I love quotes. Mostly because I feel as though I’m not particularly articulate and I find it rather hard to put my thoughts into words. When I do finally manage it, I find that it’s not quite what I had in mind.
There have been a few quotes that I have come by that have always stuck with me. To begin with, here is one by John Green that I thought was so perfect for this post.
“Maybe our favorite quotations say more about us than about the stories and people we’re quoting.”
… Don’t they, though? I mean, the quotes that we connect to are often about things that really call to us on a deeper level. It’s like listening to a song and feeling like the lyrics were addressed to you.
Another quote that I came across was actually one that I initially didn’t know the author of. However it was one that I never seemed to forget and it was all thanks to an amazing woman, a writer, a poet, an activist, a teacher. A woman who unfortunately passed away at in May 2014. Dr. Maya Angelou once said…
“I’ve learned that people will forget what you said, people will forget what you did, but people will never forget how you made them feel.
Now that I think about it, it has informed so many of my interactions with others; family, friends and strangers alike. It was also probably the first time I really considered the notion of empathy. The idea that we might not remember the details of all our interactions but somehow our actions will always have an impact on people. Our words and deeds may have never been inded to hurt others but we can’t control how they will react. So I guess we really need to consider both, our words and actions. Sometimes, we just need to pause and ask ourselves if what we have to say/do is really necessary?
In his ‘I have a dream’ speech that changed the world, Martin Luther King, Jr. said this…
“Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter.”
And I feel like it’s an apt quote to address that ignorance is not bliss. When we stop caring about the things that are important to us, we lose a bit of ourselves. Our individual identity is defined by what we hold dear; our beliefs, values, aspirations, dreams, hopes, faith, culture, traditions. They all characterise who we are as individuals. So when we choose to ignore or remain neutral in situations that call us to take a stand, we are not being true to ourselves. We aren’t honouring our own identity.
This final quote by John Maxwell is one that most people need understand.
“Sometimes you win, sometimes you learn.”
A quick lesson in humility. Although winning is a great feeling, we can’t always win. In the moments that we don’t, we need to learn to take it in our stride. Look at the loss, not as a failure on our part but as an opportunity to learn from our mistakes and improve. Success might build confidence, but failure builds character.