Favorite Sayings & Expressions


There are many hundreds of quotes and sayings which have beneficially come my way over the years.  Some are cute, like "man who drive like hell, bound to get there sooner or later," which I saw as a youngster on one of those heavily lacquered wood and bark plaques in the hardware store in Lake George (Michigan).  It was not something I would likely quote, but I remembered it.  Add the common expressions of any given decade and this page could go on and on.  However, only a few have consistently remained with me throughout my life, several as long as forty years or more.  It is some of these that I share with you on this page. 

I have used one stock (brick wall) and one clipart (computer) background below along with my images on this page because the text did not always contrast well with the photo I might have chosen relating to the subject.  Then again, maybe I just liked them better. 


"Let me save you from drowning said the monkey to the fish as he pulled him from the water and put him in the tree."


Life is not about controlling others.  It is about self-control.  That applies especially to unsolicited help.  The best of intentions can have disastrous results when we try to rescue others strictly based on our own perceptions or perspectives.  Only God sees the entire picture clearly enough to know what is best.  The above quote is a vivid reminder of this. 

Both the above and below sayings were originally heard while attending Al-Anon meetings in the 1980s.  I discovered quite a number of beneficial philosophies in my years there. 


"As you stand next to the brick wall for the hundredth time with your hand upon your aching bloodied head, perhaps it is time to realize it is not the wall which is moving."


The next two, which I saw on business desks when I was fresh out of college, have probably been a part of my philosophical sharing as long as any.  I still use them regularly. 


"When you are up to your ass in alligators, it is hard to remember your original objective was to drain the swamp."


"Always speak the truth and you will never need to be concerned with your memory."


Lack of or miscommunication creates all sorts of problems.  I like to make sure that all those who could potentially be affected by a communication actually receive a copy of its contents.  One of my favorite ways of describing such an action is with the saying.  I am . . . "Just trying to keep everybody on the same page." 


'What a beautiful pair of shoes,' they all said.  'Yes, they are,' he replied.  'But, I am the only one who knows they hurt my feet.'


"Do not think of a pink elephant."


"Ignorance is bliss."


I have put the above two seemingly unrelated sayings next to one another because I have often used each of them in talking about our thought processes.  The first illustrates to us the power of suggestion, regardless of what the words themselves might instruct.  The second I use in discussions about learning and growth.  Ignorance may, or may not, be bliss, but it is not a long-term option.  Once something is planted into our consciousness, we cannot choose to un-know it.  But, that brings to mind the Martin Luther quote below.  In all honesty, it takes some effort to clearly picture (think of) and keep a pink elephant in your mind, which illustrates the Luther point further.  You might not be able to prevent introduced or fleeting thoughts, but you do have some control over how long they remain, or whether you allow them to find fertile ground to take root and grow. 

atow photo note: Obviously I altered two of the three background pictures with my photo programs.


"You cannot keep a bird from flying over your head, but you can keep it from nesting in your hair."

- Martin Luther


"To err is human,
but to really foul things up
  takes a computer."


"In the days of the frost,
   seek a minor sun."


"Better to be thought a fool than to open one's mouth and remove all doubt."


I no longer use the expression above much, but I did at one time.  It is probably one I should simply keep in mind for my own benefit though.  The one below is from the movie War Games, and I have used it often throughout my life.  It relates to the futility of entering into something from which you cannot possibly emerge with any sense of victory. 


"Strange game . . . the only way to win is not to play."


"People do not care how much you know - they want to know how much
  you care."


Earlier in life, I would use the expression 'information overload' quite a bit when facing some significant spiritual and mental challenges.  Today, that could just as well be 'clutter overload' across the board.  That is why I really like the below expression.  He might tell you to 'take the wheel' for a little while, but He is still the Pilot, if you let Him be. 


"If God is your co-pilot, you need to switch seats with Him."


"There is no business to be done
 on a dead planet."

- David Brower


The above quote is a recent addition to sayings I use.  I took the picture, by the way, in 2012 from the dam overlook in Fitzgerald Park.  Another new one I saw at a friend's house, before I completed work on this page, is an expansion of a more common one . . .

God answers all prayers
Sometimes He says Yes
Sometimes He says No
    And sometimes He says . . .
You've got to be kidding!

The first time I read that, I busted out laughing.  I have already repeated the quote on several occasions, so I suspect it will likely become a part of my repertoire. 

I used the below quote for many years, in a multitude of circumstances, before I began reading the Bible.  Yet, it fits our overall life situation as well.  However, I almost opted for a nature image when the first cropped version of this photo turned out to have a height dimension of 666 (no kidding) pixels.  That was a little freaky, even to me, I must admit. 


"When all else fails,
try reading the instructions."


"Trust in the process."


There are times when just a single word, or two, can be most expressive.  Given the right inflection, they can communicate well beyond their simple nature.  I particularly like, and use, 'duh!' and 'go figure' which, for better or worse, have woven their way into the fabric of our culture.  Finally, there is the ultimate conversation (or relationship) killer, but still one of my favorites, and probably a good way to wrap up this page. 


"Yeah, whatever."


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