(Filched) Words to Live By
I realized recently that rather than being a deep thinker or creative writer myself, I go through life collecting aphorisms. A particularly pithy, succinct line encountered casually can stick in my head for years to come. Whether it shapes my views or merely reflects them, I'm not sure. Way back in high school, it was a line from Emerson (I think?) that kept echoing for decades: "A foolish consistency is the hobgoblin of little minds." The truth of that sentiment struck like a bolt from the blue! It seemed to me that along with most of my friends -- and their parents -- I had been going along, blindly and smugly following the herd, never giving much thought to why we did what we did. A few years ago, I lifted a line from Rumi ("This moment is all there is.") Next came a sentence in a greeting card, author unknown: "Show me a day when the world wasn't new." Finally, just last week I picked up this tidbit in Nevada City: "When you stumble in life, make it part of the dance." My gut response was, "Yesss!" as if I'd bumped into an old friend unexpectedly. That line is mine now, because it expresses so perfectly my present philosophy.