Aphorisms

THE AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY  says that an aphorism is “a tersely phrased statement of a truth or opinion.”  An aphorism is also called an “adage” if used often enough.  Authors from ancient times to the present have distilled words down to their sharpest edge. These authors include Socrates, La Rochefoucauld, Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain and Dorothy Parker.  I am struck by the frequency of the possibility of political interpretation in aphorisms, especially just before an election.  JB

 

There are many humorous things in the world, among them the white man`s notion that he is less savage than the other savages.
Mark Twain
Excessive liberty leads both nations and individuals into excessive slavery.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

Three things are ever silent – thought, destiny and the grave.
Edward George Bulwer-Lytton
Are there any vegetarians among cannibals?
Stanislaw Jerzy Lec
In a country well governed poverty is something to be ashamed of. In a country badly governed wealth is something to be ashamed of.
Confucius
Perfume: any smell that is used to drown a worse one.
Elbert Hubbard
To be vain of one`s rank or place is to show that one is below it.
Stanislaus Leszczynski
Man`s chief merit consists in resisting the impulses of his nature.
Samuel Johnson
I have remarked very clearly that I am often of one opinion when I am lying down and of another when I am standing up.
Georg Christoph Lichtenberg
The destiny of any nation at any given time depends on the opinions of its young men under five and twenty.
Johann Wolfgang von Goethe
Nature does nothing without purpose or uselessly.
Aristotle
If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.
Confucius
A dog is the only thing on earth that loves you more than he loves himself.
Henry Wheeler Shaw
The idea that the sole aim of punishment is to prevent crime is obviously grounded upon the theory that crime can be prevented, which is almost as dubious as the notion that poverty can be prevented.
Henry Louis Mencken
Rich women need not fear old age; their gold can always create about them any feelings necessary to their happiness.
Honore de Balzac
Where the speech is corrupted, the mind is also.
Lucius Annaeus Seneca
The greatest good you can do for another is not just to share your riches, but to reveal to him his own.
Benjamin Disraeli
It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.
Ralph Waldo Emerson
A man`s heart may have a secret sanctuary where only one woman may enter, but it is full of little anterooms, which are seldom vacant.
Helen Rowland
Women love men for their defects; if men have enough of them, women will forgive them anything, even their gigantic intellects.
Oscar Wilde

About John

John Bolinger was born and raised in Northwest Indiana, where he attended Ball State University and Purdue University, receiving his BA and MA from those schools. Then he taught English and French for thirty-five years at Morton High School in Hammond, Indiana before moving to Colorado. He spends his winters in Pompano Beach, Florida. Besides COME SEPTEMBER, Journey of a High School Teacher, John's other books are ALL MY LAZY RIVERS, an Indiana Childhood, and COME ON, FLUFFY, THIS AIN'T NO BALLET, a Novel on Coming of Age, all available on Amazon.com as paperbacks and Kindle books. Alternately funny and touching, COME SEPTEMBER, conveys the story of every high school teacher’s struggle to enlighten both himself and his pupils, encountering along the way, battles with colleagues, administrators, and parents through a parade of characters that include a freshman boy for whom the faculty code name is “Spawn of Satan,” to a senior girl whose water breaks during a pop-quiz over THE LAST OF THE MOHICANS. Through social change and the relentless march of technology, the human element remains constant in the book’s personal, entertaining, and sympathetic portraits of faculty, students, parents, and others. The audience for this book will certainly include school teachers everywhere, teenagers, parents of teens, as well as anyone who appreciates that blend of humor and pathos with which the world of public education is drenched. The drive of the story is the narrator's struggle to become the best teacher he can be. The book is filled with advice for young teachers based upon experience of the writer, advice that will never be found in college methods classes. Another of John's recent books is Mum's the Word: Secrets of a Family. It is the story of his alcoholic father and the family's efforts to deal with or hide the fact. Though a serious treatment of the horrors of alcoholism, the book also entertains in its descriptions of the father during his best times and the humor of the family's attempts to create a façade for the outside world. All John's books are available as paperbacks and Kindle readers on Amazon, and also as paperbacks at Barnes & Noble. John's sixth and most recent book, Growing Old in America: Notes from a Codger was released on June 15, 2014.
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