Earlier today, I was so VERY KINDLY nominated to participate in the 3 Days, 3 Quotes challenge by luvbearlvx.
Ok, seriously, he is really quite entertaining, plus he has cats (one of whom typed his username, I think) so you should totally read his shiz.
So, the challenge:
For 3 days, post a quote and express what that quote means to you. And nominate 3 other
suckers lucky bloggers to take the challenge as well.
So…today’s quote. I don’t actually REMEMBER a lot of quotes – once in a while, I’ll see one that’s been artfully crafted into a meme on Facebook; I’ll smile or chuckle, click “like,” and move on with my day. The quote flits out of my life much like a butterfly tipped from its perch, quickly forgotten and sent off into the ether to make some other person’s life a bit more beautiful for a moment.
But this quote really stuck with me when I read it. I liked it so much that I actually emailed it to myself so I wouldn’t forget it. It spoke to me so clearly, I actually HAD IT MADE INTO A T-SHIRT YO.
“The world is changed by your example, not by your opinion.” ~ Paulo Coelho
(Special shoutout to CustomInk for helping me create this. Isn’t it cute? It’s awesome and so is their customer service. You should totally hit up their site and buy a lot of shirts with YOUR quotes on them.)
That’s not me modeling the shirt, by the way. It’s the model on the site. And this shirt runs small, so I had to order a <choke> MEDIUM, which would normally mean “I’m fat, I hate myself, and I fail at life,” but I like the shirt so much I DON’T EVEN CARE. <gasp>
Until I read this quote, I had never heard of this Paulo Coelho dude. I Googled a little bit, because I don’t want to accidentally support the quotation of, say, some puppy-kicker, or some a$$clown who chucks snow cones at senior citizens just for giggles, right?
I quickly found out that Paulo Coelho has a really, really difficult name to type. (Seriously, try it. It’s not just me, is it?) And he’s from Brazil, which probably means he’s pretty hot. Beyond that, he’s a pretty interesting character, according to Wikipedia:
- His dad was an engineer, and he was discouraged from pursuing writing. (Really. I mean, it’s not like the kid wanted to be a wizard, or a penguin, or the Batmobile. Sheesh, let a kid dream a little.)
- He decided to do it anyway, after researching and deciding that a writer “always wears glasses and never combs his hair” and has a “duty and an obligation never to be understood by his own generation.” (SAID EVERY TEENAGER IN AMERICA TO HER PARENTS)
- He escaped three mental institutions before the age of 20 (Misunderstood, yet creative and quite resourceful.)
- He wrote a whole bunch of books that I haven’t read. But probably should. At least The Alchemist. I mean, MADONNA read it. And Will Smith. If it’s good enough for Fresh Prince….?
So – why this quote? Well, for one, it really explains my FAVORITE BUMPER STICKERS EVAH:
I like these so well, I put one on the back of my shirt:
To me, these mean something beyond “Live and let live” – they mean “seek, with love, to understand.” Does it mean we always agree? No, of course not. But it DOES mean we’ll hear each other out and be respectful.
Your beliefs are as valuable as mine.
I mentioned in an earlier post that the hubs was, as of late, making some
very impassioned downright hateful anti-religion statements. I know I’ve said I find it hurtful…but even if I step outside of myself and my admittedly selfish, self-centered feelings, I still just cannot see that it’s doing anyone any good.
What’s the benefit of hate?
Does hate change minds?
Does force create converts?
I’ve never thought so.
But this works both ways. ALL ways. See, if you want someone to agree with you – if you want someone to listen to you, hear what you’re saying, and possibly adapt your viewpoint as their own – you have to make it appealing.
It’s like food. You can slop a wad of mystery hash onto a plastic tray next to some cold, soggy vegetables, and bark out orders from under your hairnet to “EAT IT.” Or, you can pull out some colorful Fiesta dishes, artfully arrange it on a plate with a grain, a bright veggie, and a playful garnish, and serve it with the airplane spoon.
No one will swallow your words if they’re not palatable. No one will come back for seconds if what you’re saying is too difficult to chew. Much like many a determined toddler, they’ll either refuse to eat, crossing their arms and staring you down defiantly, or they’ll shove just enough behind their cheeks to get them excused from the unpleasantness that is your dinner table.
You have to present what you’re serving with the concept that it’s a really, really good thing. That’s the only way to get people to try what you’ve cooked up. SHOW them that it’s wonderful.
I mean, if you’re presented a new dish, are you likely to relish tasting from a plate violently thrust at you with the command, “EAT THE DAMN SQUID ALREADY”? I’m guessing notsomuch. But you MIGHT be willing to dip your fork into the artfully plated broiled calamari with lemon cream sauce.
The human mind is a beautiful thing, really. I love the incredible creativity and variety that cognitive thought has allowed us to experience. We all have the opportunity to feed one another; let’s do so with kindness and compassion. Let’s try to understand how poisonous words and attitudes can be, and instead work to nourish and enrich each other with a balanced, varied diet of thought, respect, and love.
Whoops. Forgot to select my next
victim nominee. I’d love to hear from Cass at Indisposed and Undiagnosed. I know she’s taking a break at the moment, but I miss her.