Mark Twain: Humor & Wisdom

1Twain

I found a picture of young Mark Twain (see above). A great head of hair, and it was not white yet (see elsewhere). He was a story teller, lecturer, writer and traveler. Often, his words –written or spoken—could be both humorous and wise. Perhaps, it made his honesty go down smoother. Here is a sample of his most famous sayings.

 

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

Man is the only animal that blushes –or needs to.

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool than to open it and remove all doubt.

If you love what you do you’ll never work a day in your life.

Love is when two people know everything about each other and are still friends.

The dog is a gentleman. I hope to go to his Heaven, not man’s.

2Twain+Dog

 

Patriotism is supporting your country all the time, and your government when it deserves it.

I have never let my schooling interfere with my education.

Never argue with stupid people; they will drag you down to their level and then beat you with their experience.

Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do.

Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But then I repeat myself.

Sometimes I wonder whether the world is run by smart people who are putting us on, or by imbeciles who really mean it.

It’s easier to fool people than to convince them they have been fooled.

 

3Twain-chair-porch

 

Never put off until tomorrow what you can do the day after tomorrow.

I’ve had a lot of worries in my life, most of wich never happened.

Prejudices are what fools use foe reason.

Clothes make the man. Naked people have little or no influence in society.

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely.

Whenever you find yourself on the side of the majority, it is time to pause and reflect.

When I was a boy of fourteen, my Father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be twenty-one, I was astonished at how much he had learned in seven years.

 

4TwainOld

 

 

Life is short: break the rules, forgive quickly, kiss slowly, love truly, laugh uncontrollably, and never regret anything that makes you smile.

 

 

 

 

 

 

About rcarmean

Two things... First, why have I decided to establish this blog? I like to put essays together. I research an idea or topic looking for information, statistics, stories, quotes, pictures, etc. I enjoy the process and seeing a finished product. I’m told that as I get older, new activities can help maintain energy and keep my brain alert. In other words, I am not doing this for money or fame. Second, regarding the gentleman in the collage of pictures above...it's not me. Those are photos of Christy Mathewson. Why him? When I was young, my primary activity was being sick. It took up much of my time. Eczema (a case so bad I was written up in a medical journal showing doctors what their patients COULD look like), asthma, and allergies. You know allergies: don’t eat this, don’t wear that, and, for Heaven’s sake, don’t touch any of these things (eg, dogs, cats, horses --I only saw horses in cowboy movies and TV shows, dust, swimming pools, my brother --OK, that’s an exaggeration, Rick was a fine brother). In my spare time between doctors' appointments, pills, and ointments, baseball kept me sane. In the 1940s and 1950s, when I grew up, pro footballI and basketball had not yet become extremely popular. Baseball truly was “the national pastime.” I listened to games on the radio (remember it? TV without the picture). I read magazines, books, and newspaper accounts of games. I collected baseball cards. I learned about the game’s history, as well as present. The same with its stars. One man stood out: Christy Mathewson. He was a great pitcher for the New York Giants in the early 20th century. But there was much more to him. At a time when professional athletes made little money (yes, there was such a time) and ball players were considered on the same level as actors, artists, and prostitutes, Mathewson stood out. One of his nicknames was: “The Christian Gentleman.” Most men is baseball drank, smoked, cursed, and fought —with other players, umpires, and fans. The fights were physical, not just verbal. Mathewson did none of these things. But he earned the respect of other players who did them all. Even Ty Cobb and John McGraw. There’s more. He was a college graduate (Bucknell University) when most men were lucky to have a high school diploma. He played other sports, including pro football which you wouldn’t recognize. He was handsome. He played in New York City, then as now, the largest city in the country. Excellence and popularity there meant fame and money. He dressed well. Today, his commercials would rival LeBron’s. And, finally, a hero’s life must have tragedy. After his playing career ended, WWI arrived. He suffered from influenza and was exposed to mustard gas. Chemical warfare. His lungs were damaged and he required treatment for the rest of his life. (Like my Grandfather who also fought in The Great War.) He died in 1925. He was 45 years old. I have his picture here because you need to know more about him than me. He was what an athlete could be. Players like him and their accomplishments got me through a sickly, painful childhood and can still sustain me in difficult times. *****
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