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“I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: Entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it, they might go off the deep end.” ~ Stan Lee
I chose one of my all-time, favorite Stan Lee quotes simply because I believe in the power of entertainment and humor.
Although some of his writing is still controversial, what attracted me most to Twain first was what still attracts me to people years later: their sense of humor. Twain himself put it this way, “Humor is mankind’s greatest blessing.”
The first time I was exposed to Twain’s work was at school when we read The Adventures of Tom Sawyer; however, I did not really appreciate the intellect behind the satire until years later when I was majoring in literature, and we studied his work in-depth in an American Literature course.
I truly believe that humor and sarcasm are a form of art that transcend art as we know it, and when done properly, not at the expense of individuals and others, it can teach and open eyes, minds, and hearts in the smoothest way possible.
Here are 25 quotes that will hopefully put a smile on your face as they did on mine and remind you that life is too short to take it too seriously:
“All generalizations are false, including this one.”
“When I was a boy of 14, my father was ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years.”
“A lie can run around the world six times while the truth is still trying to put on its shoes.”
“It’s better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than open it and remove all doubt.”
“April one. This is the day upon which we are reminded of what we are on the other 364.”
“Let us make a special effort to stop communicating with each other, so we can have some conversation.”
“It is good to obey all the rules when you’re young, so you’ll have the strength to break them when you’re old.”
“Denial ain’t just a river in Egypt.”
“Patriot: the person who can holler the loudest without knowing what he is hollering about.”
“I was gratified to be able to answer promptly, and I did. I said I didn’t know.”
“Life would be infinitely happier if we could only be born at the age of 80 and gradually approach 18.”
“The only way to keep your health is to eat what you don’t want, drink what you don’t like, and do what you’d rather not.”
“If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.”
“Of all the animals, man is the only one that is cruel. He is the only one that inflicts pain for the pleasure of doing it.”
“Never put off till tomorrow what may be done day after tomorrow just as well.”
“I do not fear death. I had been dead for billions and billions of years before I was born, and had not suffered the slightest inconvenience from it.”
“What would men be without women? Scarce, sir…mighty scarce.”
“Don’t part with your illusions. When they are gone, you may still exist, but you have ceased to live.”
“Never argue with stupid people; they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with experience.”
“I have found out that there ain’t no surer way to find out whether you like people or hate them than to travel with them.”
“I must have a prodigious amount of mind; it takes me as much as a week, sometimes, to make it up.”
“Always acknowledge a fault. This will throw those in authority off their guard and give you an opportunity to commit more.”
“I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of which never happened.”
“There was never yet an uninteresting life. Such a thing is an impossibility. Inside of the dullest exterior there is a drama, a comedy, and a tragedy.”
This last quote hides so much truth behind the veil of sarcasm. It might be controversial, even shocking, but sadly, this is what happens when humans are not mindful and tolerant.
“In an hour, I taught a cat and a dog to be friends. I put them in a cage. In another hour, I taught them to be friends with a rabbit. In the course of two days, I was able to add a fox, a goose, a squirrel, and some doves. Finally a monkey. They lived together in peace; even affectionately. Next, in another cage, I confined an Irish Catholic from Tipperary, and as soon as he seemed tame, I added a Scotch Presbyterian from Aberdeen. Next a Turk from Constantinople; a Greek Christian from Crete; an Armenian; a Methodist from the wilds of Arkansas; a Buddhist from China; a Brahman from Benares. Finally, a Salvation Army Colonel from Wapping. Then I stayed away for two whole days. When I came back to note results, the cage of Higher Animals was all right, but in the other there was but a chaos of gory odds and ends of turbans and fezzes and plaids and bones and flesh—not a specimen left alive. These Reasoning Animals had disagreed on a theological detail and carried the matter to a Higher Court.”