Thank you Peter for the witty title!
I never sit directly on a toilet seat in public places; I wipe down my shopping carts; I use paper-towels in public bathrooms to open the doors; and I religiously wash all fruit and vegetables… and yet, I’ve been sick, more often, than ever before.
I don’t get it. They say, “Cleanliness is next to Godliness”, and I’m the very soul of sanitation; and yet the germs keep gaining ground!
Does God hate me? Or is it that because I am not close to godliness that cleanliness does not produce the obvious results?
What I do know is that – not only am I not next to godliness, but that my attempts at cleanliness don’t produce the desired outcome.
Hmmmm, which came first the chicken or the egg?
I love idioms and sayings.
I can spend hours browsing through them. That’s how I discovered the brilliance of Chesterton, and Waugh (an anti-Semite of the first degree). However, some of those quotes are sheer nonsense, and yet we repeat them like they’re truth – probably because they just sound so good, smart, wise and useful.
Hitchens already wrote (and beautifully so, IMHO) about the fallacy of “Whatever does not kill you makes you stronger”. This sounds like a good one, doesn’t it? Therapists and 12-Steppers love to quote it, except that it is often untrue.
PTSD won’t kill you, but it won’t make you stronger. Likewise, you can suffer from Crohn’s disease and still be alive, but not stronger. You get my point?
“We have nothing to fear but fear itself.” said F D Roosevelt. My first reaction is ‘duh’, it is kind of obvious. But, my second reaction is that this is one of the best examples of tautology. In analyzing the idiom for its inherent message, shouldn’t I fear a gun aimed at me? You betcha! I have a lot to fear, that is if I still want to be alive…
“Early to bed and early to rise, makes a man healthy, wealthy, and wise.” is a famous Benjamin Franklin’s quote. Now I really like Ben, but this one feels like he simply wanted his statement to rhyme. “Rise” and “wise” sound good together, and they also make it easier to remember!
Maybe one does stay healthier if one gets enough sleep, and maybe one can get wealthier by getting up early, as we all know that “The early bird catches the worm”… But wise? That befuddled me completely. Maybe you can tell me how I can become wise by going to bed early.
According to Wordsworth and Billy Joel (respectively), “The good die first” and “Only the good die young”. So, I guess that means the rest of us, who are still alive and not so young mustn’t be so good – unless, of course, this was intended to console parents when losing their children. Regardless, I know many good people who died old and some young ones who were not noted for their kindness.
So the next time you quote someone or something, please: “Think before you speak!” It’s a good practice, and it kind of rhymes…