To Quote Means Never Having to Say You’re Sorry

Okay, I lied. I am sorry. But I have an excuse. I am an addict, and we all know that addicts cannot be trusted when it comes to their addiction. I said in our last blog featuring Martin Luther, that we had now completed our series. I even said it strong and bold: “Read my lips, no more quotes.” But here we are again, being assailed with more quotes. But it is more than I am just a quote addict, although I do feel rather powerless when it comes to the question as to whether to quote or not (much like Kierkegaard said, “I feel as if I were a piece in a game of chess, when my opponent says of it: That piece cannot be moved.”). It is more than that. I really wanted to be done, but the deepest recesses of my soul kept crying out, “How can

Say Hello to My Little Quote!

Marcus Aurelius left us this piece of great advice: “When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive—to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love.” Amen to that! And think what a privilege it is to breathe in a great quote, to think about a great quote, to enjoy a well-timed quote and to love a fine quote! Indeed, it is a rich blessing! In fact, as we conclude this series on quotes today, let me remind you that to be given a great quote is to be thrice blessed (blessed upon its reception, blessed upon its pondering and blessed upon its sharing). Never forget that. Quotes are verbal blessings that can enrich your life. I know that is true, because it happened to me. I didn’t have a lot of friends growing up, not because I was weird or anything (let’s

Here’s Quoting at You, Kid

I have argued in this series, that, as Gary Saul Morson has said, “Quotationality defines us. We are what we quote.” I firmly believe this, but many of you are still unconvinced. However, I would be willing to bet that you love quotes and already embrace hundreds of them, you just don’t know it. That’s right, I would be willing to bet you are a Subconscious Quotaholic. But already you scoff!  “Even if it was true, how could you prove it?” you ask. Well step right up to my quiz of the day. I’ll give you 15 movie quotes with a key word replaced. I am willing to bet that you can easily replace the “wrong” word with the right one, thus proving my point. Go ahead, make my day! Just try not to “correct” these erroneous quotes! “I’ll get you my pretty, and your little quote, too!” “Why don’t

May These Quotes Be with You

One of my favorite books is a collection of quotes entitled, If Ignorance is Bliss, Why Aren’t There More Happy People? It is one of a half-dozen quote books that I have in my library. Why so many? Because I believe in the power of a great quote. I feel Joseph Epstein could have been talking about me when he said, “I am not merely a habitual quoter, but an incorrigible one. I am, I may as well face it, more quotatious than an old stock-market ticker-tape machine, except you can’t unplug me.” Amen to that! But I also believe that what the world needs now is more people who “own” a great quote and know how to use it. A great example of this happened this past Sunday. After Outdoor Church, I was talking to Ken about how much I enjoyed our “bluegrass worship” service (Ken played guitar and

I Quote; Therefore, I Am

Stephen Wright once said something I wish I had said (okay, I wish I had said several things he has said; but for our purposes, I am thinking of one thing in particular).  He said: “I wish the first word I ever said was the word, ‘quote,’ so right before I die I could say, ‘unquote.’" Now that is brilliant!  See, I am a firm believer that you are what you quote (if you already forgot that Joseph Epstein quote from last time, shame on you—for punishment, reread last week’s blog). In other words, quotes enhance all aspects of our lives (at least, good ones do—they may even put a smile on your face). And while the word-picture is a little disturbing, William DeVault is right: “A quote is just a tattoo on the tongue,” which means we should always have a good quote ready to go at a moment’s

You Are What You Quote

The title of our blog post today comes from a great quote from Joseph Epstein (the essayist, short-story writer and editor, not the bagel brother) who said: “I believe it was Gayelord Hauser, the nutritionist, who said that ‘you are what you eat’; but if you happen to be an intellectual, you are what you quote.” Amen to that, brother, and pass the bagel! As you all know, I love a good quote. And for three very good reasons. First as David H. Comins said: “People will accept your idea more readily if you tell them Benjamin Franklin said it first.” Second, I also believe that Winston Churchill was right. I wish I was an original thinker and had numerous Ph.D.’s that would enable me to produce incredible insights and tremendous thoughts week after week, but that is definitely not me (as Popeye said, “I am what I am, and