Saturday, July 11, 2015

You Are What You Quote

I recently read the line "every man becomes, to a certain degree, what the people he generally converses with are." Who said it? Not sure. Because while I see it attributed to 18th century British statesman Philip Stanhope, it's more often attributed to 20th century painter Robert Motherwell.  That's my choice?  Usually it's between people like Oscar Wilde and George Bernard Shaw.

Guess I'll give it to Stanhope since he came first.  Maybe Motherwell went around quoting him. But is it that much to be proud of?  Certainly those we know affect us, but how much?  I have acquaintances on all sections of the political spectrum, and there are plenty of issues where most of my friends disagree with me but don't seem to change my mind.

How people get the views they believe fascinates me.  I think there are inborn traits that give you certain tendencies making you more receptive to some ideas than others, and they're greatly informed by personal experience.  Also, I believe there are certain times in your life when you're more open to new thinking.  But then, once you have solidly held views, listening to the other side often doesn't convince you at all. And you also tend to hang out more with people who already agree with you--you don't become them, you already are them.

Anyway, if everyone becomes, to a certain degree, what the people he or she generally converses with are, then how do these others become what they are?


Anonymous Anonymous said...

I find the deep-seated views often come from a deep-seating desire to oppose the strident.

5:40 AM, July 11, 2015  
Blogger LAGuy said...

What sounds strident is often based on the beliefs you already have.

8:34 AM, July 14, 2015  

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