We all love a good quote.
Quotes can be funny:
"Education is what remains after one has forgotten everything he learned in school."
- Albert Einstein
Quotes can be touching:
"All, everything that I understand, I only understand because I love."
— Leo Tolstoy
Quotes can impart wisdom that outlives the person that spoke it:
"I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character. "
- Martin Luther King, Jr.
But why do we like them so much?
Webster defines a quote as repeating the words of another while acknowledging that they had spoken or written it.
Now that we know what a quote is why do we like them so much?
1. Quotes give authority to what we are trying to say.
Whenever we're searching for back up for our words we like to throw in a quote. It's been done throughout history.
For example, when Jesus of the Bible was tempted by Satan they both used quotes to get their point across.
In both the books of Matthew and Luke, Satan tempted Jesus by saying, "It is written..." -- and Jesus followed by rebuking Satan with a quote of his own.
2. Quotes give us words to fill the emotion that we are trying to postulate.
Have you ever had that moment when you run across the words of another and have that moment, "That's exactly what I was trying to say?"
3. Quotes allow us to piggy-back off the hard work of others.
To gain the necessary wisdom that it takes to be able to utter a good quote requires a lifetime of labor.
We do a misservice, when we use a quote as quick snack -- a microwave meal; it belittles the speaker, the thinker, or the writer of the words.
A quote should be revered, respected, and cherished.
What a few writers over the years have to say about quotes:
“He wrapped himself in quotations - as a beggar would enfold himself in the purple of Emperors.”
― Rudyard Kipling
“A facility for quotation covers the absence of original thought.”
― Dorothy L. Sayers
“Be careful--with quotations, you can damn anything.”
― André Malraux
Most people are other people. Their thoughts are someone else's opinions, their lives a mimicry, their passions a quotation.
A fine quotation is a diamond in the hand of a man of wit and a pebble in the hand of a fool.
I always have a quotation for everything - it saves original thinking.
When one begins to live by habit and by quotation, one has begun to stop living.
The 1 thing that we should do about quotes is to change ourselves.
Yes, we should value others, and the hard work that they have done -- but, don't let that keep you from working hard yourself.
Place enough value on the words that you think, that you say, and that you write that you can quote yourself.
Don't you have something to say?
Please allow yet another quotation to prove my point:
"In the dying world I come from, quotation is a national vice."
Keep working hard. Never stop believing in yourself. And value what you have to say.
And I'll do the same.