Nobel laureate Leon Lederman once said, “My ambition is to live to see all of physics reduced to a formula so elegant and simple that it will fit easily on the front of a T-shirt.” He was talking about the Big TOE (Theory Of Everything) and his comment inspired Dan Falk’s book about the current state of physics, Universe on a T-Shirt.
Understanding the entire universe is beyond my pay grade but I’ve always looked for “elegant and simple” explanations of how life works. Distilling truth is a venerable tradition. Think of the proverbs in the Old Testament or the sayings of Jesus in the New: “Render unto Caesar …, What shall it profit a man …, Greater love has no man than this ….”
The T-Shirt template requires principles that are profound, pithy and portable. Words that are wise, witty and wearable. Maxims that are memorable, meaty and mobile. Sayings that are sagacious, sharp and salable. (I could go on and on; just ask my kids.)
Here are a few truths worthy of being immortalized on cotton.
The glory of God is a person fully alive. – Irenaeus
God sells us all good things at the price of labor. – Horace
Prayer is a conversation with God about what we are doing together. – Dallas Willard
Adversity introduces a man to himself. – Anonymous
The art of living is more like wrestling than dancing – Marcus Aurelius
If your ship doesn’t come in, swim out to it! – Jonathan Winters
Courtesy is owed. Respect is earned. Love is given. – Ruth Brown
Being kind is more important than being right. – Andy Rooney
How is it possible to have a civil war? – George Carlin
The World According to Homer:
Beer. Now there’s a temporary solution.
Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that’s even remotely true.
The answer to life’s problems aren’t at the bottom of a bottle, they’re on TV!
My newest category, Cancer:
Send me some of your favorites.