Word Salad – February 2024

Mark Twain’s Words to Live By

Word Salad

What could be better than a conversation with one of the most brilliant and wise men in modern history, Samuel Langhorne Clemens (1835–1910), known by the pen name Mark Twain. He was praised as the “greatest humorist the United States has produced,” and William Faulkner called him “the father of American literature.”

Following are several of his sometimes humorous, sometimes weighty, always wise lessons to live by:

Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

Never allow someone to be your priority while allowing yourself to be their option.

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it’s time to pause and reflect.

Anger is an acid that can do more harm to the vessel in which it is stored than to anything on which it is poured.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

Noise proves nothing. Often a hen who has laid an egg cackles as if she had laid an asteroid.

Wrinkles should merely indicate where the smiles have been.

The truth must be served like a coat and not thrown in the face like a wet towel.

The man who does not read has no advantage over the man who cannot read.

Keep away from people who try to belittle your ambitions. Small people always do that, but the really great make you feel that you, too, can become great.

Eat a live frog first thing in the morning and nothing worse will happen to you for the rest of the day.

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.

When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have him around.  But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.

Never argue with a fool. Onlookers may not be able to tell the difference.

Buy land. They’re not making it anymore.

Giving up smoking is the easiest thing in the world. I know because I’ve done it thousands of times.

When your friends begin to flatter you on how young you look, it’s a sure sign you’re getting old.

Do something every day that you don’t want to do. This is the golden rule of acquiring the habit of doing your duty without pain.

The most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

Never argue with stupid people. They will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.

Circumstances make the man, not man the circumstances.

Let us live so that when we come to die even the undertaker will be sorry.

Everyone is a moon and has a dark side which he never shows to anybody.

When you fish for love, bait with your heart, not your brain.

I am an old man and have known a great many troubles, but most of them never happened.

Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear . . . not absence of fear.

Forgiveness is the fragrance that the violet sheds on the heel that has crushed it.

The fear of death follows from the fear of life.

 A man who lives fully is prepared to die at any time.

To get the full value of joy you must have someone to divide it with.

Nothing so needs reforming as other people’s habits.

The human race has only one really effective weapon, and that is laughter.

It is better to deserve honors and not have them than to have them and not deserve them.

There is no sadder sight than a young pessimist.

Whatever a man’s age, he can reduce it by several years by putting a bright-colored flower in his buttonhole.

The lack of money is the root of all evil.

A truth is not hard to kill. A lie told well is immortal.

Unexpected money is a delight. The same sum is a bitterness when you expect more.

Life is short, break the rules. Forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile.

A lie can travel halfway around the world while the truth is putting its shoes on.

Loyalty to country always. Loyalty to government only when it deserves it.

Human pride is not worthwhile. There is always something lying in wait to take the wind out of it.

When in doubt, tell the truth.

The best way to cheer yourself up is to try to cheer somebody else up.

No civilization can be perfect until exact equality between men and women is included.

The man who was a pessimist before 48 knows too much. If he is an optimist after it, he knows too little.

An honest man in politics shines more than he would elsewhere.

To be busy is man’s only happiness.

Be careless in your dress if you must, but keep a tidy soul.

Do not complain about growing old. It is a privilege denied to many.

An intelligent person never shares three things with anyone: their innermost fears, past regrets, and ultimate excuse for showing up late.

It is the little conveniences that make the real comfort of life.

Good friends, good books, and a sleepy conscience. This is the ideal life.

Thank you, Mr. Twain.


For more information about Lake Chapala visit: www.chapala.com


Sally Asante
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