My friend, Shep, sent me this quote, which he liked a lot:
Life is a tragedy for those who feel, and a comedy for those who think.
-Jean de la Bruyere, essayist and moralist (1645-1696)
I liked it, too, but in my ever-present mission to get a quote in Bartlett’s Book of Familiar Quotations, I revised the quote to something I think is even better:
Life is tragedy for optimists, comedy for realists, and reality for pessimists.
– Matthew Dicks, novelist and curmudgeon (1971-present)
Yes, I rewrote a quote from a seventeenth century essayist.
No, I made it better.
As such, I have added it to the list that the editors of Bartlett’s should be considering closely.
1. Brevity is the sou
2. Lost potential is impossible to measure and convenient to ignore.
3. I wrote term papers as a means of flirting with girls.
4. In my most treasured friendships, there is little room for hurt feelings.
5. Ambiguity in the possible death of a character is an act of cowardice on the writer’s part.
6. Most of my time in bed is spent struggling to stay alive.
7. Don’t let anyone fool you. Death is hardest on the dead.
8. Passive-aggressive, indirect, and anonymous are three of my least favorite forms of communication.
9. Nothing convinces me more about the stupidity of human beings than driving in the vicinity of the mall on a Saturday afternoon.
10. I am more impressed with the quality of a person’s questions than with the quality of their answers.
11. It is all about me, but you’re welcome to occupy space.
12. Spock said that the needs of the many outweigh the needs of the few, but what if the many are incredibly stupid?
13. You can determine the effectiveness of a teacher by the frequency by which you can enter the classroom and speak to the teacher without grinding learning to a halt.
14. If you are not delegating enough, you are not lazy enough.
15. Life is tragedy for optimists, comedy for realists, and reality for pessimists.