Some people have a way with words, and sometimes those words inspire us and are carried into the ages. I’m not certain what criteria one would use to judge the top ten quotes of all time. I certainly wouldn’t want to embark on the task of identifying the absolute number one quote of all eternity, therefore this top 10 list is presented in no particular order.
The first that came to my minds is a response from the Spartans to Philip II of Macedon. Philip II, father of Alexander the Great, went on a conquest and when he got to Sparta he sent this message: “You are advised to submit without further delay, for if I bring my army on your land, I will destroy your farms, slay your people and raze your city.”
The Spartans rejoinder was simply a word, “If”.
This highlights the condition attached to the threat meaning if he ever will actual get a chance to bring his army to Sparta, Philip II saw the salient message behind the words and to his conquest as far away from Sparta as he can go, not even Alexander his son dare to conquer Sparta.
Thompson has always had an eye for keen, often razor-sharp observation, and as a journalist, he discovered that nothing worth reporting ever came through the “proper channels” and was rarely said on the record. The official story is rarely the whole story.
This one makes the top 10 for being wonderfully cynical and wonderfully true. Kill your neighbour and you’ll go to jail, conqueror a neighbouring state and you’ll be hailed as a hero. It’s no small thing to be reminded that even murder comes with context.
I’ve heard this one around, but never with proper attribution. I’ve found it immensely useful advice. If you’re still justifying your actions, or actions are still being justified to you, then an apology isn’t really what’s happening. It’s efficacious for judging yourself as well as others.
These words were followed promptly by Mr. Wilde’s death. I think it deserves top ten consideration for composure in the face of death. No bluster, just a snippy acknowledgement that the world remains even though we leave.
This one is a smart ass to the core, but it also asks you to evaluate a truism.
Taoist attitude delivered on one of the most epic, lysergic funk tracks of all time. This is like having your Zen master start breakdancing. Free your mind and file this one away in the top 10.
No top ten list, of any kind, is complete without Mark Twain. I don’t think I can add much to this quote, so I’ll simply let it stand.
We conclude our top 10 list with a quote about the importance of quotes. Think about what you fill your mind with and what you place in other people’s minds.