Wisdom

It is said that wisdom comes with age. This page is dedicated to the lessons life has taught me, frequently through painful experience. I will at times quote others more eloquent than I, but only when life has already taught me the same lesson.

  • Never be so afraid of dying that you forget to live.
  • It has been my experience that folks who have no vices have very few virtues.

    — Abraham Lincoln

  • A surprising number of life’s problems work themselves out if you have faith a solution will present itself, the patience to wait for the solution to come by, and the courage to grasp the solution when it arrives.
  • When pursuing your dreams remember these words from the movie Boondock Saints:

    Connor: How far are we gonna take this, Da?
    Il Duce: The question is not how far. The question is, do you possess the constitution, the depth of faith, to go as far as is needed?

    — Boondock Saints

  • The Wisdom of Chad: Remember the story about the blind men and the elephant? Traveling the world for a long time is like eating that elephant. Every day you get a bite of that elephant. Some days it will be a big bite of ass….
  • Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things you didn’t do, than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bow lines, sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails, Explore, Dream, Discover.

    — Mark Twain

  • Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in a pretty and well preserved body, but rather to skid in broadside in a cloud of smoke, thoroughly used up, totally worn out, and loudly proclaiming ‘Wow! What a Ride!’

    — Unknown

  • The most difficult part of traveling the world for months or years at a time is the decision to do it. Not the borders, not the languages, and certainly not the money. Just the decision.
  • Change is a necessary corollary of life. Either you’re going somewhere or you’re dead.

    — Kelly McCullough, WebMage

  • In the journey of life, many of the big decisions are made long before reaching the actual moment of decision. It is only upon arriving at the crossroads that you discover the choice made long ago.
  • I have never been so poor as when I owned lots of possessions. I have never been so rich as when I was surrounded by friends, barely a penny to my name.
  • The largest barrier to success is the concept of change.
  • Hitch: Life is not the amount of breaths you take, it’s the moments that take your breath away.

    Hitch (movie)

  • A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving.

    — Lao Tzu

  • Every man dies, not every man really lives.

    — William Wallace in Braveheart (movie)

  • The greatness of a person is determined by the greatness of the questions he asks.
  • The past is regret, shame and embarrassment sprinkled with memories of moments of joy now fading away. The future is fear…of repeating the past, of failures to come, mixed in with a few longing hopes of what might be. The present is pure joy and laughter and hope and happiness. All that is bad is brought in from the past or the future, all that is good is now.
  • You have to be always drunk. That’s all there is to it—it’s the only way. So as not to feel the horrible burden of time that breaks your back and bends you to the earth, you have to be continually drunk.But on what? Wine, poetry or virtue, as you wish. But be drunk.

    And if sometimes, on the steps of a palace or the green grass of a ditch, in the mournful solitude of your room, you wake again, drunkenness already diminishing or gone, ask the wind, the wave, the star, the bird, the clock, everything that is flying, everything that is groaning, everything that is rolling, everything that is singing, everything that is speaking. . .ask what time it is and wind, wave, star, bird, clock will answer you: “It is time to be drunk! So as not to be the martyred slaves of time, be drunk, be continually drunk! On wine, on poetry or on virtue as you wish.

    Charles Baudelaire (Translated from French)

  • It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.

    — Theodore Roosevelt

  • The Invitation

    by Oriah Mountain Dreamer

    It doesn’t interest me what you do for a living. I want to know what you ache for, and if you dare to dream of meeting your heart’s longing.

    It doesn’t interest me how old you are. I want to know if you will risk looking like a fool for love, for your dream, for the adventure of being alive.

    It doesn’t interest me what planets are squaring your moon. I want to know if you have touched the centre of your own sorrow, if you have been opened by life’s betrayals or have become shrivelled and closed from fear of further pain.

    I want to know if you can sit with pain, mine or your own, without moving to hide it, or fade it, or fix it.

    I want to know if you can be with joy, mine or your own, if you can dance with wildness and let the ecstasy fill you to the tips of your fingers and toes without cautioning us to be careful, to be realistic, to remember the limitations of being human.

    It doesn’t interest me if the story you are telling me is true. I want to know if you can disappoint another to be true to yourself; if you can bear the accusation of betrayal and not betray your own soul; if you can be faithless and therefore trustworthy.

    I want to know if you can see beauty, even when it’s not pretty, every day, and if you can source your own life from its presence.

    I want to know if you can live with failure, yours and mine, and still stand at the edge of the lake and shout to the silver of the full moon, “Yes!”

    It doesn’t interest me to know where you live or how much money you have. I want to know if you can get up after the night of grief and despair, weary and bruised to the bone, and do what needs to be done to feed the children.

    It doesn’t interest me who you know or how you came to be here. I want to know if you will stand in the centre of the fire with me and not shrink back.

    I want to know what sustains you, from the inside, when all else falls away.

    I want to know if you can be alone with yourself and if you truly like the company you keep in the empty moments.

  • You live like this, sheltered, in a delicate world, and you believe you are living. Then you read a book (Lady Chatterley, for instance), or you take a trip, or you talk with Richard, and you discover that you are not living, that you are hibernating. The symptoms of hibernating are easily detectable: first, restlessness. The second symptom (when hibernating becomes dangerous and might degenerate into death): absence of pleasure. That is all. It appears like an innocuous illness. Monotony, boredom, death. Millions live like this (or die like this) without knowing it. They work in offices. They drive a car. They picnic with their families. They raise children. And then some shock treatment takes place, a person, a book, a song, and it awakens them and saves them from death.

    — The Diary of Anaïs Nin , Volume One 1931-1934

  • This is the test of your manhood: How much is there left in you after you have lost everything outside of yourself?

    — Orison Swett Marden

  • Feminine is that which seduces the masculine. Masculine is that which seduces the feminine.
  • There is nothing scarier in the world than knowing exactly where you want to go, but having absolutely no idea how to get there. Except maybe knowing where you want to go, knowing how to get there, and then having no idea of who you are when you arrive.

    — Fall (Movie, 1997)

  • Beware of anything that you hear yourself saying often.

    — Susan Sontag

  • You cannot bring about prosperity by discouraging thrift.
    You cannot strengthen the weak by weakening the strong.
    You cannot help little men by tearing down big men.
    You cannot lift the wage earner by pulling down the wage payer.
    You cannot help the poor by destroying the rich.
    You cannot establish sound security on borrowed money.
    You cannot further the brotherhood of man by inciting class hatred.
    You cannot keep out of trouble by spending more than you earn.
    You cannot build character and courage by destroying men’s initiative and independence.
    And you cannot help men permanently by doing for them what they can and should do for themselves.

    — William John Henry Boetcker

  • Holding onto anger is like drinking poison and expecting the other person to die.

    — Anonymous