When Does a Quote Become a Quote?

I have always found ‘quotes’ confusing. Obviously, many are pithy sayings attributed  to famous people. Many of them died years ago. (The people, that is; not the pithy sayings). Before they left this world, did they make sure to let their loved ones know that whatever they said during their lifetime could be used by millions of people as ‘quotes’?

Is there a copyright on quotes? Or, can we steal quotes and say we invented them? What if we repeated a quote but had never heard it before? Would we still be guilty of theft?

There are so many unanswered questions.

What about quotes that do have the author’s name attached? One that I am including in this blog was apparently created by a Robert Brault. There are over 30 Robert Braults on Linkedin alone. Will the real Robert Brault who does quotes please stand up? Perhaps the author of this quote passed away many years ago. No one will really know then, will they? And let’s face it; it would have to be quite an amazing quote if attention were drawn to it.

Have you noticed that after some quotes, it says ‘author unknown’? I always wonder the reasoning behind that. Why not just leave it blank? Who decided to start passing it around as a quote anyway?

As you can see, I have more questions than answers. I also have some quotes:

Kindness is in our power even when fondness is not. ~Henry James~ (I think this means we can be nice to people we really don’t like. Sharon Mierke. That’s my quote.)

 Compassion is language the deaf can hear and the blind can see. ~Mark Twain~ (Have to admit Mark Twain has come out with some doozies!)

Carry a heart that never hates, a smile that never fades and a touch that never hurts. (no credit given to anyone. I wonder if I said that one time and someone decided to use it?)

 Never look down on anyone unless you are helping them up. (no author)

A good character is the best tombstone. (No idea who was the first to say this, but I like it!)

It’s nice to be important but it’s more important to be nice. (No one even wants to admit this is his or her’s.)

It might be the only sunshine he sees all day. (I assume written about an inmate.)

I always prefer to believe the best of everybody, it saves so much trouble~ Rudyard Kipling

  Never miss an opportunity to make others happy,even if you have to leave them alone in order to do it. (I actually  like this one and would love to meet the author.)

There is one word which may serve as a rule for all one’s life — reciprocity~Confucius~ (Well, that was a no-brainer; only Confucius would think that!)

Don’t wait for people to be friendly, show them how~Henry James~ (When did Henry say that, and why?)

 The most important trip you may take in life is meeting people halfway~Henry Boyle~ (Very profound, Mr. Boyle)

When I was young, I admired clever people. Now that I am old, I admire kind people~Abraham Heschel~ (How wonderful to meet a cleverly kind person … or should it be a kindly clever person?)

Know, it is better to be generous for it gains us gratitude~Mark Twain~

 Be tender with the young, compassionate with the aged, tolerant of the weak, because someday in your life you will be all of these. ~George Washington Carver~

 You can’t live a perfect day without doing something for someone who will never be able to repay you~John Wooden~

 If those who owe us nothing gave us nothing, how poor we would be~Antonio Porchia~ (Now there’s a deep thinker!)

 You cannot do a kindness too soon for you never know how soon it will be too late~Ralph Waldo Emerson~

By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach. ~Winston Churchill (This one impresses me because I can’t imagine Winston saying something like this, can you?)

Real generosity is doing something nice for someone who will never find out. ~Frank A. Clark~

 We have two ears and one mouth so that we can listen twice as much as we speak~Epictetus~ (I’m sorry but I believe the one who said this first was my mother!)

Don’t let those who take advantage of your generosity stop you from being generous. ~Author Unknown ~ (except choose a different person with whom to be generous).

  Be a rainbow in someone else’s cloud~Maya Angelou~ (Kind of childish, don’t you think?)

In a world full of people who couldn’t care less, be someone who cares more. ~Author Unknown ~

 Love thy neighbor and if that requires that you bend the truth, the truth will understand. ~Robert Brault  (I think that’s sort of bending the truth, Robert!)

I must admit that through the years, people have quoted me. For example, my sister-in-law asked not long ago if I remembered when I yelled, “Go!” when we entered a busy intersection and we almost got T-boned. 

So, you happen to hear someone yell, “Go” it might be something I said.

And you can quote me on that.

 

 

 

 

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