Archives For Quotes

Learning from the wisdom of Will Rogers and Others

Never Take An Active Part…

September 18, 2014 — 4 Comments

2014-09-13_09-50-19I have ever deemed it fundamental for the United States never to take active part in the quarrels of Europe. Their political interests are entirely distinct from ours. Their mutual jealousies, their balance of power, their complicated alliances, their forms and principles of government, are all foreign to us. They are nations of eternal war.

–A Thomas Jefferson Letter, 11 June 1823, to President James Monroe

Thomas Jefferson just didn’t trust government very much. He was always skeptical that they would get us involved in things we had no business being involved in. The constant wars in Europe were one of those things to be avoided at almost all costs. In the intervening two-hundred years much has changed with the world. It has definitely gotten smaller such that anything happening anywhere can affect others in at least some way. But, I kind of think that Jefferson’s words above still apply today especially in the Middle East.

The Middle Eastern countries including all those we have spent trillions of dollars trying to reform are fundamentally different from the U.S. As Jefferson said their mutual jealousies, their balance of power and their forms of government and particularly religious beliefs are very foreign to what we practice in this country.  We can spend trillions of trillions of dollars and thousands of our kids lives trying to make it otherwise but that just won’t happen. If only we would recognize that fact we would save ourselves much agony.

There have been many “doctrines” in this country. The Monroe Doctrine, The Marshal Plan, The Bush Doctrine (I don’t think Obama has a doctrine except maybe “send in the drones”) but I believe the only successful plan for our times is :

We will leave you alone if you leave us alone

But of course our dependence on their oil reserves negates that possibility. Maybe we need another wall? The Wall of China was meant to keep out foreign invaders. The Iron Curtain was meant to separate two very different doctrines. Maybe it is time for a Islamic Wall to separate us from all those constantly feuding religious doctrines of the Middle East? Maybe if we get out of their business they will get out of ours.  It worth a try….

 

All About Coveting…

September 15, 2014 — Leave a comment

When I think of the word covet I think of the tenth commandment. Here is what that says

2014-09-04_18-44-59“You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

I know covet is an old word so let’s be sure of the meaning.

Covet – wish, long, or crave for

So this last commandment means you should not wish for or crave anything that your neighbor has. But isn’t craving things that others have kind of foundational to the capitalistic system? We are all supposed to want the latest gadget, clothes, houses, you name it. If no one craves anything how can we survive.

Let’s face it, at least this commandment if very anti-American…

I’ll bet if I go through the other nine I will find others that just don’t jive with our current American culture. Things like loving money, cursing that is found in almost all of our movies, lying on the resume, or even war for that matter seem to be no-no.

Maybe we should put the ten commandments the law of the land. That would radically change things or at least change the makeup of our prison population….

The Prolific Will…

September 11, 2014 — Leave a comment

2014-04-08_09-21-05He wrote a short column nearly every weekday from 1926 to 1935. Rogers, who had been writing a weekly column for several years before,

SOURCE:  Facebook.

I am quickly approaching 2,000 posts here on RJsCorner. Some of my readers seem to be amazed by this number. I guess in this, among other things, I have much in common with my hero Will Rogers. As stated above he was a very prolific writer. Just the column above resulted in 26,000 posts. This is in addition to his radio shows and movies.  Mr. Rogers was indeed a prolific person.

One of my blogging friends, who like many others including myself, have questioned whether they want to continue to post on their blogs. This particular friend decided to keep posting except on a less frequent interval. I am thankful for his decision as I enjoy his thoughts on many subjects.

I myself will continue to post daily here until I don’t get any joy out of it. I must admit that I do it more for myself than I do for any other reason. It keeps me mentally active and thinking about life.

2014-09-04_19-56-10“Now, just suppose, for a change they preach to you about the Lord and not about the other fellow’s church, for every religion is good. There is none of it bad.  We are all trying to arrive at the same place according to our own conscience and teachings. It don’t matter which road you take.” – Will Rogers March 11, 1923

Since Will Rogers is a hero of mine, of course I get a daily dose of his Facebook page. Here is one that strikes me as typical of his wisdom. Will was not particularly a religious person, his mom wanted him to be a Methodist minister but as he said he slipped and became an entertainer instead. He wasn’t much of a church goer but he didn’t put down except maybe on a few rare slips those who were.

Religious establishments, or at least the ones I know much about,  seem to go to an extreme to pronounce that the god of Allah is not the same as the Christian god. Each different group of religious people seems to insist that their god is the true one and everyone else is praying to a pagan one. After ten years of theological self-study I kind of think that Will got it about right almost a hundred years ago. Of course the religious pundits of today say otherwise.

We all latch onto one version of God and therefore proclaim that one the true god. Then we proceed to fashion words based on what we want from our particular god. For many Muslims that includes going to prayer five times a day and always praying toward Mecca. It is also about praising Allah and keeping others away from him.  For Some Jews it is about obeying thousands of different rules and eating only very strictly prepared foods. They think that is what their god demands of them.  Many of us Christians believe in a something-for-nothing god who only thinks of us a poor miserable human beings but will take us to heaven anyway provided we say the right words and believe what we are told. For them nothing else is required. And then there are other Christians who believe the exact opposite.  Got to love us Christians as we are all over the map on just what God wants from us.

