Monday, August 23, 2010

Words to Live By

Arising from a genuine concern for the betterment of the Jamaican nation I began to wonder how useful much of the talk generated on the question of development has been. It would appear to me that the parties responsible have stopped engaging in meaningful conversation long ago and are now involved in monologues of various sorts. You see, much of the time it's really about them, their ego and their interests. What a tragedy this has become for the ordinary folk, who have become accustomed to artful talkers telling us nothing in a great harangue. I went searching for a particular quote that speaks to arguing with those who know-it-all and came across these from the Quote Garden below. I chose to include them here because they contain ideas I don't want to ever forget to apply to my own life.

To speak and to speak well are two things. A fool may talk, but a wise man speaks. ~Ben Jonson

Most conversations are simply monologues delivered in the presence of a witness. ~Margaret Millar

Of those who say nothing, few are silent. ~Thomas Neiel

The older I grow the more I listen to people who don't talk much. ~Germain G. Glien

I am annoyed by individuals who are embarrassed by pauses in a conversation. To me, every conversational pause refreshes. ~George Sanders

Don't speak unless you can improve on the silence. ~Spanish Proverb

Isn't it surprising how many things, if not said immediately, seem not worth saying ten minutes from now? ~Arnot L. Sheppard, Jr.

Blessed is the man who, having nothing to say, abstains from giving evidence of the fact. ~George Eliot, Impressions of Theophrastus Such, 1879

The difference between a smart man and a wise man is that a smart man knows what to say, a wise man knows whether or not to say it. ~Frank M. Garafola

In the course of my life, I have often had to eat my words, and I must confess that I have always found it a wholesome diet. ~Winston Churchill

And, the quote for which I initially searched:

Never argue with a fool, onlookers may not be able to tell the difference. ~ attributed to Mark Twain

I encourage those who have ideas and are able to act to do so because those who have nothing of value to add will likely continue to talk. I learned in school that "empty barrels make the most noise" (these days they do so eloquently) and I suspect that much hasn't changed.

Stop by my Urban Yard Jamaica shop some time and check out what else I've been up to. You just might see something there that you like. If you don't see anything then make a suggestion.

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