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Our Surroundings

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Our Surroundings Page 60 of  101

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  • The cost of living doesn’t increase anywhere near as fast as the cost of wanting.

  • Much of our daily language employs abstract terms that seemingly refer to things that may only exist in the mind of the communicator. When beliefs are shared, this poses few problems, but when not shared, accurate communication is questionable. Abstract words can be “de-abstracted” back into terms with which few would disagree exist. For instance if another saw a movie that you disliked, but the other said that it was an excellent movie, one might at first disagree. But, if one “de-abstracts” the word “excellent” to mean only that something was liked intensely by the person expressing, there would be no reason to disagree. No rational person would tell another person that they didn’t like something intensely just after they had expressed liking something intensely. Thus, “de-abstracting” both aids in communication and reduces conflict.

  • Those that distrust science seem to trust ignorance even more.

  • Nothing dulls the keenness of a youth’s curiosity more than the presence of an authority, be that authority a teacher, a clergy, or a parent. An unquenchable curiosity is more precious than whatever these authorities could ever impart to the young unless they impart more curiosity.

  • Those that speak out of both sides of their mouths don’t do it for the stereo effect.

  • Any promise that we make, and any promise made to us, should always be regarded as conditional on circumstances that could never be anticipated at the promising. Except for legal contracts, tolerance for unanticipated circumstances will smooth our futures.

  • If one actually supplied “all of the truth and nothing but the truth” in a testimony, the testimony would be endless, because every factor referred to would need to refer to at least one more factor.

  • There are some parts of the world where at a fleeting moment during the year the sun is directly overhead and it is claimed that a person casts no shadow; actually though, this is false. One’s shadow is neatly tucked beneath our feet, and is the darkest of all our shadows.

  • How come we always hear from people that told us so when they are correct but never hear from the people who told us so when they are incorrect?

  • The shortest distance between two points is always when the points touch one another.

  • One of, and perhaps the greatest tragedy of modern Americans, is that they live in the best of times, and in the best of places, yet measure their happiness on a scale that focuses on what isn’t in their lives that they still want, instead of focusing on all the positive aspects that are in their lives, and because they already possess them, they no longer have want.

  • It is our ignorance of one another that stirs our fears; it is our knowledge of one another that discloses that we are alike, even in our fears and that fear is the cause of our conflicts.

  • Those with a weak sense of themselves will seek out celebrities for an autograph, handshake, or even a glimpse, as though the fame of another could be transferred in small part by that experience.

  • The most certain way, but not the only way to find happiness, is to be surrounded by happy people, and the surest way to become unhappy is to be surrounded by those that are unhappy; it is always in our interest to increase the happiness of those around us.

  • The basis for most arguments is ignorance of at least one, but more often of two

  • We often hear how some experience “energy” when they’re surrounded by certain others when actually what they’re experiencing is the lessening of their own doubts about their own beliefs. Nothing seems to be so reinforcing of beliefs than to be surrounded by others with similar beliefs, be they churches, rock concerts, or sporting events.

  • Impulse buying has much in common with drug addiction. One becomes excited by the anticipation of possessing something new, receives a high with its acquisition, and then experiences withdrawal when the high quickly leaves and the bills become due; then the process starts over again with the excited anticipation of a new meaningless acquisition.

  • Whenever someone says that they have no talent, all that they are really saying is that their talent hasn’t been discovered, as it is unlikely that any of us are totally barren of talent. Therein lies mankind’s greatest undeveloped resource that is largely wasted.

  • Do business with those that you believe will make a profit in their dealings lest you find that they are making their profits where you can least afford their doing so.

  • All books are history books; phone books are a history of what phone numbers were; dictionaries are a history of what were meant by words; novels are history books of what someone thought would be entertaining, and even fantasy books of the future are histories of what someone believed or imagined what the future would be.

  • Modern abstract art is the most obscure form of self-expression that any society has ever endured.


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