Looking for answers to life's questions

Quotes are usually extracted from the writings or sayings of learned men or women. Today’s quote is inspired by my father. He had very little education. The Army insisted that he complete his high school education getting an equivalent of a GED while serving. I spent very little time with him growing up but much of that time was spent helping me with my English. Who would have known that now I would need help with my German?

He told me that if I could learn how words were constructed I would know how to understand words I had never seen before. I might not know exactly what the word meant but I would be able to follow the gist of the conversation.  We worked with a dictionary on Sundays to improve my vocabulary.

One little tidbit he dropped on me has stuck like plaster to a porous surface. I’ve looked for another source for this saying everywhere but can’t find it. His take on the world was:

“There is nothing more dangerous than a closed mind” ~ Dad

Others have said it differently.

People’s minds are like parachutes – they only function when they are open. ~ Sir James Dewar  (1842-1923) Scientist

You can learn nothing new if your mind is closed.  Sometimes we just need to allow the guy who says the world is round, not flat some room for possibility.

I’m thinking that when dear old dad says it, it’s a platitude. When Sir James Dewar says it, it’s a quote.

Dad had other platitudes. He would follow-up the open mind saying with another.

Take everything you hear and read with a grain of salt.

I heard that one as often. It took a bit to get the full meaning of it. Be discerning with that open mind. Don’t swallow everything you read and hear like it was…Kool Aide.

There are quotes, sayings and platitudes that we live by but do we really think about them? I have a philosophical mind bent and question everything. What I believed yesterday, may not be as true for me today. When you educate yourself, you can change your mind.

I took a look at my refrigerator magnets this morning to see if anything else stuck like glue. Since I have no more photos today I’ll leave you with these little gems.

Winston Churchill said it.

Winston Churchill said it.

We all go through hell once in a while. Just don’t make it a vacation spot and invite your friends. It’s ok to write a book about it though.

This one is self-explanatory.

notes

What are the quotes or platitudes you live by?

From my heart to yours,

Marlene Herself

Comments on: "In Search of Quote Three" (35)

  1. Your father was a very smart man. I learned to question everything from my high school history teacher. He had us look at a photograph in our text book of George Washington crossing a river and asked if we saw any women, children or black individuals with him. No we didn’t. He then told us they were there but the powers that be wanted the textbooks to show one point of view, that only white men fought the war for independence. I then taught that same lesson to my own children so they too would question what they read or heard too.

    He was also very smart when it came to teaching you how to take apart words to learn what they meant. When I homeschooled my boys I used a program called English from the Roots Up. It used the Greek and Latin roots and suffixes which if you understood their meanings you could decipher the meaning of any word. it worked better for my ADD child who struggled with reading than starting with the dictionary. When it comes to learning language there are a few ways, we just need to find the way that speaks to the individual something I wish the schools did more of.

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  2. I love these quotes. I learned how to question things because that’s just how I am. Even when very little, I would be told how something was and my first question was simple…why? My parents weren’t much for on hands teaching their kids. Some ways that was good, some not so much. But I have always questioned the universe and everything in it. Still do. I may never grow up….

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    • I think questioning is being a grown up. Accepting what you are told is childish. I wasn’t allowed to question overtly but in my mind I did. I always had that look you see on a dogs face when they cock their heads and look at you like they are saying “huh, what was that you just said” You know the look. :))

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  3. Loved your Dad’s quote.. and I have on the bottom of my email this quote
    ” “Be the change that you wish to see in the world.”
    ― Mahatma Gandhi

    Have a perfect weekend Sue

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  4. You had a dad with a good mind and good intentions, which I will take any day over one that is the product only of higher education. It’s what I call ‘native intelligence’. I was always being told not to ask questions as a child and a young woman and it took a while for me to find out that my questing mind was actually a good thing. Your Dad’s quote is such a good thing – and it is a quote! If someone said or wrote it and it is used – then it is a quote. You can block it out and write his full name beneath it 🙂 As an aside, did you know that Winston Churchill was a poor student, possibly with dyslexia. His mother was told he ‘would amount to nothing’. Have a lovely day [or evening] Marlene xoxo

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    • Thanks Pauline. We didn’t have conversations at home or ask questions but somehow the quest to know more seemed to take over and got me in a lot of trouble. It’s funny how the pearls of wisdom manage to catch in your brain. He did the best he could with what he had. Spent the last 20 years of his life with some kind of book or another in his hand. Told me that’s what he liked about having a bad heart. He could sit reading and not feel guilty about it. Me, I don’t feel guilty at all but would still like more time to read. Soon! What you call Native intelligence, I called common sense. It’s in short supply these days. Thanks for stopping by.

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    • I marvel at the stories of children not expected to ‘amount to anything.’ What cruelty both parents and teachers can heap upon the young.

      I’m glad you found your way, Pauline.

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  5. “How people treat you is their karma; how you react is yours.”
    Wayne Dyer

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  6. My maternal grandfather always said, “Don’t believe anything your hear or anything you read and only half of what you see.” That saying didn’t make much sense to me when I was young, but I understand it more fully now. My maternal grandmother always said, “There is nobody in this whole wide world better than you are, but always remember that you are not better than anyone else.” I understood that one my whole life, even though I have had times when I thought everyone was better than me and times when I thought I was better than someone else. I still try to keep it in mind everyday.

