Reflections on famous quotes

I love quotes.

I had never thought about my apparent pre-occupation with famous quotes until an old friend of mine who had consumed one too many glasses of wine at a Christmas dinner party commented that I seemed to live my life through quotes. There was an awkward silence at the table followed by a call for coffee and a return to more convivial conversation.

During that memorable evening, I had apparently excelled on the quotation front, ranging from a Coco Channel quote when someone commented on my new hairstyle to a quote by Oscar Wilde on the difference between price and value when buying Christmas presents.

I have often used famous quotations in conversations with friends as a way of encouraging debate without hopefully causing offence. I call it my ‘safety net’ for self-expression.

My fascination with quotations started as a teenager and evolved during years of young adulthood when my legal status of Ugandan refugee fueled many insecurities and self-doubt.  During those challenging times when parental support and mentoring were in short supply, I found inspiration and comfort in famous quotations.

There is, however, one quote that continues to puzzle me.

‘Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me’

Which leads me to another famous quote.

‘Actions speak louder than words’

A personal reflection on famous quotes.

If you can’t find something constructive to say, take a pause for self-inquiry.

Words are powerful. Words matter.