Quotations – Not the Boring Kind

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on Monday, 03 February 2014 in Blog Posts

Admittedly, when the word “quotation” comes out of my mouth, many of my friends will assume that I’m talking about a step in the purchasing process (see here).  Perhaps this is because of the years I spent working in purchasing departments, or maybe it’s just because I’m a boring conversationalist.  I like to think it’s the former, but I’m not so sure.

In any case, I do enjoy a good quotation – the other kind – every now and again.  I was on Hollywood Boulevard, the other day, and saw this quote outside a pub:

thinking“I fear the man who drinks water and so remembers this morning what the rest of us said last night.”
- Benjamin Franklin -

Now, American history is not my strong suit, but I’m very impressed with Benjamin Franklin, based on the little I know, and the quote mentioned above only raises my opinion of the man.  As if being a noted printer, scientist, and diplomat weren’t enough, it seems that Ben (as I imagine his friends at the pub called him) enjoyed a healthy social life, as well.

Here’s another quotation I saw recently of which I’m quote fond:

“Anyone who conducts an argument by appealing to authority is not using his intelligence; he is just using his memory."
- Leonardo da Vinci

Leonardo, or Leo (as I imagine his friends at the pub called him), was, obviously, another polymath, and certainly the original Renaissance Man.  I have a quiet chuckle to myself thinking of the above quote every time I hear someone making a case based on others’ opinions.  I so much more respect an opinion based on reason than one buttressed by the mere fact that it originated from someone else.

The usefulness of a good quote is not found when one blindly applies the quote to business or life in general.  Rather, referring to quotations in your critical thinking process expands your abilities, as opposed to simply applying memorized rules of thumb, equations, or the dreaded “we’ve always done it that way” methodology.

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