Monday, February 02, 2009

My Favorite Quotes

I've received a few questions/comments regarding my favorite quotes page over the years, so I thought I'd take the opportunity now to elaborate on my choices there.

I created the quotes page when first constructing my website over spring break in 2005. The page is as much (or more so) for myself than it is for others. I wanted to have a repository of useful quotes and figured that it could also be useful for other people as well. The basic criterion for inclusion are elegant phrasing and applicability to broad contexts. Beyond that, I just include quotes if they feel right.

Upon examination, there appears to be three main themes which can be fuzzily defined as being truthful to ourselves, showing empathy towards others, and having general optimism about the human potential. Those who know me well won't find this particularly surprising, since these themes resonate very strongly with my general views on life, the universe, and everything.

The remaining "rogue" quotes, as well as few mainstream ones, stem from notable moments from younger days. And since I'm presently in the sharing mood, brace yourselves for some Yisong trivia! Let's proceed in alphabetical order.

"Any fool can criticize, condemn and complain -- and most fools do. But it takes character and self-control to be understanding and forgiving." -- Dale Carnegie. This comes from the book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, which I read in the summer of 2005. The somewhat pretentious title notwithstanding, I found the book quite enlightening, as it very succinctly discussed rules of thumb for understanding and successfully collaborating (in a very general sense) with other people.

"Don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened." -- Dr. Seuss. As was the case for many of us back in the day, I became very emotional during the weeks leading up to my high school graduation (June 2001). Our yearbooks allowed seniors space for a personal quote or some such thing. I simply came across this Dr. Seuss quote while reading the material other seniors had used, and it's stuck with me ever since.

"Some men are born great, some achieve greatness, and some have greatness thrust upon them." -- William Shakespeare, "Twelfth Night". I did my fair share of acting back in high school, and our production of "Twelfth Night" was by far my favorite. To me (and probably the entire cast), this was the defining quote of the play.

"It's wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope." -- J. R. R. Tolkien, The Lord of the Rings. It's pretty obvious I'm a Tolkien fanatic (see three posts down). While the book contains many memorable quotes, very few actually translate well beyond the context of Middle Earth. And so we'll just have to settle for this one.

"You treat a disease, you win, you lose. You treat a person, and I guarantee you'll win no matter the outcome." -- Robin Williams, "Patch Adams". For a long time, "Patch Adams" was far and away my favorite movie. In part due to being overly romantic at the time and in part due to dealing with hormonal shifts, I always teared up at this line, which occurs towards the end of the movie. I did, in fact, use this as my senior quote for my high school yearbook.


Queen of the Bongo said...

I like music... a LOT. And I love this quote (also from twelfth night!):

"If music be the food of love, play on,
Give me excess of it; that surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die."

Yisong said...

I love that line too. I've also sang a choral arrangement that used that text.

Parisa said...

Yisong, why aren't there any quotes from the esteemed John Carrino in this post?