Inspiring Minds: Kurt Vonnegut

17 Oct

Do you ever wonder if maybe life isn’t about trying so hard or racing to the finish or filling up every minute with something productive? Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying it’s good to be lazy all the time either, but what’s the point of life if you can’t enjoy it?

That’s why it was refreshing to find this quote:

I tell you, we are here on Earth to fart around, and don’t let anybody tell you different.

Who said it? The brilliant Kurt Vonnegut, lauded sci-fi author of two of my favorite books, The Sirens of Titan and Breakfast of Champions.

And from the other quotes I subsequently found by him, it’s clear I need to read more of his work:

True terror is to wake up one morning and discover that your high school class is running the country.

Laughter and tears are both responses to frustration and exhaustion. I myself prefer to laugh, since there is less cleaning up to do afterward.

I want to stand as close to the edge as I can without going over. Out on the edge you see all the kinds of things you can’t see from the center.

Here we are, trapped in the amber of the moment. There is no why.

Still and all, why bother? Here’s my answer. Many people need desperately to receive this message: I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people do not care about them. You are not alone.

If you can do a half-assed job of anything, you’re a one-eyed man in a kingdom of the blind.

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful about what we pretend to be.

Tiger got to hunt, bird got to fly; Man got to sit and wonder, ‘Why, why, why?’ Tiger got to sleep, bird got to land; Man got to tell himself he understand.

I wish that people who are conventionally supposed to love each other would say to each other, when they fight, “Please — a little less love, and a little more common decency.

I believe that reading and writing are the most nourishing forms of meditation anyone has so far found. By reading the writings of the most interesting minds in history, we meditate with our own minds and theirs as well. This to me is a miracle.

My epitaph in any case? “Everything was beautiful. Nothing hurt.”

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