no accident that planted Lincoln on a Kentucky farm, half way between the lakes and the Gulf. The association there had substance in it. Lincoln belonged just where he was put. If the Union was to be saved, it had to be a man of such an origin that should save it. No wintry New England Brahmin could have done it, or any torrid cotton planter, regarding the distant Yankee as a species of obnoxious foreigner.

It needed a man of the border, where civil war meant the grapple of brother and brother and disunion a raw and gaping wound. It needed one who knew slavery not from books only, but as a living thing, knew the good that was mixed with its evil, and knew the evil not merely as it affected the negroes, but in its hardly less baneful influence upon the poor whites. It needed one who knew how human all the parties to the quarrel were, how much alike they were at bottom, who saw them all reflected in himself, and felt their dissensions like the tearing apart of his own soul.

When the war came Georgia sent an army in gray and Massachusetts an army in blue, but Kentucky raised armies for both sides. And this man, sprung from Southern poor whites, born on a Kentucky farm and transplanted to an Illinois village, this man, in whose heart knowledge and charity had left no room for malice, was marked by Providence as the one to “bind up the Nation’s wounds.”
-Mark Twain, New York Times, January 13, 1907

On Christmas, Remembrance, and Healing

Hallmark Snow Village Christmas ornament issued in 1989.“The xmas holidays have this high value: that they remind Forgetters of the Forgotten, & repair damaged relationships.”
– Mark Twain, from a letter to Carlotte Welles, December 30, 1907

Christmas, the holiday season, is, at its best, a time of remembering who and what is important. A time of healing.

Merry Christmas to the forgetters, the forgotten, and all who believe in our power to heal all the ills, hatreds, and misfortunes that at times plague us all.

Image Credit: TwainQuotes.com

On Watching Your 401k Too Closely

“He is now fast rising from affluence to poverty.”
-Mark Twain

Unmatched is the speed with which all illusions of growing affluence disappear into oblivion.

Don’t look. It won’t make you any richer.

On Confusing Belief with Truth and Repition with Examination

“In religion and politics people’s beliefs and convictions are in almost every case gotten at second-hand, and without examination, from authorities who have not themselves examined the questions at issue but have taken them at second-hand from other non-examiners, whose opinions about them were not worth a brass farthing”
-Mark Twain, Autobiography

I know its true ‘cause I just read it on a blog and heard Rush Limbaugh talk about it.



On Ribbons on Your Chest and Letters Around Your Name

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.”
-Mark Twain

Honor is a thing that eventually reveals itself – one way or the other. It is best not to claim too loudly any honor that is not truly ours in solitude of our own contemplation. It is then that we realize that sort of “honor” is little more than hubris and foolishness.

On How, For the Good of the Country, One July 4th per Year Isn’t Enough

Have a Mark Twain Fourth of July“Statistics show that we lose more fools on this day than in all the other days of the year put together. This proves, by the number left in stock, that one Fourth of July per year is now inadequate, the country has grown so.”
-Mark Twain, Pudd’nhead Wilson’s Calendar

Pass me that M-80 would ya’?

God Bless America

On Maintaining Perspective

“Now you begin to see, don’t you, that distance ain’t the thing to judge by, at all; it’s the time it takes to go the distance in that counts….It’s a matter of proportion, that’s what it is; and when you come to gauge a thing’s speed by its size, where’s your bird and your man and your railroad alongside of a flea?….A flea is just a comet, b’iled down small.”
-Mark Twain, Tom Sawyer Abroad

In all things, greatness. If you know how to put it in the right perspective.