The Flip Side

You can't spell "joy" without the "oy"

Today's Smile: 10 Inspiring Quotes

for friends in treatment: one daily smile, laugh or thing of beauty

Some sayings that make me smile or think or both


A ship in harbor is safe.

But that is not what ships are built for.

           - John Shedd


The mind is not a vessel to be filled,

but a fire to be kindled.

             - Plutarch


When one must, one can.

         - Jewish proverb


I would have written a shorter letter,

but I didn't have the time.

       - Blaise Pascal


You can't control the wind,

but you can adjust your sails.

       - Jewish proverb


God offers to every mind its choice between truth and repose.

Take which you please—you can never have both

                - Ralph Waldo Emerson


(Or the Yiddish version - With one butt, you can't sit on two horses)


I always knew I would one day come to this road;

but yesterday, I did not know it would be today.

                  - Ariwara Narihara

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Boys have a penis; gIrls have a giant. - Isaac, age 3


Man is harder than iron,

     Stronger than stone,

            and more fragile than a rose.

                 - Turkish proverb



(For a discussion of what prompted the Smile a Day column, see an earlier post)


Click here for my book (one of O: The Oprah Magazine's 10 Titles to Pick Up in May; with Foreword by New York Times columnist David Brooks): The House on Crash Corner and Other Unavoidable Calamities—about the sad, hilarious and meaningful ways we deal with the crises in our lives. 





Mindy Greenstein, Ph.D., is a psycho-oncologist and author of The House on Crash Corner and Other Unavoidable Calamities.


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