A sister of mine who has many minor children wants to create a copy book for her children.
She is looking for aphorisms that will shape her children into wise men and women. She is looking to shape her children’s schema, the way they perceive and remember the reality of their lives. If you’re not sure what an aphorism is, here’s an awesome quote I found on the internet:
An aphorism is a short pithy statement that states a truth and smacks you with a reality punch… A good aphorism is only the tip of the iceberg and underneath its logic is a ton of philosophical meaning. It is the big truth in capsulated form and its power is in its ability to be retained in our consciousness and the affect it has on our thinking. 1
This jogged my memory. Months before Bruce Nielson recruited me to blog here at M*, I had come across the “Great BCC Aphorism Contest.” Not being familiar with BCC, I decided to toss off a few aphorisms, original to me that day, for example:
- Death is a blessing that should never be sought or given.
- One who fears God in life will not fear God in death.
- What one says about Nauvoo says more about them than it says about Nauvoo.
- The saint who cherishes their spouse, though imperfect, will be blessed in eternity.
- No one believes they are wrong, no matter what the evidence may show.
- The blackest wrong can become a source of healing in God’s hands.
- The blind men all touched the same elephant, and we all worship the same God.
- When I was young, I was certain. Now old, I cherish grace and hold to hope.
- There is no excuse for abuse.
- Each moment is precious, a gift that will never be given again.
- Mankind would knowingly embrace destruction if it were convenient and comely.
- No secret is so silent that God knows it not.
- One who demands respect will never have it.
- One who flees obedience to the highest law will be forced to comply with a lower law.
- When I feed another, my soul is filled.
- No possession is so precious that we can take it back to heaven.
- Error is error, no matter how cherished.
- Live as though you love those in future centuries, and they will love you.
- A weed unheeded gives seed to tomorrow’s ruin.
- The perfect man embraces all and rejects none.
- God will vindicate every speaker of truth and honor every lover of freedom.
- Sin is no less wrong if it is too new to have been condemned from the pulpit.
When I reviewed the aphorisms others were submitting, I realized my aphorisms did not express doubt and sarcasm. In short, I was the thing that was not like the others. I never could tell who supposedly won that contest.
The Radical Grace post where I found the description of aphorisms had another image, stating:
The birth of an aphorism is a process of reception and a procession of perception
In other words, your aphorisms arise from your schema, the fundamental essence of how you view the universe.
So I challenge you to to come up with aphorisms you think a rising generation should have in their hearts and souls if they would become wise and good citizens of tomorrow’s world. It’s OK to re-quote aphorisms from others or the scriptures.
- The Jesus Style of Communication – Aphorisms and Parables at Radical Grace, available online at http://donmilam.com/2013/02/the-jesus-style-of-communication-aphorisms-and-parables-2/, retrieved 3 July 2014. ↩