When one thinks “Inspirational quotes” an image of sunrises or sunsets, waves washing upon a shore come to mind, with particularly succinct pieces of wisdom nestled in the scene as if writ by the hands of the almighty. In the “old days” these made their way into posters that decorated dorm rooms. Now they find their way into facebook updates encouraging you to “share” when they show up in one’s newsfeed.
Among those oft quoted (usually, but not always, men) are such notables as Twain, Churchill and Einstein. The best inspirational quotes, however, I think are those that have withstood the test of time. In this category, the winner by far are the “Chinese Proverbs.” These are two of my favorites:
Those who say it cannot be done
should not interrupt those who are doing it.
Talk doesn’t cook rice… four words that really say it all.
In the early days of my having founded an organization that was going to be heavily dependent upon inspiring individuals to reach deep into their pockets and donate, I embarked on the exercise to find that inspirational phrase that was so visceral as to trigger the reader to volunteer to head off to Africa or, better yet, write a check. There were also times when the going was so tough, I turned to the Chinese proverbs for a bit of inspirational lift from periodic disappointments.
I know many of you are intellectuals, scholarly and tend not to find too much literary merit in a quote or anything that in ten words or less takes the place of reading the book. To you I suggest that in life there are sometimes complexities that require something very straightforward and utterly simple, to plug a hole in life’s dike. In those moments, I have looked to the wisdom of one of history’s innovators, leaders or authors for inspirational lift.
A blog is by its very nature the epitome of sharing, and the author assumes, correctly or incorrectly, that the information shared is interesting, worthwhile, funny, instructional or maybe even inspirational. The quotes pictured here were most assuringly not authored by me but they were among those that did in fact inspire me. As an aside, I think you will agree that in wrapping them in pictures from my phone I have managed to create several images that would fit nicely into the genre of cheesy poster art, not to mention, fare well in any competition matched against your every day Facebook fodder.