The Wisdoms Project


I know that reality is defined as an absolute.  But I also feel that what is real to one person can be seen differently by another person and that that difference is real to that other person.  In others words, I believe that perception is also reality.  This concept leads to a lot of discussions, controversy, arguments and even mistakes….but it does help to keep our lives interesting.  Really.

People prefer to believe what they prefer to be true.
    Francis Bacon

No matter what you’ve heard or read or think, the following urban legends have been conclusively proven not true:

A tourist woke up in a hotel bathtub packed in ice, with a scar on his abdomen and a note telling him that organ thieves drugged him and stole a kidney.
Neiman Marcus sells a cookie recipe for $250.
Pet baby alligators flushed down New York City toilets have grown big and attacked sewer workers.
On Thanksgiving, a spaced-out, hippie babysitter roasted the baby instead of the turkey.
While the co-pilot took a nap, the pilot put the plane on auto-pilot and after walking to the back of the plane, found himself locked out of the cockpit.
Some Lego toy kits include a plastic homeless person.
A welder forgot to lower his eye shield and the electric arc bonded his contact lens to his corneas.
Mama “Cass” Eliot of  The Mamas & The Papas singing group
died by choking on a ham sandwich.
Col. Sanders’ will stated that 10% of KFC profits were to go to the KKK forever.

Fight for your opinions, but do not believe that they
contain the whole truth or the only truth.

Please understand that there very possibly could be a difference between
what you say you know and reality.
Barney Frank

I honestly believe it is better to know nothing
than to know what ain’t so.
Josh Billings

We see things, not as they are, but as we are.
Anais Nin

When two people meet, there are really six people present. There is each person as they see themselves….each person as the other person sees them….and each person as they really are.
William James

Observe all persons;  thyself most.

Smart is when you only believe half of what you hear.
Brilliant is when you know which half to believe.

Common sense is not so common.

Sometimes the first duty of intelligent people is to re-state the obvious.
George Orwell

It can be dangerous to be right in matters
on which the established authorities are wrong.

Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored.
    Aldous Huxley

                     It shouldn’t be, but
     ....if you drop a twelve-pound bowling ball and a one-pound cantaloupe from the same five-story high window, they will hit the ground at the same time.
     ....although Christian Americans have been trying to live together for two centuries, Sunday is still the most segregated day of the week with blacks and whites praying separately in their separate churches.


I don’t like euphemisms....and American English is loaded with euphemisms.  It’s because Americans have a lot of trouble dealing with reality.  Americans have trouble facing the truth.  So they invent a kind of soft language to protect themselves from the truth….and it gets worse with each generation.

There’s a condition in combat when a fighting person’s nervous system has been stressed to its absolute peak and maximum and it just can’t take anymore input….and the nervous system snaps or is about to snap.

In the First World War, this condition was called “shell shock.”  Simple, honest, direct language.  Almost sounds like the guns themselves.  That was almost a century ago.

Then a whole generation later, in the Second World War, the very same combat condition was called “battle fatigue.”  Doesn’t seem to hurt as much.

Then came the Korean War in the early fifties and the very same problem was now called “operational exhaustion.”  The humanity has been totally squeezed out of the condition.  It sounds like something that might happen to your car.

Then of course, came the war in Vietnam….and in keeping with the lies and deceits of that war, the very same combat condition was called “post-traumatic stress disorder.”  Now the pain was completely buried under the jargon.

I’ll betcha that if we had still been calling it “shell shock,” some of those Vietnam veterans would have gotten the proper attention they needed at the time.
        George Carlin

People believe what they want to believe despite all the evidence to the contrary.

How many legs does a dog have if you call the tail a leg?
 Four….calling a tail a leg doesn’t make it a leg.
Abraham Lincoln

You can put frosting on manure, but you've still got a pile of manure.
    John Madden

It is not the facts which guide the conduct of people
….but their opinions about the facts.
Norman Angell

All truth passes through three stages:
    First…it is ridiculed.
                                             Second….it is violently opposed.
                                                                                       Third….it is accepted as being self-evident.
Arthur Shopenhauer

Ahhh-maaa-zing….but true:

The youngest Pope was eleven years old.
Each king in a deck of cards represents a great king from history:
        Spades….King David
        Clubs….Alexander the Great
        Diamonds….Julius Caesar
111,111,111 times 111,111,111 = 12,345,678,987,654,321.
One mile in every five of the U.S. Interstate Highway system is straight….for possible aircraft landings.
It takes a gallon of diesel fuel to move the ocean liner QE II just six inches.
Coca-Cola was originally green.
The Hawaiian alphabet has twelve letters.
The average number of people airborne over the U.S. in any given hour is 61,000.
The average life span of a major league baseball is seven pitches.
When you’re in pain, your eyebrows go down and your eyes close.  When you’re scared, your eyebrows go up and your eyes open.
Any month that begins on a Sunday always has a “Friday the 13th.”

