Quote Quality

A Slice of Perspective

Fame does not imply veracity. Although, what is the difference between perceived truth and actual truth?

In the area of language this is proved most vividly.  The fact that something is affirmed by the masses implies that at least a morsel of it must be believable.

A repeated saying has gained public attention. Does this guarantee truth? Our ears incline to what we would describe as known. We have heard it before; comfort is found in the familiarity of it and we decide to not question it. Unchallenged the cliche is filed in the same box with what we know to be true.

What does this look like outside the philosophical in day to day living?

“Familiarity breeds contempt, while rarity wins admiration.”

From what I could find this quote was made by Roman philosopher, rhetorician and satirist Apulieus (124 – 170 AD). Qualifiers would be needed to explain when this statement is true and when it is not applicable. Hundreds of years later Mark Twain applied humor and quipped this modified rendition of the saying.

“Familiarity breeds contempt – and children.”

Do we feel contempt for everything familiar? Of course not. Do we admire everything rare? Not in every instance. The original intention of the saying may be more of a warning to examine contempt of the familiar in order to introduce something to break monotony. It is advice rather than law.

Here is another one.

“Absence makes the heart grow fonder.”

Found in early Roman texts this saying was made famous in the final line of a song by Thomas Haynes Bayly in 1850. (More details here.) I was first made aware of this phrase in my childhood while watching Disney’s 1973 animated Robin Hood in a conversation between Maid Marian and her lady in waiting Clucky.

Clucky: Absence makes the heart grow fonder.

Maid Marian: Or forgetful.

The quote quality was challenged. Doubts crept in. Situation trumped theory.

Innate human tendency dictates that we take such sayings with a grain of salt, so to speak. That we allow them to influence us, all the while retaining a healthy distance just in case it proves to be untrue in our circumstance. We know we shouldn’t place all our eggs in one basket.

I wonder, do we take this ingrained behavior to our belief of the Word of God? Do we question it? Do we doubt? Is this healthy? I am still wondering. Conclusions have not been reached. Am I in a dangerous place? Possibly. Probably not, though. I find solace in a saying I have heard before and was reminded of today on a FaceBook status:

“Those who believe in God, but without passion in the heart, without anguish of mind, without uncertainty, without doubt, and even at times without despair, believe only in the idea of God, and not in God himself.” Miguel de Unamono

Just some thoughts to pass the time as I wait for my husband to return tomorrow from his trip to Panama. Got anything to add? Feel free to use the comment box after this post. Or you can use the contact page to keep your discussion private on my honk page.



One thought on “Quote Quality

  1. Good ponderings! I believe (this is spur of the moment, kinda) that it is very good for us to ponder the Word of God. That is, to taste it, chew it over, discover what it actually says, hear what it is saying to us right in that moment, and leaving room for what we can’t yet see. So in a sense, we do this. However, we also can never subject the Word of God to the logic of our human minds. To do so would be to say that a God great enough to create the vast expanse of the heaven, the details of the tiniest part of a cell and blood vessel, and personally be acquainted with the lives of 5 billion people, ought to be understood by one tiny mind who must study to learn what the solar system is, even name and understand the organs of the body, and keep 100 people’s names and life stories right. On this scale, we have to see that His understanding must always be supreme to ours, and in that, accept what He says for what it is – whether or not we understand it. In this way, we ascribe Him greatness, and don’t inflate our own ideas to the level of doctrine.

    My mind also probes and ponders, and purports, along with Einstein, “Question everything!” Questioning of Truth is solid, when you understand that Truth is always greater than your understanding of it. Therefore it will hold up to intense questioning. Other things may fall. But His Truth will stand untoppled, regardless of what man may say about it. I love His strength.

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