Deeds, Not Words. The Trouble with Quotes.

Deeds. Not Words.
Deeds. Not Words.


Good quotes are immensely popular. Sites like Brainyquote and Goodreads thrive on feeding our unending fixation on pithy wisdom. In fact, here’s one to get us started!

[Tweet ““You will know what kind of man he is not by the things he says, but by the things he does.” ― Cassandra Clare, Clockwork Angel “]

All the wisdom of living well is summed up nicely in quotes. From Mark Twain to Winston Churchill, Margaret Mead to Helen Keller, and George Orwell to Dr Suess. All the great and creative minds of the past and present have dispensed and condensed all the necessary knowledge for a good and full life.

[Tweet ““Life is either a daring adventure or nothing at all.” ― Helen Keller”]

We post our quotes on our blogs, we pin them to our boards, we combine them with images. We tweet, and retweet, repeat and repeat! We can’t get enough!

[Tweet ““Without deviation from the norm, progress is not possible.” ― Frank Zappa”]

But are we really benefiting from this treasure trove of knowledge? In most cases, I don’t think so.

We skip over them, smile, oohh and ahhh, but do we apply the knowledge? Do we really internalize it; make it a part of who we are to become a better person, to live a better life?

[Tweet ““How far that little candle throws his beams! So shines a good deed in a weary world.” ― William Shakespeare, The Merchant of Venice “]

Maybe we need a different approach. Maybe we need to do the sticky note thing. Select our favorites, those little gems you really want to live by and stick them on the fridge, and the bathroom mirror, and read them and reflect on them, until we live by them.

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”
Margaret Mead

I wonder who we would become if we lived by all the wisdom of all the quotes we’ve ever admired?

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