Just Me

Just Me
Look,I'm just sayin'

Thursday, March 23, 2017

Who said that ?

 The quotes I enjoy the most are usually common sense , just with a good vocabulary. I have said it on many occasions and say it again, there is little that can be said that hasn't been said before. Sometimes I get a thought and go look for a quote to support that thought. Funny how that works just about every time. I can find all these " smart " people agreeing with me. There are, of course, just as many quotes I can find to disagree with my thoughts ! So what is that saying ? We all have our own opinions and ideas about things.
 I am amused when I post a quote from a noted author or someone of stature and folks agree on the wisdom. Then I change the vocabulary just a bit, make it sound more folksy so to speak, and get met with opposition and name calling. It is the sheep effect ! If someone famous said it, it must be right. Well it is if you like the celebrity saying it, or they have a name you heard in high school during English lit. Hey, the founding fathers are great to quote from, they said an awful lot and it is all available. Few folks will argue with Jefferson and Monroe. Of course that is on the decline these days as Jefferson had slaves and Monroe was a firebrand.
 " In fine, nothing is said now that has not been said before. Jean Racine " I just looked that up and now I have to look up who Jean Racine is. But I did that to make a point. I have been saying the same thing for quite a while. It isn't an original thought in the universe, it was original in my thinking however. Turns out Jean Racine was a French playwright that died in 1699. Hey, who knew ? Wikipedia did and that is my point. An ancient Roman playwright Terrence said the same thing in 69 BC did Racine plagiarize him ?  Anyone can look that stuff up and start quoting away. Quoting others is not a sign of intelligence.
 I was thinking about this and attaching a quote is akin to attaching those letters after your name, or barring letters, fame. Now as I said I enjoy quotes. I find them a reassurance of my own thoughts. It can be confusing though, I can just as easily find quotes that contradict me. So then, what do I do ? I pick the one author or celebrity that fits my thought. Simple enough isn't it ? I can also find other quotes from that same individual that I disagree with. Fact is I have yet to find anyone I am in total agreement with. I even argue with myself ! The thing is if I can quote a " smart " person or a " celebrity " my own thoughts are more readily accepted. Why do you think that is ? I think the reason is a simple one, it takes less effort. Everybody thinks they know Jefferson but few know this guy Ben. Strange how that works isn't it. If I were to put a PhD after my name my thoughts would be received differently. Well at least to those people that don't know me. I might even get quoted as an authority ! My thoughts wouldn't be any different however. I'd still be Ben. Suppose I wrote a book. Folks might start quoting that as evidence of their own thoughts. See, it is right here, in this book. Funny how all that works isn't it ? We begin to place more credence in what thoughts we can reference, than in our own thoughts.
 " Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. To write what is worth publishing, to find honest people to publish it, and get sensible people to read it, are the three great difficulties in being an author. "  Charles Colton wrote the previous two lines. I am quoting him when I write them. I am in agreement with his sentiment. Do I know Charles Colton ? No, not at all, never heard of him until this very moment. Yet I am quoting him and throwing that name out there like a spear ! What " You don't know who Charles Colton is ? See how that works. I just believe we should give equal credence to the words of every man. The only ones that seem to get quoted are the ones that write it down. I doubt very much if they were the first to say it ! Think about that when talking with your friends and when listening to strangers. The truth is, strangers often expose truths that your friends keep hidden. Listen to " even the dull and the ignorant; they too have their story. " Do you recognize that ? It is from a famous piece of Prose. I agree with that wholeheartedly as well.  " Understanding is achieved through continued discussion. " Who said that ?