help me find a life-affirming quote
November 2, 2006 10:50 PM   Subscribe

help me find a life-affirming always, there's more

A friend is taking a negative outlook on things and I'd like to remind him of the positive aspects of his life. I used to have this great quote about being grateful for the things you have (e.g. a roof over your head, enough to eat etc) or recognising that you're lucky to have them. It was more than a few sentences long and I cannot find either my saved copy of it, or this quote on the grand ole internet. Seems there's many people who use their blogs for listing what they're grateful for though.

Do you recognise this quote from the sketchy description? or Can you help me find something similar?
posted by kaydo to Religion & Philosophy (18 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
the sun always rises.

(can't you get him some drugs?)
posted by krautland at 11:00 PM on November 2, 2006

When a person is depressed, aphorisms are no help. The kind of thing you're looking for will make him feel worse, not better, because it will pile guilt on top of everything else that's weighing him down.

I recognize that you care about your friend, but this is not the way to go about helping him.
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 11:11 PM on November 2, 2006

high flight - magee.
desiderata - anon. I'm sure they're somewhere online, and I'm too lazily stuffed with roast beef to find them...
posted by chupwalla at 11:47 PM on November 2, 2006

Response by poster: Steven - don't worry, i'm not quite that simple. The dude is not depressed and has appreciated similar already today, just trying to help him keep things positive.

Anyway, chupwalla, thanks for the suggestions. Found here:
high flight
desiderata, apparently the inspiration for the sunscreen song.
posted by kaydo at 1:19 AM on November 3, 2006

"Desiderata" is not anonymous, it's just rarely attributed, which makes me sad. It's by Max Ehrmann.
posted by booksandlibretti at 1:58 AM on November 3, 2006

Best answer: Sorry for the large post-- it's taken from a Google cache of:

If we could turn earth population into a small community of 100 people keeping the same proportions we have nowadays, it would be something like this:

61 Asians, 12 Europeans, 13 Africans, 14 Americans (from north an south America);

50 men 50 women; 26 are white, 74 are not white;
67 are not christian 33 are christian.
6 people own 59% of the whole community wealth.
80 people live in poverty, 14 can't read, 33 die of famine, just 7 will have a higher education, just 8 own a computer.

If you've never seen a relative die in a war, if you've never been a slave, if you've never been tortured you are luckier than 500 million people.
If you keep your food in a fridge, your clothes in a closet, if you have a roof over your head, a bed to sleep in, you are richer than 75% of the entire world population.

If you have a bank account you're part of the 8% wealthiest people in the world.
If you can read these words you are luckier than 1 billion people who can't read at all.

You work with passion, you love and you don't need to be loved, you sing as if no one is listening to you, you dance as if no one is watching you.
posted by perpetualstroll at 3:14 AM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

Spend time with him and remind him that you care about him. That's as life affirming as it gets.
posted by BrotherCaine at 4:40 AM on November 3, 2006

"The deeper that sorrow carves into your being, the more joy you can contain. " -- Kahlil Gibran (The Prophet; chp 8)

posted by RavinDave at 5:11 AM on November 3, 2006

I love "Desiderata"; I have a copy at my desk, on my fridge, on my bulletin board. It really boils it all down, doesn't it?
posted by willmize at 5:34 AM on November 3, 2006

Best answer: found this at the npr website some time ago and saved it. i recite it with friends everytime we have dinner together.

this i believe:

we all want better.

the sadness of this world is not out of my control.
and though to take resposibility for it is a depressing task
i have hope that doing so will make me a better person.

tonight i will discuss with my friends
how to make the world better.
the happiness and food we shall share ought to
symbolize the power of sustenance and sharing.

i believe that all revolution happens at
dinner tables and that if people regularly meet
to share food and ideas and the future,
we can do it.

i am unsure as to what the better future will be.
i don' t know how to create a better earth, the best earth
but i believe it can be done.

the world, this earth, this tile we stand upon
is moving, is malleable.

if there are bad things we want to make better,
we can do so.

there is a better future.
we will be among it, we will be its proponents
and without us we will have failed.

in this belief i succumb to the desires i believe are in most every person
to make earth wonderful, beautiful, and kind;

this i believe.
we all want better.

posted by localhuman at 6:24 AM on November 3, 2006 [2 favorites]

The Book of Job.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:26 AM on November 3, 2006 [1 favorite]

A friend was bemoaning her problems. "This, too, shall pass," I said to her. "I think I might just want to pass with it," she said. Two weeks later she decided to.
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:38 AM on November 3, 2006

Hi, PerpetualStroll.

As for the OP's friend, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that when I'm feeling down, inspirational quotes seem even more uselessly corny to me. I'd much rather hear a funny quote than something "life-affirming" (whatever that might mean).
posted by DoctorFedora at 6:54 AM on November 3, 2006

My staple: "amor fati" (love fate)
Something funny: "Some say, 'When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.' I say, when life gives you lemons, find someone whose life is giving them vodka and have a party." (Ron White, Blue Collar Comedy Tour)
posted by youngergirl44 at 7:15 AM on November 3, 2006

"This Too Shall Pass"

that's not the quote you're looking for, but it's my fave when i'm feeling down about a certain situation.
here is one website that describes it somewhat.
posted by picture_yellow at 1:16 PM on November 3, 2006

crap StickyCarpet got mine already.
though i've never wanted to off myself because of someone's quote.

but i do agree with the feeling in her comment.
most of the time, someone else's life-affirming quote doesn't really have the same meaning to you when you're one that you may find on your own.
posted by picture_yellow at 1:20 PM on November 3, 2006

My favourite was always, "So long as you're warm, dry and smoking, all is well in the world." Apparently, it originated with soldiers.
posted by pollystark at 3:51 AM on November 6, 2006

Thousands of things go right for you every day, beginning the moment you wake up. Through some magic you don’t fully understand, you’re still breathing and your heart is beating, even though you’ve been unconscious for many hours. The air is a mix of gases that’s just right for your body’s needs, as it was before you fell asleep.

You can see! Light of many colors floods into your eyes, registered by nerves that took God or evolution or some other process millions of years to perfect. The gift of these vivid hues comes to you courtesy of an unimaginably immense globe of fire, the sun, which continually detonates nuclear reactions in order to convert its body into light and heat and energy for your personal use.
You might find a quote in Rob Brezsny's Pronoia. Check out the PDF excerpt in The Sun.
posted by sudama at 8:54 AM on November 6, 2006

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