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

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. 

Recent Posts in The Flip Side

How and Why They Make Us Laugh

The psychology and biology of humor

The Art of Transcendence Over the Years, Part I

Learning to Grow Beyond Ourselves

Scenes from Across the Ages

Getting some perspective on age