LEARNING FROM THE WISDOM OF OTHERS

We in the 21st century have no corner on wisdom, despite all our amazing progress in the scientific field. I have been collecting quotations for over a year to use on my Happiness Cards, and I use only words from those no longer living to avoid infringing on copyright protection. Choosing what to include and what to leave out has been an interesting process, and I imagine one could glean a fairly accurate psychological picture of me from the choices I have made.

I am particularly drawn to quotes by people who have had some relevance in my life. John Wooden, UCLA basketball coach and wise man, was coaching when I was a grad student there. He led the team to 10 national championships in 12 years, a record that still stands.  He became world-renown without losing his humility. Many of his instructions to his players have become words that guide lives far removed from the basketball court, and have become known as “Woodenisms

He was born and raised in Indiana, and his quotes are down-to-earth, practical and very Mid-western. “Things turn out best for the people that make the best of the way things turn out,” is a quote that displays his gift with words as well as his practical philosophy. “Never mistake activity for achievement.” That’s one I need to tape to my computer!

Someone else who touched my life and whom I quote is Peace Pilgrim. She’s not as well known as John Wooden, but just as wise in her own way. She began walking for peace at the 1953 Rose Parade in Pasadena, California, and crossed the country on foot several times. I felt as if I was walking in her footsteps when I was part of the Great Peace March and walked from Los Angeles to Washington, DC.

Her quotation from one of my Happiness Cards is: “When you find peace within yourself, you become the kind of person who can live at peace with others.” Her philosophy can be summed up with the following words: “This is the way of peace: Overcome evil with good, and falsehood with truth and hatred with love.”

The internet is a treasure trove of quotations. Spending time culling through the hundreds available on line continues to be one of my favorite activities.

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