“As a nation, we began by declaring that ‘all men are created equal.’ We now practically read it ‘all men are created equal, except negroes.’ When the Know-Nothings get control, it will read ‘all men are created equal, except negroes, and foreigners, and Catholics.’ When it comes to this I should prefer emigrating to some country where they make no pretense of loving liberty – to Russia, for instance, where despotism can be taken pure, and without the base alloy of hypocrisy.”
—Abraham Lincoln, Letter to Joshua Speed
“For last year’s words belong to last year’s language
And next year’s words await another voice.
And to make an end is to make a beginning.”
— T. S. Eliot, Little Gidding from Four Quartets
Happy 2018. Go make your beginning.
“The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.”
— Mark Twain
This quote resurfaced in an article from 2014 that was shared by my friend and fellow author Michael Ripplinger. The article itself, The Crossroads of Should and Must by Elle Luna is an excellent read, and worth spending some time with before the start of a new year—especially if you sit on the cusp of following a dream and you find yourself terrified.
❄️ 💀 ❄️
“Traveling – it leaves you speechless, then turns you into a storyteller.”
—Ibn Battuta, maybe Ibn Juzayy, potentially someone else
So, I am a big fan of this quote for obvious reasons. However, among scholars, there is some doubt that Ibn Battuta actually said or wrote this. He didn’t take notes on his travels, and much of his work was dictated long afterward to Ibn Juzayy (who plagiarized.) If you want a synopsis of the controversy, I recommend checking out the “Works” subsection of Ibn Battuta’s Wikipedia page as it does a decent job summarizing.
Plagiarization or not, a great many travel blogs still attribute this to Ibn Battuta without so much of a note of doubt. Due diligence is necessary even for quotes, and often the story behind the quote can be more interesting than the quote itself.
Okay, all of that said: controversy-schmontroversy! The quotes still rad and travel is enriching. Get out there. Breath the air. Immerse yourself in worlds beyond your own. You’ll never know what you find.
“Make something bad then criticize it until it’s good.”
I thought Mr. Harmon had good insights on habits, taking ourselves too seriously, writing, and procrastination. Perhaps you will as well. This clip is taken from Episode 12 of the Dumb People Town podcast. [!] Warning: NSFW language.