See, I wanted to be all deep and proper about this but the longer I spend thinking about it (yes, funnily enough I do think about these things before I start writing) the less I have to write.
I have so many different levels of words of wisdom, from “if you pick at it, you’ll make it worse” to “never trust a skinny chef” and unfortunately, I’m not that good at expressing so what I consider wisdom, may help me but no one else.
I suppose it isn’t wisdom that I live by but common sense, but then saying that, I do go with my gut a lot and I suppose that comes down to the wisdom that I have managed to absorb from those around me. I wouldn’t say i’m very wise but I know that some friends think I am so I tend to be one of the people they talk to about “stuff”. The not easy conversations, the haltering conversations and the like, which to be honest, i’m quite chuffed by.
I was never raised with a religion per se, I suppose some memories of mine were going to church with my aunt (a foreign and not altogether awful experience – though I did have to wear a dress so not all positives!) but having seen so many friends with a faith be able to with a kind of certainty, just get through their lives and with a level of poise so alien to me because they had faith in something I realised that I needed to sort something like that for myself, not the religion side but build something upon which I could hold faith, and that tended to be great things other people have said.
There’s a lot to be said for the ability to rely on things which are unknown and sometimes what you need is a pithy comment about life which shows you that you are not alone, that there is a point, or even, that someone else has been there and done that. I know for a long time I felt very alone with my thoughts, and it was only through making a decision to start being honest with everyone (especially myself) and this opened me up to what others were going through. Sometimes you have to be brave and willing to be hurt so that others feel like they can be brave too.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the things I would love to pass on and having decided i’m not going to have children this makes my thoughts mostly moot, however, if I could go back, see me at age 15 – just after we’d moved to Spain and I was trying to cope with everything (and failing badly), what would I say to myself? What words of wisdom could I have been told which would have made life easier? I’m not sure you know? I’m not sure anything would have helped me at that point. I’d love to be trite and say the standard “things will work out/you will go through hell but there is an end to it” i’m not sure that would have helped.
“That was always the dream, wasn’t it? ‘I wish I’d known then what I know now’? But when you got older you found out that you NOW wasn’t YOU then. You then was a twerp. You then was what you had to be to start out on the rocky road of becoming you now, and one of the rocky patches on that road was being a twerp.” – Pratchett (again)
I suppose wisdom comes in all shapes and sizes and whilst they may not work for everyone, maybe it’s a bit like therapy, some of it will speak to you, other parts are completely foreign so I have decided to share some of the quotes that inspire me and that I try to live by……
“Knowledge is knowing that a tomato is a fruit, wisdom is not putting it in a fruit salad.”― Miles Kington
When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on. – Franklin D. Roosevelt
There is no charm equal to tenderness of heart.– Jane Austen
Good judgment comes from experience, and a lot of that comes from bad judgment. –Will Rogers
Keep your face always toward the sunshine – and shadows will fall behind you. – Walt Whitman
Happiness can exist only in acceptance. – George Orwell
Not all those who wander are lost – J.R.R. Tolkien
There is nothing on this earth more to be prized than true friendship. – Thomas Aquinas
See those above are all fine and I do consider them very wise quotes, but as a lot of you will know, in previous blogs, i’ve spoken about how I use a lot of Pratchett in my life, and (for those of you who haven’t had the fortune to snort out loud more times than is decent on public transport whilst reading) therefore I have added a few classic Pratchett’s. Again, they may not speak to you but they may send you down a whole new route – seriously, if you’ve never read a Discworld book…..pick one up and give it a go, if you find nothing in it that makes you smile or laugh, fair enough i’ll not ask you again 😀 ***caveat*** not the first two though, they’re good but not totally in his stride.
- Give a man a fire and he’s warm for the day. But set fire to him and he’s warm for the rest of his life.
- In ancient times cats were worshipped as gods. They have not forgotten this
- There are times in life when people must know when not to let go. Balloons are designed to teach small children this
- Some humans would do anything to see if it was possible to do it. If you put a large switch in some cave somewhere, with a sign on it saying ‘End-of-the-World Switch. PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH’, the paint wouldn’t even have time to dry.
There’s so many to choose from, not gonna lie, that little list of 4 just took me over 30 minutes to decide upon. But I feel the wisest thing he has ever written is the following. It features one of my favourite Disc characters (DEATH) speaking with his human granddaughter Susan.
“All right,” said Susan. “I’m not stupid. You’re saying humans need… fantasies to make life bearable.”
REALLY? AS IF IT WAS SOME KIND OF PINK PILL? NO. HUMANS NEED FANTASY TO BE HUMAN. TO BE THE PLACE WHERE THE FALLING ANGEL MEETS THE RISING APE.
“Tooth fairies? Hogfathers? Little—”
YES. AS PRACTICE. YOU HAVE TO START OUT LEARNING TO BELIEVE THE LITTLE LIES.
“So we can believe the big ones?”
YES. JUSTICE. MERCY. DUTY. THAT SORT OF THING.
“They’re not the same at all!”
YOU THINK SO? THEN TAKE THE UNIVERSE AND GRIND IT DOWN TO THE FINEST POWDER AND SIEVE IT THROUGH THE FINEST SIEVE AND THEN SHOW ME ONE ATOM OF JUSTICE, ONE MOLECULE OF MERCY. AND YET—Death waved a hand. AND YET YOU ACT AS IF THERE IS SOME IDEAL ORDER IN THE WORLD, AS IF THERE IS SOME…SOME RIGHTNESS IN THE UNIVERSE BY WHICH IT MAY BE JUDGED.
“Yes, but people have got to believe that, or what’s the point—”
MY POINT EXACTLY.”
Once again I think the blog started with 1 point and has ended completely hijacked by my Pratchett obsession, so sorry about that.
What little sayings do you live by? If you could offer wisdom to yourself but say, at age 16, what would you say? Please feel free to comment and share, I’d love to hear your thoughts (and wisdom too!)