Posted by: slartibartifast | May 15, 2008


     There are a handful of sayings that I have collected over the years and used to illuminate my path through life. The best ones are easy to recognize because they have an immediate glow of Truth to them and, if I have been paying ANY attention to life at all, they embody that Truth in as few simple words as possible.

     I discovered that, try as often as I do, I just don’t have the time to make all of the mistakes of the people who came before me and that there are tiny doses of wisdom to be found in terse aphorisms that can save me another “D’oh!” moment.

     Some of my favorites:

     When the only tool you have is a hammer, everything looks like a nail. When you put former oil executives and defense contractor CEOs in charge of a government you shouldn’t be surprised when you get a war, necessary or not.

     You never ask a barber if you need a haircut. While apparently similar to the above example there is a subtle difference- this one makes you part of the process. Try and use some intelligence and discernment in your travails.

     A man with one watch knows what time it is. A man with two watches is never sure. Often gathering more information does not help judgement.

     A ship is safe in harbor, but that is not what ships are made for. I would add the corollary But neither are they made for hurricanes.

     You can’t un-ring a bell. A basic tenet taught in law schools. It’s even more appropriate in Life. There are things you can say or do that can never be undone, with any amount of apologies and/or lawsuits. When in doubt err on the side of being nice.

     Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything. Attributed to Joseph Stalin. That says it all.

     Imagination is more important than knowledge. Attributed to Albert Einstein. That also says it all.

     There are no facts, only interpretations. Attributed to Friedrich Nietzsche, one of the human race’s greatest thinkers.

     Ability is of little account without opportunity. Attributed to Napolean. He had lots of opportunities.

     Data is not information. Information is not knowledge. Knowledge is not understanding. Understanding is not wisdom. Attributed to Cliff Stoll and Gary Schubert. My all-time favorite saying.

     I don’t collect these to make people laugh, although they do that, I collect them to make people think. I wish they did more of that.



  1. A good bunch of life gems indeed there. Thanks.

  2. “Those who vote decide nothing. Those who count the votes decide everything.” — Amen to that! *lol*

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