April 20, 2011

Mottos To Live By

"At No One's Expense" has long been my personal adage, though, at times, I don't live up to it, (Just ask my children). I do try. I really do. It is important to me that I hurt no one and that any actions on my part would only help those around me, help them feel better about themselves or to know that they are loved.

I like the  brevity of "At No One's Expense." Meaningful. Concise. Brief enough to embroider on a pillow if I so choose to. To date, I don't choose to!  While a statement that is "curtailed of its fair proportions" is easy to embroider it lacks in the finer details. 

My mini-mission for the month of April, is to find my own motto, to delve and explore, explore and delve into life mottos, (great way to put-off-until-tomorrow more responsible chores).

Wanderings through the archives of adages and maxims has definitely scratched parts of my heart and brain.  Some make me wish I was more courageous, some inspire me to fly inspite of my totally debilitating fear of heights. Some hint that my level of self esteem and self worth may be sorely lacking and others suggest that I "get over myself!"

John F. Kennedy inspires me with "Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth." 

After years and years of hacking away at comformity in my life I've come to realize that the older I grow the more non-conformists I see who look exactly like me! 

Judy Garland said it a little different, "Always be a first-rate version of yourself, instead of a second-rate version of somebody else."    

Helen Keller was quoted as saying, "Life is either a daring adventure or nothing."  Mmm, nice. Would fit well on a pillow and speaks of fortuity and sagas! Alas, while there has been adventure in my life and some daring moments, but as far as living daring adventure, well, Ms. Keller, I am afraid in comparision there has been more nothing and I kind of like that.

Have you heard of Mary Anne Radmacher?  A writer and teacher, even has a Wall on Facebook.  She suggests, "Choose with no regret." Not for me, I would be paralyzed from making any choices at all if I believed that choices could not have the option of being wrong.

Yoda, "Do or do not, there is no try." 
Yoda, sir, what about Publilius Syrus, when he said, "No one knows what he can do until he tries".

So many mottos, so many adages, so much wisdom, but I have weeded out the two that speak to me the most.

William Henry Channing composes philosophical music with his  quote: "To live content with small means; to seek elegance rather than luxury, and refinement rather than fashion; to be worthy, not respectable, and wealthy, not, rich; to listen to stars and birds, babes and sages, with open heart; to study hard; to think quietly, act frankly, talk gently, await occasions, hurry never; in a word, to let the spiritual, unbidden and unconscious, grow up through the common--this is my symphony."

Doesn't it just make your life come into focus, the living is in the details!  I feel as if he looked into my head and my heart and wrote this for me. But, Frederick Douglas's quote fits better on a pillow and sings to me too!

"At a time like this, scorching irony, not convincing argument, is needed."


  1. Hello:

    Yes, indeed It is.

    Lovely weekend,


  2. I collect adages and maxims like a true junkie. Really enjoyed this post. I'll leave for you a fortune I found filled with crayon marks in my daughter's school bag:

    'Assert yourself, your ideas are worthwhile at this time.'

    Not quite a proverb but it is a succinct little word cake to fuel the fire.

    Also, I liked J. Garland's words. Thanks, again.


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