Commonplace Quotes (displaying: 91 - 120 of 147 quotes )
Me, I've seen 45 years, and I've only figured out one thing. That's this: if a person would just make the effort, there's something to be learned from everything. From even the most ordinary, commonplace things, there's always something you can learn. I read somewhere that they said there's even different philosophies in razors. Fact is, if it weren't for that, nobody'd survive.
...but I suddenly realized what small towns are. They are places where you grow up with the peculiar -- you live next to the strange and the unlikely for so long that everything and everyone become commonplace. My cousins were both small-towners and outsiders; they had not grown up with Own Meany, who was so strange to them that he inspired awe - yet they were no more likely to fall upon him, or to devise ways to torture him, than it was likely for a herd of cattle to attack a cat.
It is arguable that when Humanists, "Shook off," as people say, "the trammels of religion," and discovered things of this world as objects of veneration in their own right... they began to lose the finer appreciation of even the world itself. Thus to the Christian centuries, the flesh was holy (or sacer at least in one sense or the other), and they veiled its awful majesty; to the Humanist centuries it was divine in its own right, and they exhibited it. Now it is the commonplace of the magazine cover. It has lost its numen. So too with the cult of knowledge for its own sake declining from the Revival of Learning to the Brains Trust.
The only thing worth writing about is people. People. Human beings. Men and women whose individuality must be created, line by line, insight by insight. If you do not do it, the story is a failure. [...] There is no nobler chore in the universe than holding up the mirror of reality and turning it slightly, so we have a new and different perception of the commonplace, the everyday, the 'normal', the obvious. People are reflected in the glass. The fantasy situation into which you thrust them is the mirror itself. And what we are shown should illuminate and alter our perception of the world around us. Failing that, you have failed totally.
We must learn that any person who will not accept what he knows to be truth for the very love of truth alone is very definitely undermining his mental integrity... you have not been a close observer of such men if you have not seen them shrivel, become commonplace, mean without influence, without friends, and without the enthusiasm of youth and growth, like a tree covered with fungus, the foliage deceased, the life gone out of the heart with dry rot and indelibly marked for destruction --- dead, but not yet handed over to the undertaker.
Once, as I passed by a cottage, there came out a lovely fairy child, with two wondrous toys, one in each hand. The one was the tube through which the fairy-gifted poet looks when he beholds the same thing everywhere; the other that through which he looks when he combines into new forms of loveliness those images of beauty which his own choice has gathered from all regions wherein he has travelled. Round the child’s head was an aureole of emanating rays. As I looked at him in wonder and delight, round crept from behind me the something dark, and the child stood in my shadow. Straightway he was a commonplace boy, with a rough broad-brimmed straw hat, through which brim the sun shone from behind. The toys he carried were a multiplying-glass and a kaleidoscope. I sighed and departed.
The Natural History Museum is open to the public on Tuesdays and Fridays. Elephant, rhinoceros, hippopotamus; extraordinary animals! Rubens rendered them marvelously. I had a feeling of happiness as soon as I entered the place and the further I went the stronger it grew. I felt my whole being rise above commonplaces and trivialities and the petty worries of my daily life. What an immense variety of animals and species of different shapes and functions!
The distance runner is mysteriously reconciling the separations of body and mind, of pain and pleasure, of the conscious and the unconscious. He is repairing the rent, and healing the wound in his divided self. He has found a way to make the ordinary extraordinary; the commonplace unique; the everyday eternal.
It is a commonplace of all religious thought, even the most primitive, that the man seeking visions and insight must go apart from his fellows and live for a time in the wilderness. If he is of the proper sort, he will return with a message. It may not be a message from the god he set out to seek, but even if he has failed in that particular, he will have had a vision or seen a marvel, and these are always worth listening to and thinking about.... One must seek, then, what only the solitary approach can give - a natural revelation.
On glancing over my notes of the seventy odd cases in which I have during the last eight years studied the methods of my friend Sherlock Holmes, I find many tragic, some comic, a large number merely strange, but none commonplace; for, working as he did rather for the love of his art than for the acquirement of wealth, he refused to associate himself with any investigation which did not tend towards the unusual, and even the fantastic.
No, it is not a commonplace, sir! If up to now, for example, I have been told to 'love my neighbor,' and I did love him, what came of it?. . . What came of it was that I tore my caftan in two, shared it with my neighbor, and we were both left half naked, in accordance with the Russian proverb which says: If you chase several hares at once, you won't overtake any one of them. But science says: Love yourself before all, because everything in the world is based on self-interest. If you love only yourself, you will set your affairs up properly, and your caftan will also remain in one piece. And economic truth adds that the more properly arranged personal affairs and, so to speak, whole caftans there are in society, the firmer its foundations are and the better arranged its common cause. It follows that by acquiring for everyone, as it were, and working so that my neighbor will have something more than a torn caftan, not from private, isolated generosities now, but as a result of universal prosperity.