Glorious mistakes

Now go and make interesting mistakes, make amazing mistakes, make glorious and fantastic mistakes. Break rules. Leave the world more interesting for your being here.

— Neil Gaiman

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Incuriosity

The only reason people do not know much is because they do not care to know. They are incurious. Incuriosity is the oddest and most foolish failing there is.

— Stephen Fry

Generational differences

Conversation a friend of mine who is currently in Ireland had with some lady there:

Irish woman: Where are you from?
Her: From the Netherlands.
Irish woman: How long are you staying in Dublin?
Her: Actually, I’m going to live here!
Irish woman: Oh, are you marrying an Irish guy?
Her: Haha, no, I’m gonna work at Google.

BOOM.

This made me happy.

Favorite words by others

I am obsessed with other people’s words. Passages from books, lines from movies, lyrics (Bob Dylan’s “Forever Young”!), sayings and proverbs; anything quotable (All The Jon Stewart All Of The Time!). I’m so obsessed, in fact, that there’s a category on this blog just for Words & Wisdom. So obsessed that I have a Pinterest board that currently holds 165 quotations I liked or enjoyed. I also have Word documents filled with lines from movies and TV shows because I always think I might be able to use them one day. For what, I honestly don’t know. Sometimes I think I am this much into what others have already said, rather than putting a thought into words myself, because English isn’t my first language. And I’m not very good at pinpointing the essence of a thought, anyway. Others will forever better express what I’m trying to say. Part of it is surely that I love reading and writing and words in general.

So naturally, I could never chose a single favorite quotation.

In high school they wanted everyone in the graduating class to put a quotation under their yearbook picture, and it took me a couple of months to decide. I ended up with: “Never look down on anybody, unless you’re helping them up.” Which is a nice sentiment, and probably a good general rule to live by. But it seems oddly specific, doesn’t it? I still feel proud not to have gone for “Every journey begins with a single step” because that seems to be everyone‘s favorite saying. Also in high school, my best friend at the time, whom I had sort of grown apart from in our final year or so, gave me a card that said “Good friends are like stars. You don’t always see them, but they are always there.” It’s a bit cheesy but it really meant a lot to me at the time.

If I had to pick an all-time favorite now, it would be a tie between Max Ehrmann’s Desiderata (read the whole thing, it’s lovely), especially the last part:

With all its sham, drudgery, and broken dreams, it is still a beautiful world. Be cheerful. Strive to be happy.

… and these lines from the poem that Tolkien wrote for Lord of the Rings (although, again, the whole poem is great):

All that is gold does not glitter,
not all those who wander are lost.

I’m not sure that it’s such a good omen that I begin NaBloPoMo by telling you how much I prefer others’ words to my own. But I shall not give up just yet! I shall be happy and cheerful instead…

Do you have any favorite quotations?

I think there is a lot of pressure to be happy all the time. I don’t think it’s one’s natural state to be happy all the time. I think it’s okay not to be happy all the time. It makes the happiness all the better.

— Anderson Cooper

It is impossible to live without failing at something, unless you live so cautiously that you might as well not have lived at all – in which case you fail by default.

— J.K. Rowling