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     Volume 9 Issue 48| December 17, 2010 |


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Time to Ponder


Some of us are forever complaining that the country is going to the dogs. Aye desher kissu hobey na is an oft uttered statement usually by people standing for an unusually long time in visa queues outside the gate of foreign embassies.

The great thing about that sort of desperation is that although being uttered for decades, we as a nation have come a long way in some good ways; and I tell you we are going places.

Some will say that our society has become a rather bad place to live in and that they see no 'future'. Well, for one, those who held that belief in the past have been proven badly wrong because we are the 'future' they talked about then. And lo! Are we not going places?

Did they know that the future, according to some scientists, will be exactly like the past, only far more expensive? Please credit that to John Sladek.

Being fully aware that Bangladesh is not the most bombed place on earth (it has not been since 1971), let us for argument's sake assume that indeed this has become a dangerous place. Given that 'dangerous' can encompass a whole lot of meanings and that there will be evil doers amongst us, if I said, that was not because of those who do evil in the society, but because of those who look on and do nothing, the same pessimists and the hopeless lot would consider their queuing justified.

However, if they came to know that in truth it was Albert Einstein who said, “The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing” the same pessimists and the hopeless lot would shift their weight to the other leg while standing in long queues.

They are the same people who might like to thank Tom Hanks for his saying: “I'm glad I didn't have to fight in any war. I'm glad I didn't have to pick up a gun. I'm glad I didn't get killed or kill somebody. I hope my kids enjoy the same lack of manhood.”

While I do not want to “tell everything at once” that's Ken Venturi, nor do I want to interrupt them when they are making a mistake, that's Napoleon Bonaparte, but today I am in a mood to quote some more great guys, all of who were great patriots too. To me, patriotism in silence is a great sign of possessing manhood. So here goes:

Never let your sense of morals get in the way of doing what's right. - Isaac Asimov

I never did give them hell. I just told the truth, and they thought it was hell. - Harry S Truman

I like long walks, especially when they are taken by people who annoy me. - Noel Coward

The stupid neither forgive nor forget; the naive forgive and forget; the wise forgive but do not forget. - Thomas Szasz

Nothing is so admirable in politics as a short memory.- John Kenneth Galbraith

There are two cardinal sins from which all others spring: Impatience and Laziness.- Franz Kafka

All is in the hands of man. Therefore wash them often. - Stanislaw J Lec

Never believe anything until it has been officially denied. - Claud Cockburn

We are what we pretend to be, so we must be careful what we pretend to be. - Kurt Vonnegut

On the whole human beings want to be good, but not too good, and not quite all the time. - George Orwell

When I took office, only high energy physicists had ever heard of what is called the Worldwide Web.... Now even my cat has its own page. - Bill Clinton

The visionary lies to himself, the liar only to others.- Friedrich Nietzsche

It is the mark of an educated mind to be able to entertain a thought without accepting it.- Aristotle

Why be a man when you can be a success? - Bertolt Brecht

If you cannot convince them, confuse them. - Harry S Truman

They always talk who never think. - Matthew Prior

Whoever ceases to be a student has never been a student. - George Iles

Government is too big and too important to be left to the politicians. - Chester Bowles

The reason there is so little crime in Germany is that it's against the law. - Alex Levin

I'm sick of following my dreams. I'm just going to ask them where they're going and hook up with them later. - Mitch Hedberg

Get all the fools on your side and you can be elected to anything. - Frank Dane

For me one of the best ones is from Michael Pritchard, who said “You don't stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing”.

Have a great day! Week! Year! Life!





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