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    • I guess there are lots of ways of saying things. The most important part is that we get it. First not to believe everything just because others think it’s so and them that we are not better or worse than anyone. Just different. It’s great that you had grandparents to guide you. We all need someone to help with that and to be open to new ideas. Thanks for stopping by. It’s appreciated.

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  7. I like that you used your father’s words to inspire this. I think we can forget how wise the people around us can be and I know I learned as much from my good parents as I have from books or philosophers or the learned.

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  8. I love the quote from your dad. I think you hit the nail on the head in one of your comments when you said -common sense! Many of these quotes from years gone by are various ways of using good, practical common sense. Perhaps that is why parents used these quotes/platitudes with us as kids. I know I had a bunch of them tossed about during my growing years. The interesting thing about it is, they really do make perfect sense! Certainly something that we could use a dose of in today’s world as common sense seems to be out the window all too often. Great quotes! I really like your magnet that says “when your heart speaks take notes”. Wow! Had I done that over the years what opportunities or experiences might have awaited me. I am most certainly not complaining about the course of my life but I did not always listen to my heart. I should have been taking notes!♡♡♡

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  9. Ah! Marlene…no wonder we get along so well…my mind is CONSTANTLY filled with questions 🙂 I love your Dad’s “platitudes,” and have many I could tell you…but will leave you with one:
    Do the right thing…and do all things right!
    Much love to you…hope you are finished painting the fence 😉 ❤

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    • Thanks Lorrie. I like your platitude! Don’t think I’ve heard that one before. The fence has the other side still not quite done. It’s Ms Alzheimer’s side so I have to paint when her son is there as not to confuse or agitate her. I’m about half done with that side. Now the house but it will wait as we have marvelous rain. That should help the fires and smoke on this coast. Yay!

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  10. Wisdom is a given from most Dads’ minds. Platitudes? They survive because they are TRUE! (I’ve written several poems in Defence of Clichés – in fact the first of mine that was ever published was called that: https://vivinfrance.wordpress.com/2010/04/24/and-while-im-on-the-subject/

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  11. Very good quote! I must say I agree with your father.

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  12. I echo everyone here: it’s delightful to see you quote your father. There are people who seem to “have it all” and never really make it in life, and then there are people like your dad, that made the best of their own world and made a better life. He sounds like a good man.

    I’ve really enjoyed your quote posts, Marlene.

    Now you must tell me: did it rain today?

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  13. I came across a quote by Eleanor Roosevelt that I love: “A woman is like a tea bag- you never know how strong she is until she gets in hot water.”

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  14. I agree that having a closed mind is so limiting, for our minds can’t begin to fathom the wisdom and possibilities that the Universe provides. My father didn’t have a platitude per se, but always told me just to do my best, that is all that was expected of me. And I have been so grateful to have heard that in my childhood. Namaste.

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  15. Your Dad’s words are wise. We run into trouble when we have closed minds and when we choose to grab on to everything we hear. Discernment is such a key to life.

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    • So true, Missy. I learned about discernment many years ago. Some wanted to label it judgmental. I didn’t care how others saw things or acted, it was about how I chose for myself. But always being willing to learn is a big thing for me. Thanks for stopping by.

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  16. Omigosh, Marlene! I picked my quote before I read your post, because I didn’t want your words to distract me. And guess what I picked? A quote from my dad. “There will always be greater and lesser people than yourself,” he told me, at a very young age, proving that my problems with ego must have been around since the beginning. I don’t know why that one stuck with me so clearly, but I have never forgotten to use it to keep myself humble. He had some other good ones, like your dad. “When you borrow something, always return it in as good or better shape than when you got it.” So that would have him doing mechanical repairs, washing, refilling gas tanks of anything from a neighbor, before it was returned. He also always said he believed in God, but didn’t understand many of the rituals and buildings said by humans to be holy. “I feel closer to God in the woods, or in a boat on a creek, than in any place made by people,” he said. His words helped me realize that spirituality is a personal relationship, and not something that other people get to decide for you.

    What memories you have, of being encouraged to study English. Does it ever make you wonder “Was that girl the same person as me?” ha ha. I am glad you have those memories of your dad, and I’m glad the Army made him get his GED.

    I liked your inclusion of quotes on your refrigerator. It’s a nice glimpse into each others’ lives, to see the little quotes and bits of poetic inspiration we like to keep around us.

    Hugs to you my friend,
    Crystal

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    • Thanks so much for stopping by, Crystal. Your dad sounds like a wise man too. My parents were living proof that there is always something good in every person. I too somehow got the idea that things always went back better than they came. It may have been that I would loan things that came back in pretty bad shape. My dad lied about his age to get into the army so he had almost no education. He was a proud man that didn’t want us to be less than anyone else. Appearances were important to both parents and we should never appear ignorant or dirty. I keep lots of quotes around to help drag me through tough days.

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