Ok… so here’s my random thought for today. Have you ever noticed that people give you more credibility when you quote someone else? For example, if I were to say that the earth is round, you may take it or leave it. However, if I tell you that Copernicus stated that the earth is round, all of a sudden that statement has more depth and meaning. Many times it doesn’t even seem to matter who it is that you are quoting. I think that even statements that are quoted from an unknown source are given more legitimacy than those that just come from inside ourselves. How silly is that? Why don’t we trust ourselves to be good thinkers? Why couldn’t something that we state for ourselves have the same efficacy as what someone else says? Didn’t all great thinkers and people start out as just ordinary people who weren’t afraid to own up to their ideas and ideals?
I would really like to test this sometime in a sacrament meeting talk or something like that. I want to come up with some really deep statement, or write a poem or something like that and then state it as “Someone once said:” or “An annonymous poet once wrote..” and see how people’s reactions differ from if I just state them myself.
What sparked all of this was a poem I was reading by an anonymous poet that I really like. It’s a poem that my dad saw while he was on his mission. My dad has an excellent memory so he made his companion sit there for 10 minutes while he memorized it. My dad can still recite that poem on demand. However, he obviously didn’t know who it was by, so I googled it… and apparently no one else does either. But here’s the poem:
I saw them tear a building down
A gang of men in a lonely town
With a ho-heave-ho and a mighty yell
They swung a beam and a side wall fell
I asked the foremen, are these men skilled?
Men you’d hire if you had to build?
He laughed and said, “No indeed,
Common labor is all I need.
I can easily wreck in a day or two
What builders have taken years to do.”
Then I thought to myself as I went on my way
Which of these roles do I try to play?
Am I a builder who works with care
Measuring life with rules and square
Shaping my deeds to a well made plan,
Patiently doing the best I can?
Or am I a wrecker who walks the town,
Content with the labor of tearing down?
Just some food for thought.
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