January 11, 2024


            What’s that? “Pithy” can be several things. But what I like are pithy quotations. They are usually short—sometimes witty or humorous—with a memorable message.

            Here are 24 that I jotted down:

            “Now is the accepted time to make your annual resolutions. Next week you can begin paving hell with them as usual.”

—Mark Twain, writer and humorist

            “I don’t call them New Year’s resolutions. I prefer the term ‘casual promises to myself that I’m under no obligation to fulfill.’”

—Jim Hunt, cartoonist

            “Doubt kills more dreams than failure ever will.”

—Suzy Kassem, poet and philosopher

            “If I am overwhelmed, I slow down. It’s more effective.”

—Kirsten Gillibrand, U.S. senator

            “Accepting oneself does not preclude an attempt to become better.”

—Flannery O’Connor, novelist and short-story writer

            “There will always be someone who can’t see your worth. Don’t let it be you.”

—Mel Robbins, presenter and author

            “When caught between two evils, I generally pick the one I’ve never tried before.”

—Mae West, actor and singer

            “All music is folk music. You ain’t never heard no horse sing a song, have you?”

—Louis Armstrong, trumpeter and vocalist

            “Honestly, if I were two-faced, would I be showing you this one?”

—Abraham Lincoln, 16th U.S. president

            “I never forget a face, but in your case, I’d be glad to make an exception.”

—Groucho Marx, comedian and actor

            “If you ever dream of beating me, you’d better wake up and apologize.”

—Muhammad Ali, boxer and activist

            “I can resist everything except temptation.”

—Oscar Wilde, poet and playwright

            “If God had wanted us to bend over, He would have put diamonds on the floor.”

—Joan Rivers, comedian and actor

            “I have noticed that even people who claim everything is predetermined and that we can do nothing to change it look before they cross the road.”

—Stephen Hawking, theoretical physicist and cosmologist

            “I must be going bald. It is taking longer and longer to wash my face.”

—Harry Hill, comedian

            “We all have ability. The difference is how we use it.”

—Stevie Wonder, singer, songwriter and musician

            “If I had to describe myself in one word, it would be ‘bad at following instructions.’”

Matt Roller, journalist and TV writer

            “A man’s friendships are one of the best measures of his worth.”

—Charles Darwin, naturalist and geologist

            “Take the first step in faith. You don’t have to see the whole staircase; just take the first step.”

—Martin Luther King Jr., minister and activist

            “If you want to look good in front of thousands, you have to outwork thousands in front of nobody.”

—Damian Lillard, NBA player

            “If my attitude needs adjusting, I visualize God holding me upside down and shaking all the negative stuff—fears, doubts, insecurities—right out of me. Try it. Ask God to turn you upside down! It’s a surefire pick-me-up.”

—Dolly Parton, singer, songwriter and actor

            “A journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.”

—Lao Tzu, Chinese philosopher

           “Why do they call it rush hour when nothing moves?”

—Robin Williams, actor and comedian

            “Almost everything will work again if you unplug it for a few minutes, including you.”

—Anne Lamott, novelist and non-fiction writer

      Guess what, Ms. Lamott?

      That’s exactly what I did with my brain.

      I unplugged it.

      And then made this list of pithy quotations.