Sage Advice During Confusing Times

Dr. John Edmond Haggai, founder of Haggai International, publishes a newsletter to friends and donors. It is an excellent read. Dr. Haggai’s own motto is “Attempt something so great for God, it’s doomed to failure unless God be in it.” He and Jerry Panas were well acquainted.

One of the newsletters contained a feature entitled “Insults That Have Class.” Given the pandemic shut down, I was looking for insults of any kind!

Here are two examples from that newsletter. “A member of the U.K. Parliament once said to Prime Minister Benjamin Disraeli, ‘Sir, you will either die on the gallows or of some unspeakable disease.’ ‘That depends, Sir,’ Disraeli replied: ‘on whether I embrace your policies or your mistress.’”

As Dr. Haggai states: “The Internet has revived the art of insult. Sadly, insults traded today on blogs and Twitter do not live up to the great insults of the past.”

Another of Dr. Haggai’s favorites: “I am enclosing two tickets to the first night of my new play; bring a friend, if you have one.” (George Bernard Shaw to Winston Churchill) Churchill promptly replies: “Cannot possibly attend first night, will attend second night, if there is one.”

Of course, my inbox fills every week with cartoons and other distractions from friends who are bored. Typical of these items is a cartoon of an elderly couple standing before their priest. The priest says: “And now, if you would like to repeat your vows?” The husband responds: “A.E.I.O.U. and sometimes Y.” Well, I thought it was worth a chuckle!

As I reflected on the quotes, I looked up at my library shelf containing my miniature books. There it was: It’s a Wonderful Life written by Jerry Panas. While the book is miniature, the contents are large with sage advice.

Panas suggests you, “leave a quarter where a child will find it.” And, he warns: “Never trust a skinny cook.” Or, my personal favorite as a cat owner: “When you get to think you are important, try giving orders to a cat.”

The miniature book has a quote for every day of the year, plus one extra for Leap Year! If you don’t have it, I recommend you get it. I gave several at Thanksgiving last year and highlighted the following quote in the personal note I wrote to send the gift. The quote: “The difference between genius and stupidity is that genius has its limits.”

Come to think of it, I did not receive a personal note in return thanking me for the gift from any of these friends!

– Jerry A. Linzy
Executive Partner, Emeritus
Jerold Panas, Linzy & Partners