"Description begins in the writer’s imagination, but should finish in the reader’s.” -- Stephen King
There is never only one truth. By the same way of thinking, what’s true for you will probably be true for other people, at least some other people. I think that’s why, as a culture, we love quotations so much. If you feel it, you might think you feel it alone. You can be sure, however, that someone, somewhere has felt it before and, by the same token, dealt with the same thoughts and feelings.
Quotations, connect us. At times in our life when we’re feeling alone, or like the only person who has felt a certain way, quotations can help us understand that even though everyone is special and unique, in some very real ways, we’re not that different from a lot of other people – at least some other people – who have walked these roads before.
Think of it this way: sometimes, while you’re growing up, you can feel as though you’re alone in a forest, crashing through the underbrush, trying to find your way. But the truth is, so many people have walked exactly this part of the forest before. You just have to find the trail: and it’s right over there.
Quotations show us the trail. They show us that, as humans, in many ways, we are a single tribe. And, in some very important ways, the essential things that make us human never really change. There’s beauty in that. And beauty in finding our way.
Quotations are sometimes funny. The can lift our spirit or, conversely, they can make us feel as though all the world is a muddy pit. (That can depend on your mood!) Most importantly, I think, they provide us with a direct connection to some of the famous thinkers that have come before us. People who were known for their brilliant or insightful thinking. Who were those people, really? And how did it end up that they’re really so very much like us?
“Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.” -- Ralph Waldo Emerson