“Google, aw Google. Why do you do this to me?” It starts out simply enough. Usually it begins with a thought that preambles something like, “I just want to find out who…” And three hours later, I know about duck sex and vintage clothing trends, but not the actual thing I was looking for in the first place.
Finding citations for quotes is one of the worst rabbit holes you can go down. It is easy peasy finding any number of quotes. In fact, it is easy peasy finding the same quote attributed to many different people! That’s the problem. Who said it? Where did they say it? In what context? One of my favorite websites dedicated to fake quotes is Fake Buddha Quotes. Also, as an intrepid (albeit often thwarted) investigator of quote sources, let me just tell you that nearly every quote attributed to George Carlin isn’t one of his quotes. You’re welcome.
Don’t ask, just don’t ask “who said that?” But I do ask, I do. And at the end of the day I’ll sit and stare blankly at my monitor. I will look at my daily list of things I was supposed to have done, but didn’t. “Where did the day go? I should Google it!”
Today’s chase-my-tail search came from seeing the quote “Act the way you want to be and soon you will be the way you act.” I saw it first attributed to Iyanla Vanzant, and I wanted to know from which of her books it came. To the Google search!
That quickly brought up several other people that said that thing. The key contenders, which didn’t include Vanzant, are Leonard Cohen and Bob Dylan. Maybe Les Brown. Maybe a few other people.
I’m going to give this one to Leonard, based on hours of studious research (that included articles about duck sex). Like I’m the expert that can bestow the honors, but then, it is the Internet so I suppose I have as much expertise as the next guy. The quote appears to have come out of an interview, and the topic was self-actualization. The trouble is, I can’t find the actual interview (name of publication, date, etc.) Who knows, Leonard could have been quoting Dylan! Yeesh.
The reason for this investigatory angst is because I saw the quote, and I wanted to make a blog post about it (just not this particular post about the annoyances of Google searching quotes).
Do I believe the quote? I don’t know. It is a tentative “yes.” I know that the way our brains are wired that just by smiling, even if you feel like crap, your brain will start to process “smile” and your mood can lift—with visible brain function and chemistry changes. (I would cite the study, but that would be another foray into Google, and I just can’t! I love you guys, but I just can’t!) Then again, this seems too simplistic, too pat. This seems related to, but different from “fake it until you make it.”
Do YOU believe the quote? I don’t normally pose questions for my readers, but I’d be really interested in your takes on this quote, down below in the comments.
There were many articles containing Cohen’s quotes, commemorating his death. One was in NME.
While you are pondering (or not), “Act the way you’d like to be and soon you’ll be the way you act” I will dance you to the end* with one of my favorite Cohen songs:
*see what I did there?