The Quotable Hamel

I’m writing a book about my experiences with cancer, car crashes, and spiritual questions. Each chapter ends with a fitting quotation, and in researching these I realize I’ve written a few quotable things myself over the years—I think.

Humorist Fran Lebowitz once noted that, “Original thought is like original sin. Both happened before you were born to people you could not possibly have met.” This is also true of original sayings. No doubt I’ve picked up threads of thought from others, but at least the pattern is my own—I think.

Here are a dozen sayings I’ve come up with that may be memorable—I think:

“Brevity is the soul of wit and wit is the wink of wisdom.”

“We overestimate what can be done in a day and underestimate what can be done in a year.”

“Always thank the pilot. You only get where you want in life because of the skills of others.”

“Don’t obsess over what people think about you: They don’t.”

“Avoid books with numbers in the title: It’s never that simple.”

“Wisdom is distilled truth. It is absorbed through the skin—not the eyes or ears—and passed on through touch. It evaporates when hoarded and expands when shared.”

“Some folks are as reluctant to change habits as old-school nuns. But facing your own mortality can make you more malleable.”

“You can never be too thankful for others, but you can be too thoughtless to express it: Don’t be.”

“When it comes to raising children, work with the grain not against it. You’ll get fewer splinters that way.”

“Grand-parenting involves spoiling children without making them spoiled brats. It’s a second chance to apply the parenting skills learned by trial and error. It’s the best investment one can make in the world to come.”

“Living with cancer is waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

“5 numbers that won’t matter when you’re dead:

Your SSN
Your college GPA
Your FICO score
Your bank PIN
Your golf handicap”


3 thoughts on “The Quotable Hamel

  1. I loved the post!
    I like this one too..
    When the going gets tough, the tough get going…
    the rest of us crazy folks run around in circles going abbadeedeezabbba pffft garrglegrrrrgleee like Bill the Cat while we look for our Zoloft.

    And you forgot the classic: “What Me Worry?”

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