On the Power of Words

“A powerful agent is the right word. Whenever we come upon one of those intensely right words in a book or a newspaper the resulting effect is physical as well as spiritual, and electrically prompt: it tingles exquisitely around through the walls of the mouth and tastes as tart and crisp and good as the autumn-butter that creams the sumac-berry.”
-Mark Twain

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but it on foundation of ideas, as sublimely expressed in words, upon which civilizations are built.

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 the Herd Mentality with Rational Thought

“We all do no end of feeling, and we mistake it for thinking. And out of it we get an aggregation which we consider a boon. Its name is public opinion. It is held in reverence. Some think it the voice of God.”
Mark Twain

Oh, how good it feels to be part of the crowd. Just don’t stop to think about it for too long, lest a tiny bit of rational thought creep in and begin to question the authenticity of our common reverence.



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.