What is it about quotes that prompts us all to copy and paste them on our Facebook walls, insert them into our blogs, or pin them to our boards on Pinterest? I went in search of one myself today, and I’m always reading others shared by friends or acquaintances. Is it another by-product, I wonder, of this fast paced world we live in? We don’t even want to take the time to articulate our own feelings, so we borrow words of wisdom, brilliant observations, heartfelt emotions and life lessons to be learned from someone else?
I love quotes. There’s something about finding a sentence or phrase that describes exactly the way you’re feeling, maybe when you can’t express that emotion yourself, for whatever the reason, or just because it resonates with you at that moment in time. Maybe you’re not even sure how you’re feeling and then you come across something that says what you couldn’t quite put into words. At least not then. Or you just need a little lift, something that makes you smile, hope, feel like you’re not the only one who’s ever felt that way.
I have favorite quotes that come from a wide spectrum of sources: famous authors, historians, athletes, celebrities, comedians and movies. I know that movie characters don’t necessarily count as bona fide quote makers, but I love them all the same. Oh, and television too. Meredith Grey comes out with some of the most profound earth-shattering truths, and I prefer not to remember that her lines are scripted by the very talented Shonda Rimes. It suits my purposes to continue to believe Meredith is someone who feels what I feel, loves like I love, and deals with life from the same skewed perspective I do.
Meredith: “Okay, here it is, your choice… it’s simple, her or me, and I’m sure she is really great. But Derek, I love you, in a really, really big ‘pretend to like your taste in music, let you eat the last piece of cheesecake, hold a radio over my head outside your window’, unfortunate way that makes me hate you, love you. So pick me, choose me, love me.”
Movie favorites: “For Love of The Game” of course….
Jane: “You’re perfect. You, and the ball, and the diamond, you’re this perfectly beautiful thing. You can win or lose the game, all by yourself. You don’t need me.”
Billy (at the end) : “So I just wanted to tell you, not to change your mind or keep you from going, but just so you know, that I know, that I do need you.” The scene at the airport was a classic tear-jerker.
And Notting Hill. Julia Roberts’ character, in love with Hugh Grant, tells him:
Anna: “I’m a just a girl, standing in front of a boy, asking him to love her” *sigh* Thank goodness for happy endings. I also have a quote from Julia Roberts, actress, wife and mother, on my Facebook page, and I couldn’t have said it better myself:
“I believe that two people are connected at the heart, and it doesn’t matter what you do, or who you are or where you live; there are no boundaries or barriers if two people are destined to be together.”
When it comes to comedians, there was no one in the history of funny smarts better than George Carlin. That man knew how to take every day life and poke fun at it with more truth than anyone I’ve ever heard. You laughed, sometimes til it hurt, because you knew he was right; most of it we experienced at one time or another and it felt good to acknowledge the absurdity of it all.
“The reason I talk to myself is because I’m the only one whose answers I accept.”
“Ever notice that anyone going slower than you is an idiot, but anyone going faster is a maniac?”
“I’m always relieved when someone is delivering a eulogy and I realize I’m listening to it.”
In the wide world of sports, Yogi Berra takes the cake for his serious, if not grammar-flawed observations on life and the game of baseball. He was wise in his own way, and we loved him for it. Here are some infamous Yogi-isms:
On why NY lost the 1960 series to Pittsburgh “We made too many wrong mistakes”
“Baseball is ninety percent mental and the other half is physical.”
“He hits from both sides of the plate. He’s amphibious.”
In case you haven’t figured it out by now, the answer to my opening question is a resounding no. I don’t use other people’s quotes because I’m in a hurry, or lazy. I’m searching, trying to make sense out of things, and I appreciate the experience and wisdom of those who came before me, fictional as well as real. Or who are in the here and now, going through the same kind of life transitions and adventures that I am. Young, old, tall, short, smart, funny and in the know. I want what they have to say to touch something in me, urge a response in me. You know, to poke me, prod me, nudge me a little. Make me think, make me feel, maybe even make me act. Reading a good quote makes me feel better knowing I’m not the only one who doubts or worries my way through life. Who needs some encouragement from time to time. Or sometimes, who just needs a good laugh.
Those crazy ecards don’t really qualify as quotes, but they usually make me laugh, and I find myself admitting and agreeing that I feel exactly the same way more often than not, because what they say is usually pretty true and right on the mark. And by the way, whoever invented Pinterest was a genius. Virtual vision boards where you can plan an entire life based on famous quotes, song lyrics, recipes, fashion tips, home decorating and relationship advice from the global universe. Plus you can organize all those quotes, song lyrics, words of wisdom, perfectly matched outfits, wants, dreams and future plans in easy to find places. Not to mention the validation you feel when others, many of them perfect strangers, re-pin all those fabulous ideas you can’t wait to implement. Anyway, here’s a typical ecard:
Back to quotes. There’s a reason why they exist, and why we can find one so easily on any subject we happen to be thinking about or struggling with. It’s because words make an impact, they leave an impression. If you go to Google and search for quotes about love, hope, friendship, encouragement, hurt, dreams, relationships, parenting, inspiration and my favorite, broken hearts, thousands of them amid a plethora of quote websites pop up. I’m pretty sure you could find that one quote that would tug at your heartstrings, prompt you to say, “Yes, that’s exactly how I feel,” and end with you posting it somewhere for others to see and comment on.
I’m probably drawn to serious, more introspective quotes most of all. I need inspiration, motivation, verification, supplication and stimulation on a daily basis, so I think it’s okay to seek fortification from those who apparently have walked in my shoes and felt what I’m feeling at one time or another. Wisdom and experience are often the best teachers, and I’m a pretty open and willing-to-learn student of life.
To close, I would be remiss in my responsibilities as an ethical writer/blogger if I didn’t remind you to always attribute your quotes when you use them. Even though some of those people whose quotes you’re passing along probably had no idea they’d end up on Google someday, they deserve not to be plagiarized by any of us trying to pass off someone else’s brilliance as our own.