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Updated on October 2, 2012


Feeling a little lost? Not quite sure life has any meaning? Overwhelmed by the loud, in-your-face consumer society we live in? Don’t know where you get the strength to make it through each day? You are not alone. Just think of the explosion in spiritual movements (New Age, etc.), and the self-help industry (Anything and Everything for Dummies, etc.) over the past 30 years. I recently found in a drawer of my desk a book of quotes I had compiled over many years. Perusing the pages, I was re-introduced to nuggets of wisdom from famous and not-so-famous people of the past. Feeling a bit bewildered myself these days, I searched for musings that helped answer some of the questions posed above, along with others as well.

For the secret of life and its fleeting nature, thus wanting to get the most out of it, while not sweating the little stuff, the following from a Blackfoot Indian named Crowfoot has always been one of my favorites: “What is Life? It is the flash of a firefly at night. It is the breath of a buffalo in wintertime. It is the little shadow which runs across the grass and loses itself in the sunset.” Need extra motivation in the morning? This piece of the Deer’s Cry by St. Patrick might get you going: “I arise today- Through the strength of heaven, light of sun, radiance of moon, splendor of fire, speed of lightning, swiftness of wind, depth of sea, stability of earth, firmness of rock.”

Searching for an outlook to conquer the daily grind? These tidbits could be useful: “From a grain of sand, to a great mountain, all is sacred”- Peter Blue Cloud, Mohawk Indian. “Do nothing you would not do before the whole world.”- Padraic Pearse, Irish Patriot. “Qui va chap’tit, va loin, He who goes gently, goes far.” –Saintonge, France proverb. “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are endless.”- Mother Teresa. “Setting an example is not the main means of influencing another, it is the only means.”- Albert Einstein. If suffering through another tirade from the boss, you might want to keep in mind this one from French explorer, Samuel de Champlain- “Those who know the least, shout the loudest.”

When you get home dog-tired and the kids are bouncing off the walls to the point of wanting to wring their necks, here are two to remember: “The sun illuminates only the eye of a man, but shines into the eye and heart of a child.”- Ralph Waldo Emerson. “Love is the chain whereby to lock a child to its parent.”- Abraham Lincoln. As your head finally hits the pillow, but the mind is still racing a mile a minute, wondering what tomorrow will bring, this simple, quiet exhortation may calm the storm: “Lios achai em vale epo, God the Father, be it Thy will.”- Prayer of Yaqui Indians, Arizona and Sonora, Mexico.


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