As I read, I’m always taking notes on my favorite passages, and I’m always very interested when I find the same thought expressed powerfully, but very differently, by different people.
Here’s one of my favorite examples of this. These quotes point out that it’s worthwhile to find enjoyment in life, and while it's easy to assume that this is a simple matter, it actually takes observation and focus.
Here’s how the nineteenth-century English writer Samuel Butler phrased it:
One can bring no greater reproach against a man than to say that he does not set sufficient value upon pleasure, and there is no greater sign of a fool than the thinking that he can tell at once and easily what it is that pleases him. To know this is not easy, and how to extend our knowledge of it is the highest and most neglected of all arts and branches of education.
Here’s the very same idea, expressed by the twentieth-century writer Dr. Seuss, in the words of the immortal Cat in the Hat:
Look at me!
Look at me!
Look at me NOW!
It is fun to have fun
But you have to know how.
With big ideas, many people may explore it – but always with their own particular language and perspective.
It is fun to have fun, but you have to know how. To know this is not easy.