“Where there is no vision, the people perish,” states The Holy Bible (Proverbs 29:18).
But of course, that was written a long time before the present year descended upon us with its myriad opportunities for jokes about 20/20 vision. So here are some more quotations from Bartlett’s Familiar Quotations to help freshen your Serious conversations — and your fun ones as well.
This one, from Arthur Schopenhauer (1788-1860), just might come in handy in the next few weeks:
“Intellect is invisible to the man who has none.”
— from Essays, “”On Relation to Others,” Section 23
For those who want something a bit older, if not necessarily outdated, here’s Aristophanes (446-380 B.C.):
“Shame is the apprehension of a vision
Reflected from the surface of opinion —
the opinion of the public.”
— from “Frogs”
Remember Thomas Gray (1716-1771)? Not with those years, you don’t know him personally, but you may remember his “Elegy in a Country Churchyard.” But as the pitchmen on TV haven’t stopped putting it, there’s more:
“Visions of glory, spare my aching sight;
Ye unborn ages, crowd not on my soul!”
— “The Bard,” III, 1, Line II
If all of this seems a bit dreary for a new year, dear readers, here’s a charge to us all from Edith Wharton (1862-1937):
“There are two ways of spreading light:
to be the candle
or the mirror that reflects it.”
— from “Vesalius in Zante”
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