We all spend way too much time convincing ourselves that “our “version of God is the only true one. We pick and choose various words from our particular religious documents to back up that feeling while ignoring everything else that doesn’t align with our chosen beliefs. We ALL do this to one level or another.

But in the end there has to be only one God in the universe and I kind of think she is almost laughing at our absurd efforts to split her into so many different parts. But she is probably also crying because of the same thing. As Will says all religions are good at some level but they all got it wrong at others. The sooner we all realize that the sooner we can quit fighting and killing each other to defend our version of God against their version.

Enough said…

Like An Insane Asylum….

August 28, 2014

2014-07-21_08-09-50“America is just like an insane asylum. There is not a soul in it will admit they are crazy.” – Will Rogers, 28 April 1935.

I’ll even go one farther than you Will and say there ain’t a soul in it that will admit that they might be wrong about anything. That mentality is what has got us all into so much trouble lately.  We all think that the way we see life is the only possible view. Any others are just plain wrong. This in itself is just plain wrong….

I don’t know when this became the face of America? Maybe it was after your time.

Our Nation’s IQ???

August 21, 2014

2014-08-03_08-55-51“In schools they have what they call intelligence tests. Well if nations held ‘em I don’t believe we would be what you would call a favorite to win.” – Will Rogers, 25 June 1935

I don’t think we would eithter Will.  We would probably be about the same as where we are with our crazy healthcare system. Near the bottom of those that have schools  and hospitals anyway. But there are a few of us who are darn smart and maybe they make up for all the dunces among us…

Writing My Material….

August 14, 2014

2014-07-31_07-57-48

 

An important part of my daily read is the Will Rogers Facebook page as shown above. It, along with the half-dozen books about him on my bookshelf give me a lifetime of material for this blog at RJsCorner.

Will inspires me for his wit, wisdom, and humor. But maybe even more so for his endurance as he put out thousands of  “posts” of his day.

Will inspires me with his method of delivery.  One of his most famous quotes is “All I know is what I read in the newspaper” and then he would proceed to put his spin on the story. The vast majority of my posts start out as a quote from what I read around the Internet. I then expand on it with my own interpretation.

Will inspires me with his calm patience. I get attacked on occasion for what I say.  I, like him, try to keep the attitude of “I never met a man I didn’t like” and deal with those upset yahoos with calmness and a sense of humor. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t.

Will inspired me with his writing style. Kind of laid back and nothing too formal. My header above has one of my favorite quotes from him.  I try to do the best I can and don’t take life too serious. Even that gets me in trouble once in a while as people just take what I say here too serious when I mean it to be tongue-in-cheek.

Will inspires me….

 

 

2014-08-06_08-11-34

Aug. 5, 1861: Needing cash to finance the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln signed the Revenue Act — imposing the first federal income tax. Lincoln and Congress agreed that all incomes over $800 would be taxed at a 3 percent rate. Lincoln knew that taxes would be unpopular. But he recognized that America needed to pay for its wars.

SOURCE: Today in history: The federal income tax is born – The Week.

“The Week” which I believe is British in origin is becoming a daily read for me. Here is a quick quote from them.

The federal income tax is born…

2014-03-02_16-18-10“Party Politics is the most narrow minded occupation in the World.” – Will Rogers, 29 March 1925

It is sad to say that this is probably more true today than even in Will’s Day.  But then again the Republicans in Will’s day were fighting just as hard against Social Security and the WPA as they fight today against immigration, helping the poor and healthcare for all. So maybe nothing has really changed.  Progress comes agonizingly slow when them GOPers have their fingers in the stew… Maybe not much faster with the Democrats but at least they do something…

2014-06-28_11-29-19“My hair is arriving at a sort of a blend that it deserves respect if nothing else. A graying head is a mark of respect in any land…” – Will Rogers, 18 November 1934

I don’t know a lot about the year 1934 but I kind of expect it was different than it is here in the 21st century. When I think of that year, which I guess was a measly twelve years before I was born, I see Walton’s Mountain with multiple generations living in the same household and everyone respecting Grandma and Grandpa Walton and constantly seeking their wisdom on life’s issues. I’m not sure this multi-generational household  was by choice or necessity since the “Great Depression” was in full steam about then but that doesn’t really matter.

Anyway, from what I can see with my graying head it doesn’t get me much respect in today’s world. It won’t even get most young people to hold a door I am following them through. It certainly didn’t get me seat on a crowded subway.

It seems that most corporations now days want to get rid of all us old folks so that can save some money by hiring young kids at a fraction of the salary.  They just don’t seem to have much respect for our years of experience. They now see us as a liability.  But they see everyone except maybe their owners as liabilities so maybe that doesn’t apply here.

I’m just not sure that my “hair blend” buys me as much now days as it did in Will’s.