Recently a quote from Louis C.K. accidentally changed my life. I don’t know if he meant it to be profound, but something about the simplicity of its truth spoke to me. Louis C.K. was discussing humanity’s lovely habit of incessantly bitching about things that were at one time considered impossible — for instance, when people say that their phone “sucks.” C.K. responds, “No, it doesn’t! The shittiest cellphone in the world is a miracle. Your life sucks. Around the phone.”
I’m not a big Reddit person, but this morning I found a thread on r/AskReddit that really reminded me of that response. Users shared some anecdotes, stories and quotes that spoke to them, moments that changed their life without necessarily meaning to. A couple of them I think were meant to be profound, but most of them testify what a miracle life is. It has the power to change us all the time. All we have to do is look up and really listen to the message.
These are 25 of my favorites, and in the comments, please respond with the moments that meant something special to you. Let’s change each others’ lives today.
From one of my students when we were done our lesson:
Him: “Oh boy, my parents aren’t here yet! I get to sit in the lobby!”
Me: “Why is that a good thing? Isn’t your dad taking you to your favorite restaurant tonight?”
Him: “Yeah, but I like being alone. Every other time in the week there’s always someone in charge of me, at school, at home, or when I’m here. When I’m sitting waiting for my dad to pick me up, I get to be in charge of myself and it’s fun!”
Me and my friends were waiting for a bus for about an hour and a half — with an old man standing a bit away from us at the same bus stop.
Finally, we can see the bus coming, and my friend says, “Oh finally, the bus is coming,” and the old man just turns to us and says, “The bus was always coming.”
From my 5 year old nephew: I asked him “why did the chicken cross the road?”
He looked pensive for about 10 ten seconds, then looks up at me, completely serious and says “because he looked both ways and there were no cars coming.”
Someone asked: “What is the meaning of life?”
Some random dude replied: “To give life a meaning.”
It blew my mind and changed my life.
My little cousin, while trying to learn how to tell time, became extremely frustrated and said with deep resignation, “I’m just really bad at time.”
You and me both, kiddo.
My brother gave me this advice when I was single: “When looking for a relationship, it’s important to be yourself. But, if your true self happens to suck, then you’re out of luck.” It was a bit crude, but it did hit a salient point: Don’t feel entitled to a relationship if you have nothing to offer.
“When you do things right, people won’t be sure you’ve done anything at all” – God, in an episode of Futurama.
One of my all time favorite quotes.
You are a small organism living a universe that is slowly spreading into nothing. When you realize that, it’s easy to match stripes with plaid.
Something like that, I think Einstein said it.
“In hindsight, the tap-dancing lessons may have been a bad idea.”
– Anne Frank
From the man on the phone at the table next to me at Barnes & Noble: “Most problems, you can recover from. Like, if someone breaks into your house, it’s not the end of the world. But the anxiety you can feel about the possibility of something like someone breaking into your house can ruin your life.”
I work at a summer camp with kids aged 4-5.
New kid: “Who are you?”
Me: “My name.”
New kid: “How do you know?”
“You get what you get and you don’t get upset”.
– My five year old to his younger cousin when there were no more orange popsicle left
“A wet man does not fear the rain.”
Changed the way I think about things.
It’s not just the choices you make. It’s the choices you don’t realize that you are making.
There was this WhatsApp (kinda like SMS) group comprising of college mates where we were mostly bitching about our ex-classmates. Some guy gets pissed off at the constant message notifications and says:
“It’s amazing that we spend so much time talking about people we hate.”
Then a guy who had been mostly silent throughout the conversation suddenly jumps in and says:
“Nothing unites people like hatred.”
My 3-year old nephew after the balloon he was playing with met ceiling fan and my sister spazzed out a bit: “It’s okay mommy. Sometimes balloons pop.”
“You have 2 lives. Your first life ends when you realize you only have one life.”
I stumbled upon this after my grandfather passed very suddenly. Ever since, I’ve been trying to live each day as if it were my last.
No snowflake in an avalanche ever feels responsible.
When a car with a loud stereo passed my house, my six-year-old sister said “It sounds like the air has a heartbeat.”
I thought it was adorable until she continued with “Except, you can’t kill it like a normal heart.”
The best time to plant a tree is twenty years ago. The second best time is today.
Concerning relationships: “It lasts as long as it lasts.”
My sister’s HS boyfriend (maybe they were 16?) was saying this to us when we were sitting around jokingly asking how long they’d be dating.
Earlier this year, my eight year old told me, “Dad, some people just don’t life good.” (No typos there)
I don’t recall the exact context now, but I remember thinking how fucked up the world must be if an eight year old can recognize that people aren’t making the best choices in their lives.
On Whataburger’s cups: “When I am empty, please dispose of me properly.”
When I was in Italy visiting my 88 year old grandpa last month he was showing me around his friend’s old house. He picked some random rock up off the ground outside, a reasonably large sized one with smooth edges and no cracks.
He said to me in his broken English, “Rock must roll many time to get that round.” and then started laughing hysterically, like he had been saving that “joke” for the last 40 years.
My friend was helping me put away dishes and she tried to stack some cups to save room in the cabinet. When they didn’t stack, she said to herself, “Some things just aren’t meant to be together.”
My 3 year old said: “If we do it now, we’ll never run out of time.” Kid got all the brains.