Phrases to Live By

When you praise everyone, you don’t praise anyone at all.

This quote was posted in my 5th/6th grade classroom. After growing up with cooperative games and the philosophy of sharing and treating everyone equal, this was quite a shocker for me. I asked my teacher, Mr. Moran, to explain. He did, and now it’s something I truly believe in. I also believe it relates some people who overuse certain phrases. If you are going to tell me thank you and I haven’t even done anything for you, then I’m not going to believe you when you really thank me for a favor. The same goes for the overuse of the word sorry.

Good fences make good neighbors.

This comes from a Robert Frost poem. This was especially true when I was little and the cows would get out and wreak havoc on the neighbors’ lawns. My grandfather was in charge of “fencing” (making the fences) on the farm and he could (and probably still can) be heard saying this. I think at this phase of my life it would be more pertinent to say “sound proof doors and walls make good neighbors” as some new people have moved in next door and they are noisy. As a person who values my solitude and personal space, I can completely relate to this quote.

Omnibus Imoderatio (Everything in Moderation)

This Latin phrase is etched in wood and hangs above the door to my grandparents’ house. This is really something I live by, as I’m not an extreme person in any sense of the word. I’m not one to go on restrictive diets, but I don’t eat junk food all the time. I’m not about to run a triathlon, but I do exercise. I don’t stay out and party all night long every weeknight, but I do go out and have a good time with friends once and awhile. Call me boring, I call it balance.

Go now, or forever hold your pee.

When I was little, I was in a horse 4-H club. Make fun all you want, but it was one of the best experiences of my childhood and I learned so much, and not just about horses. Anyway, we used to go on long car rides with my club, and my leader would always say this right before getting into the car. As someone with a small bladder, I LIVE by this phrase. Anytime there is an opportunity to go pee, I take it, because I know I’ll regret it later if I don’t.


What phrases do you live by?


10 thoughts on “Phrases to Live By

  1. Interesting post Abby. I disagree with the first phrase to live by though. I have always felt that you can never say things like, “I love you,” or “thank you,” or “you are wonderful,” enough, and after my accident I feel even stronger about that! I can see how for some people it would lose meaning. But I tell Seba I love him about 15 times a day, minimum, and I think he knows that I mean it every time!

    • Interesting point, Kyle. I have to say I agree with you, especially with the phrase “I love you” (I hadn’t considered that particular phrase), but I think it has a lot to do with the tone of voice and intention of the person. If you say “gracias por todo” at the end of every single encounter, kind of like people who always say “que te vaya bien” I think it kind of forms into a habit and loses meaning. But if you say “Gracias por todo! Te lo agradezco mucho, te pasaste!” and your tone of voice really means it, that’s different. And I agree, you can never tell your loved ones that you love them too much. I guess it comes down to the intention of the phrase, if you’re saying it just to say it, or if you really mean it.

  2. A new phrase I heard this year at school from a colleague is “Rough, tough, poor baby.” At first I couldn’t believe she said it to students, but now I totally understand why! Despite being an incredibly empathetic person- high school students complain so much, about everything!!! And sometimes…their complaints are completely unjustified (“well I don’t feel like doing anything”). So a couple times I have quite the delight using this new phrase.

    And in terms of living by this phrase…I think more people (at least in Vermont) need to start living by it….I think a lot of students are getting lazy, and need to have some tough love!

  3. I’m not sure I have any pertinent sayings. I’ve actually heard too many of certain quotes lately, so I won’t glorify them by repeating them. The last one cracked me up. It’s very true, especially here. I hate having to buy something, like a water, to use the crappy facilities. What a joke.

  4. I completely agree with you about the first phrase. I think the word sorry is way, way, way overused.

    Ditto the second one too! … Our neighbour’s moved out of the house next door and in with his girlfriend to the next town over. His teenaged son, however, insists on creeping in to the empty house through the back door every day and holding DAILY parties. 😛 Joy!

    I love the third phrase but I wish I was more like that. I’m one of those extreme people who moderation fails big time.

    The fourth phrase – love it! Hahaha. I learned that the hard way.

    “By the power of Truth, I, while living, have conquered the universe”

    Not sure I can say I live by this phrase but I do find it empowering and I’d like to steer my life towards this mind set!

    And AMEN to fencing the neighbors in. 🙂

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s