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Inspired by Oscar Wilde, in 100 Words
Anybody can sympathize with the sufferings of a friend, but it requires a very fine nature to sympathize with a friend's success. -- The Soul of Man under Socialism (1881)
A friend of mine says you find out who your real friends are when you're happy. She says there are always people ready to lend a shoulder to cry on, but many who'd promptly listen to your sorrows won't be inclined to listen to your laughter. She says this is because comforting you in times of grief makes them feel valuable and worthy individuals, but laughing with you serves no purpose, except maybe remind them that they haven't their own reasons to laugh. She says your real friends will laugh along with you no matter what. I think she's right.
A thing is not necessarily true because a man dies for it.
A thing isn't necessarily true because a genius said it, either, but I can't help bow to the brilliance of this simple statement that speaks volumes of the greatness and stupidity of humankind: on one hand, the fact that one would be ready to die for something they believe in; on the other, the reality that many of these beliefs are so dispossessed of any sort of reason that one wonders at the will to die for them. In any event, does it diminish the greatness of a man the fact that he would die for a stupid, untrue idea?
One's real life is often the life that one does not lead.
Once I started lying about what and who I am, I fell into a bottomless trap. To protect one lie, I needed to tell another, and another, until it became a full-time chore to keep track of all the lies. I got so tangled in my own fabrications, that I forgot why I told that first lie. I was so trapped in my fantasy that I wasn't able to tell the truth even if I wanted to. Regardless, that truth I wanted to hide in the first place no longer existed. I'm not that person anymore, just a complete lie.
I think that God in creating Man somewhat overestimated his ability.
Forgive me while I laugh until I cry. Was there ever a truest statement in regards to man's creation? Oh, but wait, whatever gave Wilde the idea that God exists and that he created anything? Never mind that, though, I'm still laughing. If God created man in his likeness, one only needs to observe the end result of his crafty creation to realize that the almighty is either the most crooked, corrupt, greedy, unreasonable, vengeful, hurtful, ignorant, hateful, disdainful individual, or that he indeed seriously overestimated his ability, but then that's a trait that points to ignorance, heavenly or earthly.
One is tempted to define man as a rational animal who always loses his temper when he is called upon to act in accordance with the dictates of reason. -- The Critic as Artist, part 2 (1891)
One is also tempted to define man as a beast with a very itchy temper that occasionally behaves as a rational animal, when reason and his personal agenda coincide. Are we beasts underneath a thin veneer of civilization, or are we rational animals struggling to cope in a world that doesn't always operate on the dictates of reason? Are we a pack of alpha dog wannabes, or a pigpen of conformists just feeding and thriving on stink and dirt? One is extremely tempted to just leave man undefined, and let every man's actions be a definition of what he is.
It is absurd to divide people into good and bad. People are either charming or tedious. -- Lady Windermere's Fan, Act I (1892)
This reminds me of that old cliché that says "normal is boring." Really? I don't think so, I think all of us are normal in our own way, and the only boring thing about that is trying to pretend that we aren't, as if "normal" were a sickness that one needs to be cured from. That's so very tedious and so very not charming, that I wish we would all get over it, collectively. Maybe I'm mistaken, maybe it's my own twitched sense of normalcy, but I hardly ever hear "normal is boring" from someone who isn't either or both.
The truth is rarely pure and never simple. -- The Importance of Being Earnest, Act I (1895)
Can I say anything, in 100 words, that doesn’t sound completely idiotic next to this incredibly inspired sentence? I certainly can't, I simply had the inclination to close the Wilde tribute with one of my all time favorite quotes. Those who know me, know how much I abhor naming favorites. That's because there's a moment for everything and everything fits into its moment, but favorites seem to point to a transcendence of time and space, a truth that is always valid in one's mind. I have few favorites because there are few truths that are indelibly valid in my mind.
© 2009 Elena.