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Resources for Speakers - Anecdotes About Life, The Meaning of

“I’m with Albert Camus on this one — searching for meaning in life probably means less time enjoying it,” she says, then concedes: “He may have said it more beautifully. And almost certainly in French.”

The following statement is something we all understand, but it bears repeating because it is perhaps the coolest, most interesting scientific fact that we know about our universe and human existence: Hydrogen, given sufficient time, turns into people.

What is wisdom?

What psychologists consider five crucial aspects of wise reasoning: willingness to seek opportunities to resolve conflict; willingness to search for compromise; recognition of the limits of personal knowledge; awareness that more than one perspective on a problem can exist; and appreciation of the fact that things may get worse before they get better. A score of one on any aspect indicated a participant gave no consideration to it. A score of two indicated some consideration. A score of three indicated a great deal of consideration.

knowledge speaks while wisdom listens

the intelligence of the planet is constant and the population is growing

conscience doesn't stop you doing something - it just stops you enjoying it

it was the least I could do - I always do the least I could do

be kind to everyone - you never know who could wind up on the jury

if you can't be kind at least be vague

we must comfort the afflicted and afflict the comfortable

(Ben Franklin) the tragedy of life is we get old too soon and wise too late

(Billy Connolly) What do you mean life's too short? Life's the longest thing you ever do. What can you do that's longer?

Why do people who know nothing always know it so loudly?

Experience is what you have left after everything else is gone

everything is funny as long as it happens to somebody else

it's a sin to believe evil of everyone else, but seldom a mistake

the only normal people are the ones you don't know very well

we're still far from understanding, but we're confused at a much higher level

you can reduce stress by adopting a breathing technique developed centuries ago by Hindu mystics - basically you just take a deep breath, exhale slowly while saying "Sod this I'm off to the pub"

to handle yourself, use your head. To handle others, use your heart

don't point a finger, lend a hand

we are not on this earth to see through one another, but to see one another through

(Came across this little gem in a Wikipedia Talk discussion:

An editor has expressed concern that this thread contains too little drama. Please help add more drama to this thread. When enough drama has been added, please change the name of this noticeboard to Wikipedia:Drama board for people who don't have enough conflict going on in their lives and need to create more of it to give their lives some semblance of meaning and purpose.

Respect (Letters to Editor, London Times)

Sir, Sports fans are well known for waving at the nearest camera for a few seconds of TV fame. I hope that they appreciate that I, in my sitting room, am waving back at them.

Alison Wilcock Badshot Lea, Surrey

Sir, Seven members of my family recently made the 24-hour train journey over the frozen high plateau from Xining to Lhasa. For the last 4-5 hours the track had a policeman every 500 metres who saluted the train.
Now that’s more like it.

Colonel Mike Spence Streatley, Berks

An encounter between Field Marshal Montgomery and General Freyberg while reviewing some New Zealand troops revealed a cultural difference. Sir, Colonel Spence’s reference (“Making waves”, letter, May 13) to saluting, instead of waving, recalls the story of Field Marshal Montgomery reviewing some New Zealand troops with General Freyberg. “I say, Freyberg,” remarked Montgomery. “Your men don’t seem to salute much.” “No,” replied Freyberg. “But if you wave at them, they do wave back.”

Lord Wright Of Richmond House of Lords


Book Extracts on Meaning of Life