Some thoughtful sayings to ponder

Published 6:00 am Friday, September 25, 2020

This column is dedicated to interesting, inspirational and/or original sayings from mainly U.S. English.

A future column will take on proverbs or sayings from other languages and cultures. Pithy sayings are meant to be taken one by one and savored thoughtfully. Sometimes they provide a fresh angle from which to view life. Other times they provide laughter and a bit of fun. There are some that are profound enough they require a moment to be silent and reflect. You’ll see that many of these are from sources unknown. Wherever each of these takes you, may you read and enjoy:

“Attention is the rarest and purest form of generosity.” — Simone Weil

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“Worrying won’t stop the bad stuff from happening. It just stops you from enjoying the good.” — Unknown

“Overthinking. The art of creating problems that weren’t even there.” — Unknown

“Do you know what a foreign accent is? It’s a sign of bravery.” — Amy Chua

“A single event can awaken within us a stranger totally unknown to us. To live is to be slowly born.” — Antoine de Saint-Exuper

“Arguing with an idiot is like playing chess with a pigeon. No matter how good you are, the bird is going to poop on the board and strut around as if it won.” — Unknown

“When you walk to the edge of all the light you have and take that first step into the darkness of the unknown, you must believe that one of two things will happen. There will be something solid for you to stand upon or you will be taught to fly.” — Patrick Overton (poet)

“People are supposed to fear the unknown, but ignorance is bliss when knowledge is so damn frightening.” — Laurell K. Hamilton, The Laughing Corpse

“People will throw stones at you. Don’t throw them back. Collect them all and build an empire.” — Unknown

“The difference between who you are and what you want to be is what you do.” — Unknown

“There is always, always something to be thankful for.” — Unknown

“No matter how far you have gone down the wrong road, it is never too late to turn around and start a new journey on the right road.” — Unknown

“Your mind is a powerful thing. When you fill it with positive thoughts, your life will start to change.” — Unknown

“The past is where you learned the lesson. The future is where you apply the lesson. Don’t give up in the middle.” — Unknown

“Don’t promise when you’re happy. Don’t reply when you’re angry. Don’t decide when you’re sad.” — Unknown

“If at first you don’t succeed, try doing it the way mom told you to in the beginning.” — Unknown

“In a world where you can be anything, be kind.” — Unknown

“There is no short cut to achievement. Life requires thorough preparation – veneer isn’t worth anything.” — George Washington Carver

“When you do the common things in life in an uncommon way, you will command the attention of the world.” — George Washington Carver

“It is not the style of clothes one wears, neither the kind of automobile one drives, nor the amount of money one has in the bank, that counts. These mean nothing. It is simply service that measures success.” — George Washington Carver

“How far you go in life depends on your being tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, sympathetic with the striving and tolerant of the weak and strong. Because someday in your life you will have been all of these.” — George Washington Carver

JULIA PALMER is an associate professor of modern languages at Hampden-Sydney College. Her email address is