Some words just have a magical quality.
“To sell your soul is the easiest thing in the world. That’s what everybody does every hour of his life. If I asked you to keep your soul – would you understand why that’s much harder?” (from The Fountainhead, by Ayn Rand)
Don’t words like those just hit you in the gut? Don’t they make you want to stand up straighter, resist evil more firmly, assert your truth more clearly? And if temptation were to hit you, wouldn’t these words make you think twice?
Doubtless you have many other quotes through time and across media that have struck you, stuck with you, and made you into a tangibly better person.
You know what I said about “magical quality”? Scratch that. Some words *are* magic (at least for all intents and purposes). Like magic spells, they can transform us into more powerful and admirable and even (in a good way) dangerous versions of ourselves.
It helps, then, to have good words close at hand for all the twists and turns of life. I have the minor ambition of enveloping all my living and working spaces with these words of power and wisdom. But until I can afford to hire a calligraphist (my art skills = not so good), they’re going to live on jameswalpole.com. Meet the new Collected Wise Sayings (of Other People) page.
I think it’s proper they live here. Maybe you can find some value from the words that have helped me or inspired me, too. I know I’ll be coming back to this one.