Words to Live By

Good grief. I'm already a day behind on NaBloMo. How did this happen? Stupid Frankenstorm? Holiday gift guide deadlines? PTO volunteering? Pick your excuse. I'll write two today and even do some penance in the form of finally, finally, responding to a NaBloMo prompt - albeit it yesterday's prompt.

And here it is:
Tell us your favorite quotation and why.
Just one? I got a million of 'em although I hate it when people post quotes to Facebook. Say something original will ya? But words to live by? Sure. It's good to be reminded of a few axioms. Here are two favorite quotes that get repeated (at least by me) around our house:

The things you own end up owning you - Chuck Palahnuik
Toffee for breakfast, toffee for dinner, toffee for tea - W. S. Gilbert

It's great to have a few good quotes as guiding principals in our lives. What is "do unto others as you would have them do unto you," but a great little biblical sound bite.
A good quote (like a well-written children's book) also reminds us that we don't have to be wordy to get our point across.
Both of these quotes seem perfectly obvious to me - what's the point of a pity quote if it needs explanation? But, since NaBloMo is asking I'll follow up by saying that the Fight Club quote (go on - you recognized it!) reminds me that if we become slaves to our stuff, or to the idea of acquiring stuff - we loose what's important in life. There are hundred's of other quotes in the same vein; Thoreau is saying the same thing with his simplify trifecta, and Saint-Exupert too in the Little Prince when the fox reminds us "we become responsible forever for what we have tamed." It is in our own best interest then to simplify, simplify in order that we tame the right things instead of the wrong ones.
The second quote is less well known.
It's from the musical Patience written by the british team of Gilbert and Sullivan. In the scene a duke explains to an assembly of military men why he finds the constant flattery and adulation that accompanies dukedom so tedious.
"Tell me, Major, are you fond of toffee?" he asks
Major: "Very!"
Colonel: "We are all fond of toffee"
All: "We are!"
Duke: "Yes, and toffee in moderation is a capital thing. But to live on toffee - toffee for breakfast, toffee for dinner, toffee for tea - and to have it supposed that you care for nothing but toffee, and that you would consider yourself insulted if anything but toffee were offered to you - how would you like that?"
Colonel: "I can quite believe that, under those circumstances even toffee would become monotonous."

So you see, toffee for breakfast, toffee for dinner, toffee for tea is a way of saying too much of a good thing is not so good.
Sometime I wonder what's the point of blogging? Is there anything new under the sun to be said? Sure, there are clever, funny, moving ways of saying things but aren't we all mostly relating to the same issues the Greek philosophers ponders centuries earlier? Perhaps blogging is mostly about the quotes that we choose to live our lives by and then writing that daily check in on how well we're doing.

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