A collection of wise words

I collect what I refer to as “wise words.”


These are sayings I pick up, mostly from movies. That in itself bugs the SONs of Thunder to no end. We’ll be watching something and all of a sudden one of those wise words pops up. I’ll grab a notebook and pen and tell them to back up the movie.

Yeah. I always have a notebook in my back pocket. Journalism traits die hard. 

And I will get all kinds of grief, complete with groans and ughs. And they will move in super slo-mo, meaning we’ll be halfway through the movie by the time they actually start rewinding. But I’ll get my wise word somehow.

In an earlier column, I shared some of those wise words from animated movies — talking cows, rats and even Master Shifu. Today, I’m pulling out some others, more human-like.

A lot of people have books of quotations. They are wise sayings of famous people. There’s nothing wrong with that. But my point is just because you are famous, doesn’t mean you aren’t stupid, or mean or rude.

In today’s world, we tend to hang on to the words of actors and actresses — entire magazines and shows devoted to their lives. It is as if the camera creates some super god. The truth is they put their pants on just like everyone else. And sometimes they burp. They are no better than anyone else. Anyone can have a wise word; it’s the following through that’s the hard part.

The reality, or irony, is that their movie characters say far more important things than they do in real life.

So here are a few of my favorites:

“Great Raisuli, we have lost everything. All is drifting on the wind as you said. We have lost everything. “ (Sherif of Wazan.)

“Sherif, is there not one thing in your life that is worth losing everything for?” (The Raisuli, Lord of the Rift.)

And then … they both begin to laugh in agreement.

— “The Wind and the Lion”

“Life is a storm, my young friend. You will bask in the sunlight one moment, be shattered on the rocks the next. What makes you a man is what you do when that storm comes.”

— “The Count Of Monte Cristo”

“It’s inevitable to lose every now and then – the trick is to not make a habit of it.”

— “A Good Year”

“Being still and doing nothing are two very different things.”

— “The Karate Kid” (2010)

“Let me ask you something. If someone prays for patience, do you think God gives them patience? Or does he give them the opportunity to be patient? If they pray for courage, does God give them courage, or does he give them opportunities to be courageous? If someone prayed for their family to be closer, you think God zaps them with warm, fuzzy feelings? Or does he give them opportunities to love each other?”

— God, from “Evan Almighty”

“Anything there is that I can do for you, I will do for you; anything there is that I cannot do, I will learn to do.”

— “The Princess Bride”

“I am the gatekeeper of my own destiny.”

— “Nacho Libre”

“Passion is momentary; love is enduring. Be more concerned with your character than your reputation. If I am through learning, I am through. Discipline yourself and others won’t need to. You can do more good by being good than any other way. Don’t let making a living prevent you from making a life.”

— John Wooten

“If you fight your destiny, you will be miserable. You must embrace it and revel in every moment.”

—”The Librarian”

“You are your problem — and also your solution.”

— “Bridesmaids”

“We do what we have to do so we can do what we want to do ... Who is your opponent? He does not exist. Keep the body, but take the mind. Whatever your instincts tell you to do, do it.”

— “The Great Debaters”

“Greatness, no matter how brief, stays with a man.”

— “The Replacements”

Winters was publisher of the Juneau Empire from 1995-2000. He and The Dress always dream of returning. Until then, you can follow their adventures at http://justflipthedog.com. Contact him at winjaw@gmail.com.


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