“Do you have a favorite quote that you return to again and again? What is it, and why does it move you?”
Knowing that I read, this is a question that people ask me regularly, so you’d think, having had time to contemplate the answer, that I’d have one. An answer. I don’t really.
There are so many great and inspiring quotes in the world how could anyone possibly choose? Nevermind just within literature, there’s the great and inspiring people, role models across industries, I mean pick an industry, I bet you can find someone who’s said something that would send shivers down your spine, inspired you to do or be better.
Then there’s closer to home, parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, siblings, extended families, friends, who doesn’t have someone that inspires you on an individual level, maybe they have their own mantra? Maybe they have something they always said when you were growing up that always stuck with you…my grandma always told me “he has his hands round his sausage and then round yours…don’t buy hot dogs from those stalls”. Now I wouldn’t say that moved me, but clearly it stuck with me and I do return to it whenever I stumble across those stalls…
While my grandma’s words of wisdom have proven to be very useful throughout my life so far (it wasn’t all hygiene related), I am going to choose mine from literature. I maintain that there are too many to actually choose a favourite, so in answer to the question “do you have a favourite…?”, no. However, when looking for inspiration, motivation, or even just a bit of a lift I do have one author I will return to again and again. Terry Pratchett.
I’ve been reading Terry Pratchett for as long as I can remember. Initially, as a child, I enjoyed the the adventures of the characters throughout Discworld, their silly quirks would keep me amused for hours on end, and as I grew and with each re-read I began to appreciate the details: the wit; the characters and their flaws; the relationships; the meanings; and the lessons. The man was a master of language, there’s no getting away from it, but in addition to that his outlook on life and his insight into the nature of humans is something to be admired. It would be a challenge to read an interview piece, or an anecdote from someone who knew him well, without finding a gem of a life lesson, and then you have all of the stories he had to tell…
So like I was saying, so much to choose from! Where to start? DEATH has some corkers, Vetinari, Vimes, Nanny Ogg, von Lipwig, maybe even (or especially) the Librarian…to name but a few.
In terms of life lessons it doesn’t get much simpler and to the point that this:
We are all writing our own stories. This reminds me that the big, important decisions in life are up to me, within my control. Life is a story, sometimes it can be overwhelming, but each challenge is a single paragraph, and if a few paragraphs don’t go to plan, there’s always the next chapter.