We are suckers to smart sounding famous quotes that are fake
“BE THE CHANGE YOU WISH TO SEE IN THE WORLD.” Gandhi.
It’s empowering when Gandhi reassured my insignificance could make a difference in this vast universe.
“WE HAVE TWO LIVES, AND THE SECOND BEGINS WHEN WE REALIZE WE ONLY HAVE ONE.” Confucius.
This woke me up, and I started to be able to sit cross-legged for more than 10 minutes.
“YOU TAKE THE RED PILL — YOU STAY IN WONDERLAND, AND I SHOW YOU HOW DEEP THE RABBIT HOLE GOES.” Morpheus
This quote looped in my head like a bad song when I realised Confucius and Gandhi did NOT say those quotes. There’s actually a term for this phenomenon- the “Churchillian Drift.” I found websites dedicated to investigating quotes.
Why do we tend to pay more attention to named quotes? Or does this tendency actually hurt?
To me it does, because I now know this behaviour is the result of a stew of cognitive biases, that I have been lazy in my thinking. I have missed and ignored gems and wisdom simply because they weren’t uttered by the Queen or Prince.
What should I do then? Well …
“THE DEFINITION OF INSANITY IS DOING THE SAME THING OVER AND OVER AND EXPECTING DIFFERENT RESULTS.”
I should stop overreacting to named quotes, and pay more attention to everything else. And nope, Einstein probably didn’t say that.