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Front Page - Friday, March 25, 2016

Don’t chew with your mouth full

I Swear

Vic Fleming

I am always looking for useful proverbs, adages, mottos, and the like. Especially stuff that can be easily memorized. Like “Don’t chew with your mouth full.” And “I feel a whole lot more like I do now than I did when I got here.”

Years ago I challenged readers to send me their favorites, for reprinting here in the column. Here are some of my favorites that came in:

“We are here on earth to do good to others. What the others are here for, I don’t know.” W.H. Auden.

“I always wanted to be somebody, but I should have been more specific.” Lily Tomlin.

“When you reach the end of your rope, tie a knot in it and hang on.” Thomas Jefferson.

 “A man doesn’t know what he knows until he knows what he doesn’t know.” Laurence J. Peter.

“If you cannot be a poet, be the poem.” David Carradine.

“ ‘Be yourself’ is about the worst advice you can give some people.” Tom Masson.

“To be natural is such a very difficult pose to keep up.” Oscar Wilde.

“Nobody can make you feel inferior without your consent.” Eleanor Roosevelt.

“A successful person is one who can lay a firm foundation with the bricks that others throw at him or her.” David Brinkley.

“It’s not who you are that holds you back, it’s who you think you’re not.” Anonymous.

 “It ain’t what they call you, it’s what you answer to.” W.C. Fields.

“There’s no time like the present, and there’s no present like time.” David Lamotte.

And, with the space that I have left, I’ll add a few more that I’ve mined myself over time:

“People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who do.” Isaac Asimov

“Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else.” Margaret Mead

“Rule 1: When all else fails, follow instructions.” Anne Lamott.

“The first rule [here at The Rock] is ‘Obey all rules.’ Secondly, ‘Do not write on the walls, as it takes a lot of work to erase writing off of walls’.” Barney Fife.

“Get your facts first, then you can distort them as you please.” Mark Twain

“Procrastination is the art of keeping up with yesterday.” Don Marquis 

“You can tell the ideals of a nation by its advertisements.” Norman Douglas.

“I don’t know why it is we are in such a hurry to get up when we fall down. You might think we would lie there and rest a while.” Max Eastman.

“There is always one moment in childhood when the door opens and lets the future in.” Graham Greene.

“We grow old by deserting our ideals. Years may wrinkle the skin, but to give up enthusiasm wrinkles the soul.” Samuel Ullman.

“The reason angels can fly is … they take themselves lightly.” G.K. Chesterton.

With that, I am going to flit out of here … until next week.

Vic Fleming is a district court judge in Little Rock, Ark., where he also teaches at the William H. Bowen School of Law. Contact him at vicfleming@att.net.