Quotes and Non-Conformity

“Conformity is the jailer of freedom and the enemy of growth.”

-John F. Kennedy
“If you see in any given situation only what everybody else can see, you can be said to be so much a representative of your culture that you are a victim of it.”
-S. I. Hayakawa
I love quotes. I suppose my affinity for them is rooted in the harsh reality that while I can often express myself somewhat effectively with the written word, I get a bit tongue tied when attempting to convey an idea verbally. My mind is often several steps ahead of my mouth, and synchronicity between the two is rarely achieved.
Years ago, when I was ordering my (our) wedding invitations, I also ordered a large supply of note cards that are blank, save the “Mr. and Mrs. ……” I have used them occasionally over the past 12 years, but have hardly put a dent in the box. During my recent organization rampage (which is still in high gear, hence the lack of blog posts), I decided that I would write a note of encouragement or quote each school day for my kids and tuck them in their backpacks. It’s been a big hit so far. My son told me it’s like having a little piece of me with him while he’s at school. (I’m a little ve-clemped, talk amongst yourselves………………….). Okay, I’m better now.
I have found many great quotes (including the two above) from a book that I received years ago, “The Right Moment” by William E. Hyche. As an amusing (or not) aside, the book is autographed by the author with a note that says “Kathy – this book is a gift from Dad and Maureen”. Wow. That’s profound! (BTW – Maureen is not her real name. She is my father’s ex live-in girlfriend who hated my husband and I with a white-hot passion because we are Christians and she is a left wing feminist who believes that “our kind” are trying to keep women barefoot, pregnant and in the kitchen. I wonder what she thinks of Sarah Palin…) Not that I’m against the feminist movement as a whole. I am indebted many brave women who, at great personal cost, pushed through the 19th amendment and fought for many of the freedoms I enjoy today. However, I take great issue with NOW because of their stance on abortion. How is it that a woman’s right to choose takes greater priority over an unborn child’s right to live? But as usual, I digress.
Where was I? Oh yes — quotes! I stumbled across this one yesterday. I have to say that this definitely makes it into my top ten list of all time favorites:

What you really have to do, if you want to be creative, is to unlearn all the teasing and censoring that you’ve experienced throughout your life. If you are truly a creative person, you know that feeling insecure and lonely is par for the course. You can’t have it both ways: You can’t be creative and conform, too. You have to recognize that what makes you different also makes you creative.

– Arno Penzias, 1978 Nobel Prize winner for physics

Are you getting the vibe that I’m a bit of a non-conformist? While I believe that label would be an accurate one, I would qualify it by stating that I’m not a non-conformist for the sake of being a non-conformist. If you think about it, that’s a little ridiculous. It makes me think of an angst filled teenager bent on being unique and different who dresses exactly like all his/her equally angst filled friends.

So now I’m looking for some reader participation. Mostly because I have yet to catch up on my blog reading and I miss hearing from you guys. Do you have a favorite quote?

In closing, I’ll give you my all time favorite: 2 Corinthians 12:9 (New King James Version)9 And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

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7 Responses to “Quotes and Non-Conformity”

  1. jamie in rose cottage September 30, 2008 at 10:00 am #

    >Great quotes. I'd have a hard time picking a favorite, but I do love quotes. For much the same reason you stated: they often state what I'm thinking more clearly than my own words do! I have a new book of CS Lewis quotes & I'm really diggin that right now!

  2. cube September 30, 2008 at 12:19 pm #

    >Interesting post.

    Off the top of my head, I’ll add these quotes…

    “In the land of the blind, the one-eyed man is king.”


    “Only a fool fights in a burning room.”

  3. Kris September 30, 2008 at 6:31 pm #

    >I have got many, but I will make it brief…

    my first is from one of my heroes,Ronald Reagan (not a surprise?)

    here is it…

    The most terrifying words in the English language are: I’m from the government and I’m here to help.

    The other is from Proverbs (gotta get the Bible in there…)

    Do not hold back discipline from the child,Although you strike him with the rod, he will not die.
    Proverbs 23:12-14

    there they are…i do have more upon request.


  4. Anonymous September 30, 2008 at 11:22 pm #

    >My all time favorite is from the bible also. It’s posted on my refrigerator and on my office computer (which is where I really need it as a daily reminder). Jeremiah 29:11:

    “I know the plans I have for you” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give hope and a future”.

    Says it all for me!


  5. Helen October 1, 2008 at 1:08 pm #

    >John 1:12 “To all those who did so take him, however, he gave the right of becoming children of God–that is, to those who had faith in his name”.
    For obvious reasons.

    “The King is a big man, but he still can’t eat his cookies with a shovel.” One of my dad’s favorite Hungarian quotes. Keeps me from getting too caught up in appearances.

    “The reason they call them lessons, is because they lessen from day to day.” Lewis Caroll in Alice in Wonderland. I know it isn’t true. I love the irony.

    Have a great day! God bless you!

  6. Christine October 3, 2008 at 3:12 am #

    >“The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.”

    I like to use that one to justify when I’m late.

  7. JML October 11, 2008 at 12:15 pm #

    >I’ve always been attracted to people who don’t conform. Sometimes is been to my dismay because rebelliousness has made its way in there as well, because of treatment that “different” people have gone through-it was their way of reacting! Anyways, I love the non-conformist!!! GOOD POST!!!

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