Sunday, October 31, 2010

To teach how to catch fish... Quote on Power of Words

One quote and its variants:
Found a quote, quoted by many, did a search for the author... and the research continues...
Interestingly, many quotable quotes on the Web are either anonymous or supposedly said by someone.... Here is one very good example of a best practice (to teach how to catch fish, not just how to eat it):

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become habits.
Watch your habits, for they become character.
Watch your character, for it becomes your destiny. — Unknown

"Your beliefs become your thoughts.
Your thoughts become your words. Your words become your actions.
Your actions become your habits.
Your habits become your values.
Your values become your destiny," [author, quoted as Gandhi (sounds Anonymous)], More variants @

Be careful of your thoughts, for your thoughts become your words.
Be careful of your words, for your words become your actions.
Be careful of your actions, for your actions become your habits.
Be careful of your habits, for your habits become your character.
Be careful of your character, for your character becomes your destiny.
From quoted in Power of Words

The research question was started, by Deacon Mike: An Itinerant Preacher, and the answers are @ (see the extract below):
It seems this quote is widely attributed to “Frank Outlaw”. Like many things on the internet that you “stumble upon” there is a story behind the story. Here is one explanation on who may have first penned these words and I will leave it at that! Check out “Who is Frank Outlaw?” Source
A guy named frank who was an outlaw

Frank Outlaw was a supermarket manager who founded the Bi-Lo supermarkets in South Carolina. He played a supermarket manager in "Raising Arizona."

This quote is widely attributed to "Frank Outlaw" on the Web, but no actual other corroborating confirmation actually confirms that this is the correct source.
Popular quotation books - including Bartlett's Familiar Quotations (17th ed., 2002), Roget's International Thesaurus of Quotations (1970) and The Harper Book of Quotations (3rd ed., 1993) - DO NOT include this quote or any reference to Frank Outlaw.
In July 2003, a woman named "Elizabeth C.," claimed to have written it in 1998 and sending to members of an e-mail group of people living with lupus.

According to legend, her words were: "these few lines have since taken on a life of their own via the Internet. I was honored when someone asked if they could post it on their work bulletin board. From there it ended up as a desktop theme. It has traveled everywhere."

Your quote is from Charles Reade (1814-1884).
There is probably no such person as Frank Outlaw (though he may be a character - I haven't read any Reade :-).
Here in Germany it gets credited to the Talmud all the time, but Jewish authorities on the Web say this is not true.

I have heard from my colleague that this quote is very exact form a saying in Thai by a famous Thai monk, Achann Chaa of Wat Po Pong (1918-1992). Many of his sayings were known abroad during 1960s and 1970s. Source:

Bottomline: "Quoting: The act of repeating erroneously the words of another" by Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary (1912).

Quoted from Dictionary of Library and Information Science Quotations     Edited by Mohamed Taher & L S Ramaiah. ISBN: 8185689423 (New Delhi , Aditya, 1994) p. 45. Available @


music quotes said...

many great quotes are sourced from unknown authors! it could have been great if they are known for what power they put through the words!

thanks for sharing,

romantic quotes

Shannon T Cassidy said...

i really liked this quote and ahte putting anything on fb that isn't accurate after 20 minutes of searching I finally came to you post... thank you providing the answer- no one really know!