Apologies for not blogging over an extended period of time. I’ve been out and about, visiting across the country and the world, visiting friends, fiends and family. (I sometimes have trouble discerning which is which.) One of my relatives is big on books and an ardent fan of Mark Twain. It is indeed fitting that one of Mr. Clemens’ quotes deals with travel. After my month away from my desk and home, one seems especially apropos:

Travel is fatal to prejudice, bigotry, and narrow-mindedness, and many of our people need it sorely on these accounts. Broad, wholesome, charitable views of men and things cannot be acquired by vegetating in one little corner of the earth all one’s lifetime.

So true – it is impossible to remain in the political and moral echo-chambers we Americans seem to seclude ourselves, when one is out and about in the company of others who are not imprisoned in one’s own myopic groupthink.

After considering how much this giant of American Literature has contributed to the American Psyche, I thought I’d just spout out a few of my favorite quotes and aphorisms from this wily and wicked wit:

There isn’t any way to libel the human race.

There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies and statistics.

Be careful about reading health books. You may die of a misprint.

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born, and the day you find out why.

If you tell the truth, you don’t have to remember anything.

And last but not least – my favorite!

The more I learn about people, the more I like my dog.

If you’re enamored of these, you can find plenty more at www.twainquotes.com. As for my own teensy contribution to the world’s “Pearls of Wisdom” vaults, a few may be found in the lessons of the morality plays in If I Can’t Sleep, You Can’t Sleep.