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A few things in life
worth being quoted

Deep thoughts by Jean Bowick

I’ve always wanted to be one of those people who could recite great quotes on demand. People who can throw out great quotes in conversation seem intelligent, inspired – sometimes even hot. But I’ve never been able to remember quotes. Heck, I’ve never even been able to remember jokes. (Okay, I do have one corny and kind of inappropriate joke I can tell, but I won’t repeat it here.)

The Austrian philosopher Ludwig Wittgenstein once said, "I don't know why we are here, but I'm pretty sure that it is not in order to enjoy ourselves." If you’re going to quote a renowned guy at a party, it’s probably best to stay away from Wittgenstein.

hg Wells

British playwright Tom Stoppard said, “It is better to be quotable than to be honest.” I think it’s safe to say this quote of Mr. Stoppard's doesn't bolster many points of virtue. But this is a little better in the way of party fare. In like spirit, the famed time-traveler H.G. Wells himself once said, “Moral indignation is jealousy with a halo.” Hey, if there’s one place moral indignation usually isn’t invited, it’s to a party.

Here’s a real zinger from France’s main man Napoleon Bonaparte: “Glory is fleeting, but obscurity is forever.” Whoa, you wouldn’t serve this quote over light-appetizers. Who wants to slip into the murky depths of obscurity? Yet surely most of us are destined to this fate – at least to the eyes of the grand population. But not to our friends and family. Nay, by these we should be well remembered, and remembered well.

Of course, when it’s all done – and said – it won’t matter how many great quotes we mastered during our lifetimes. What remain are the thousands of other, tiny moments we shared with others along the way – milestones and memories of babies born, couples wed, holidays shared.

For folks in our industry, every day is a reason to celebrate. Somewhere someone is having a birthday, or an anniversary, or a baby. I’m glad we get to be a part of that, even if it’s just by designing and printing the special invitations or announcements.

Maybe I’ll never own the gift of fancy rhetoric, or remember the perfect quote to impress my social circle. Still, my family and friends will love me anyway (thank goodness), and will be more than delighted to include me in their special, if not-too-highbrow, holiday celebrations. And when you look at it, it just doesn’t matter if we can recite someone else’s experience or observation on life’s meaningful moments. We just need to say something that counts. That’s what’s really worth remembering anyway.


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