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The age of 'I'Posted Wednesday, June 3, 2009, at 10:53 AM
People, or at least most people, are more self-centered than in years past.
That's obvious if you look at quotations.
One of my jobs at the T-G is to choose the quotes in 'Just a Thought" at the bottom of most days' front pages.
I try to find one each day that's more or less motivational or will maybe encourage people. Most come from one or two particular quote compilation websites.
Too many of those quotes come from individuals from so many years in the past -- authors, business executives, scientists, etc. -- that hardly anyone remembers them, if they've heard of them at all. Those folks shouldn't be forgotten, but I'd like to also quote people now or recently active.
I was glad to find one good quote by rock singer Alanis Morissette the other day. Most of today's achievers and celebrities, though, tend to start almost every sentence with "I" and sound somewhat whiny.
In other words, instead of general advice for others, they simply talk about themselves.
But more outwardly-focused persons do exist.
Consider these words:
(The writer talks about mistakes...)"However, as time goes on, if those same mistakes are still being made then you realize that you're not progressing but also you are jeopardizing your reputation and integrity. And if there's one thing I've learned is those things are almost never able to be fixed after they are broken."
"If there is any doubt in your mind that you won't succeed, you will NOT succeed!"
And this thought:
"Dwelling on past failures hinders future success."
These are the words of Jonathan White, 2004 Central High graduate who went on to play baseball at Vanderbilt, in a T-G guest column. He's young -- and obviously full of wisdom. I actually used one of his quotes in 'Just a Thought' a while back.
So there are a few wise, younger people still out there.
I suspect, or at least hope, that there are still lots more thinking people who simply aren't being heard from. Unfortunately, usually it's the self-absorbed celebrities who have the loudest voices.
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David Melson is a copy editor and staff writer for the Times-Gazette.
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