Aphorism: A short statement of principle or truth, used to teach a lesson. Term first coined by Hippocrates. Synonyms: byword, adage, saying, epigram. How I love them! These may come from anywhere, from the famous and from ordinary people. You will find both sources below in this autumn spray of life lessons and armchair philosophy.

“One does not discover new lands without consenting to lose sight of the shore for a very long time.” — Andre Gide

Here’s a sharp study in contrasts, worth pondering: “Which is the true nightmare, the horrific dream you have in your sleep, or the dissatisfied reality that awaits you when you awake.” — Justin Acola

Worth quoting at a party to give everybody a line they can take home: “The only reason for time is so that everything does not happen at once.” — Albert Einstein

“A dream becomes a goal when action is taken for it.” — Bo Bennett

“Survival can be summed up in three words: Never give up. That’s the heart of it really.” — Bear Grylls

From the same woman who famously said “Rather than curse the darkness, light a candle,” comes this challenging thought: “Life is either a great adventure, or nothing.” — Helen Keller

“The soul should always stand ajar, ready to welcome the ecstatic experience.” — Emily Dickinson (Always a great idea to look up and read some Dickinson — a wonderful philosopher-poet.)

“The death of a young person is like putting a period at the end of a sentence.” — Carl Jung (Heartfelt sympathies to all readers who have lost a loved one way too early.)

“We do not heal the past by dwelling there. We heal the past by living in the present.” — Marianne Williamson

“People will never get it. God called us to love one another.” — Fleming Trent (Father of one of my authors, Rexanna Ross Shumaker, from whose just-published book “Daughter of Life’s Longing” many of these aphorisms are taken off her chapter openings.)

“So it’s true, when all is said and done: Grief is the price we pay for love.” — E.A. Bucchianeeri

“Time flies over us, but leaves its shadow behind.” — Nathaniel Hawthorne (Yes, the past is always with us — within us.)

“There is a land of the living and a land of the dead, and the bridge of love, the only survival, the only meaning.” — Thornton Wilder

“All shall be well, and all shall be well, all manner of thing shall be well.” — Julian of Norwich (A 14th-century English female mystic worth looking into.)

“You can’t use up creativity; the more you use, the more you have.” — Maya Angelou

Seen in a Huntington pub: “Beer — It’s not just a breakfast drink anymore.”

The following should be stickered to every refrigerator in sight: “The heart that is generous and kind most resembles God.” — Robert Burns

“We are such stuff as dreams are made of.” — Shakespeare, “The Tempest:” IV:2.

Let’s close with that great line from “Casablanca,” where Humphrey Bogart looks Lauren Bacall in the eye and says, “Here’s looking at you, kid.”

John Patrick Grace loves books with aphorisms that fly above chapter openings. He is a former Associated Press reporter, editor and foreign correspondent (Rome) and now a book editor and publisher in Huntington.

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