People occasionally stumble over the truth, but many of them pick themselves up
and hurry off as if nothing had happened.
    Winston Churchill

Reality is the leading cause of stress amongst those in touch with it.
Lily Tomlin

Every time I close the door on reality
….it comes in through the window.
Ashleigh Brilliant

Reality is a crutch for people who can't handle drugs.
    Lily Tomlin

There is only one thing about which I am certain
….and that is that there is very little
about which one can be certain.
Somerset Maugham

    Once upon a time, there was a nonconforming sparrow who decided not to fly south for the winter. However, soon the weather turned so cold that he reluctantly started to fly south. In a short time, ice began to form on his wings and he fell to earth in a barnyard, almost frozen. A cow passed by and crapped on the little sparrow. The sparrow thought it was the end. But, the manure warmed him and defrosted his wings. Warm and happy, able to breathe, he started to sing. Just then a large cat came by and hearing the chirping, investigated the sounds.

The cat cleared away the manure, found the chirping bird and promptly ate him.
The morals of the story are:
1. Everyone who shits on you is not necessarily your enemy.
2. Everyone who gets you out of shit is not necessarily your friend.
3. And, if you're warm and happy in a pile of shit, keep your mouth shut.

To everything there is a season and a time to every purpose under heaven.
A time to be born and a time to die.
A time to plant and a time to pluck up that which is planted.
A time to kill and a time to heal.
A time to break down and a time to build up.
A time to weep and a time to laugh.
A time to mourn and a time to dance.
A time to cast away stones and a time to gather stones together.
A time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing.
A time to get and a time to lose.
A time to keep and a time to cast away.
A time to rend and a time to sew.
A time to keep silent and a time to speak.
A time to love and a time to hate.
A time of war and a time of peace
Ecclesiastes 3: 1-8

To see things as they are, the eyes must be open.
    To see things as other than they are, the eyes must be open even wider.
          To see things as better than they are, the eyes must be open to the fullest.

It’s a shame, but
          sometimes a conclusion is the place where you got tired of thinking.
It’s a shame, but
for every action there is quite often, an equal and opposite criticism.
It’s a shame, but
success regularly occurs in private, and failure in full view.
It’s a shame, but
a clear conscience is sometimes the sign of a bad memory.
It’s a shame, but
although you have the right to remain silent, some things you say will be misquoted
and then used against you.
It’s a shame, but
after all is said and done, usually more is said than done.

The real act of discovery is not in finding new lands
….but in seeing with new eyes.
        Marcel Proust

Unhappy sailors curse the rain for which poor farmers prayed in vain.

Just for fun, take this reality test:

1.    On a traffic light, is the green on top or bottom?
2.    In which hand is the Statue of Liberty’s torch?
3.    On the U.S. flag, is the top stripe red or white?
4.    What is the lowest number on the FM radio dial?
5.    Which side of a woman’s blouse are the buttons on?
6.    Which President is on the U.S. dime?
7.    How many sides does a stop sign have?
8.    Do books have even-numbered pages on the right or left side?
9.    How many hot dog buns are in a standard package?
10.On which playing card is the card maker’s trademark?
11. How many curves are there on a standard paper clip?

(Answers are at the end of this chapter.  
Hey….don’t look until you write down your guesses.  Really!)

When you've got an elephant by the hind legs and he's trying to run away
….it's best to let him run.
    Abraham Lincoln

             What is beauty?
“A female with two bulging eyes and a large, flat mouth in her little head,” responds the male toad.

Reality is nothing but a collective hunch.
    Lily Tomlin

“For example” is not proof.
        Yiddish Proverb

Ain’t nothing in this world for free
….and it blows my mind how so many fools just don’t get that.
Jamie Foxx

Some things are just too big to get over.
The best you can hope for….is to learn to live with them.

In science and in most other areas of life
                   ….the credit goes to the person who convinces the world
                                                  ….not to the person to whom the idea first occurs.
        William Osler

We campaign in poetry….but govern in prose.
        Mario Cuomo

There are shoots whose lot it is to spring up, but never to flower.
Others whose lot it is to flower, but never to bear fruit.

There is nothing permanent but change.

People who view the world at fifty the same as they did at twenty….have wasted thirty years of their lives.

Muhammad Ali

The correct answers to the reality test:

1.  Bottom       2.  Right       3.  Red         4.  88        5.  Left      6.  FDR      7.  8       
    8.  Left       9.  8          10.  Ace of Spades       11.  3