My Favorite Quotes and their Origins

by Sam

A short collection of some of my favorite quotes, their origins and some background information about each.

I love quotes, no matter if famous, funny or inspirational ones! So I thought I put up some of my recent discoveries, plus some old time favorites of mine, in this article for you to enjoy! I have added also some interesting information about their origins and a few background stories to go with them.

"I would believe only in a God that knows how to dance."

Friedrich Nietzsche (‘Thus Spake Zarathustra’)

It was the German philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche who said this, but despite having read Nietzsche extensively when younger, this one was new to me until recently. The first thing what sprung to my mind as I read the this Nietzsche quote, was a modern Christian hymn called 'The Lord of the Dance' by Sidney Carter.

You can hear a superb recording of it, and read the full lyrics at the same time, in the YouTube video on the right.  Plus enjoy a second, more country / Irish style version below it. Just two quotations from the lyrics itself, to show you that the idea of a dancing God is existing in Christianity. Here an excerpt of the lyrics, to give you a first impression of the song:

I danced in the morning when the world was begun, And I danced in the moon and the stars and the sun, And I came down from heaven and I danced on the earth, At Bethlehem I had my birth.

They cut me down and I leapt up high, I am the life that'll never, never die I'll live in you if you'll live in me;

I am the Lord of the Dance, said he.

Two different arrangements of this modern Christian hymn

“Even if you win the rat race, you are still a rat!”

Next quote that I would love to pin on my computer screen ;-) Don't get me wrong, rats can make adorable pets and are know to be very intelligent. The later was one of the reasons that they became (ab)used as lab rats. And to these lab rats refers the above quote. Like the rats in an experiment, a lot of us run around like headless chicken (another metaphor) in order to earn a living. And even if we make career and do earn a decent income and even if we become the boss of the company or at least the department, we are still nothing else than a rat that races for its live. Only that the lab rat really fights for its life and freedom whilst most of us fight for money and career --- whilst loosing our lives in the process.

“When you feel neglected, just think of a female salmon who lays 3 million eggs, but nobody remembers her on Mother’s day..!”

I added this one to the list for the pure smiley effect, I actually did a quick fact check and the amount of eggs is grossly exaggerated, but still even with more than 7,500 eggs laid per year, I do doubt that a salmon lady gets many 'Happy Mothersday' greeting cards ;-) The next time you feel pity with yourself because of some minor issue, remember a fish mother that has to take care of several hundred or even thousand of little ones without getting a single flower ;-)

“Once you learn to read, you will be forever free.”

A bit more of a serious one, and as at the same time a sad one because less and less people actually do read nowadays. One tip, if you want your children to read, the Harry Potter books are proven miracle workers for this – nearly magic ;-) As for the creator of the quote, Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman that lived from 1818-1895. He was born a slave and, after having escaped from slavery, became in 1872 the first African American nominated for Vice President of the United States. More of his story can be found in the Wikipedia article referenced below. Learning to read opened his eyes and mind for the value of freedom and was the first step for him on his way, not only to, personal freedom, but also on his way of becoming a freedom fighter for others. What did you read today? BTW, the video on the right is one version of the famous German freedom song 'Die Gedanken sind Frei' which translates to 'Thoughts are Free!'

Frederick Douglass was an American social reformer, orator, writer and statesman. After escaping from slavery, he became a leader of the abolitionist movement, gaining note for his dazzling oratory and incisive antislavery writing. He sto...

“Grownups never understand anything for themselves, and it is tiresome for children to be always explaining things to them.”

Taken from Antoine de Saint-Exupéry world famous book 'The little Prince', this quote reminds me always to the fact that children aren't just 'not-grown-ups', but person and personalities in their own right and with their own world views. Instead of interrogating them, perhaps it would be a good idea to listen to them and to make an effort to understand their world and perception first. If you want to be reminded of this wonderful and wonder-some way to see the world, the book at the right, from which the quote was taken, is a great way to re-vive your inner child.

“If you see an antimatter version of yourself running towards you, think twice before embracing.”

I finish with a geek and nerd quote by J. Richard Gott III, who is a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. His name means 'God' in German btw, and he is known for his unconventional theories which include the possibility of timetravel. The following Wikipedia article not only sums up his life and work up to date, but also contains some interesting links to his theories and interviews he gave.
John Richard Gott III is a professor of astrophysical sciences at Princeton University. He is known for developing and advocating two cosmological theories with the flavor of science fiction: Time travel and the Doomsday argument.

Take the Geek Quiz ;-)

What happens if you embrace your antimatter twin?

I hope you enjoyed this little collection of my favorite quotes, stories and so on, I would be very happy, if you leave me a comment, perhaps even with your own favorite quote and / or story included ;-)

Updated: 07/03/2012, Sam
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Raintree on 10/11/2013

I love interesting quotes and I really enjoyed reading your page :)

Mira on 08/11/2012

Hi Sam, I loved your quotes :-). "Die Gendanken sind frei" -- of course, with the skull cap devices that can read words (how do they do that?), it's more like "Die Gedanken sind (noch) frei," as in the video :-). People who can't speak will benefit from those, and the justice system will, too; let's hope they won't be abused.

Sam on 07/23/2012

Thanks for commenting sheilamarie, glad you enjoyed what I wrote / posted, I am not an absolute Nietzsche fan neither, but he did have some good points ... especially the one about 'if Christians are truly saved, why don't they look happier' ;-) SY

sheilamarie on 07/23/2012

I've enjoyed reading your favorite quotes, Sam. I just finished rereading The Little Prince last week and that particular quote was one that stuck with me, too.
I'm not a Nietzsche fan, but I enjoyed the Lord of the Dance videos you posted. Thanks!

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