Sometimes you get some fantastic advice or hear a rather profound quote, but for whatever reason it doesn't click with you right away.
That's totally normal: life and experiences have a way of shaping us and then, when we least expect it, waking us up to the full weight of the words we've simply heard but never really internalized, let alone processed.
After Redditor call_me_keef asked the online community, "What's a profound quote you heard but didn't really understand til years later?" people were eager to share their stories. Take note: You might learn something new today.
"[I] Didn't really understand..."
"Wise men speak because they have something to say; Fools because they have to say something."
Didn't really understand completely til Twitter came out.
When my first child was born, my Grandmother said to me "The days will be long, but the years will be short." Looking back, she was absolutely right.
"Now that I think of it..."
"You'll never know what worse luck your bad luck has saved you from."
It's a Cormac McCarthy line in No Country for Old Men, I just thought it was a nice way of saying s*** happens, get over it. Then you go through some break ups, lose some jobs, and I can see where my life might have gone had those "bad" things not happened and it all made sense. Don't judge a bad break until you have time to see the full scope of it, sometimes it's a good thing.
Now that I think about it I had a friend in high school who was playing flag football one day. He went for a pass and ran into a tree or something, had a nasty goose egg so he went to the hospital to make sure nothing was broken, get a concussion eval. They did a CT scan and everything was normal except for the large tumor near his brain stem. That accident probably saved his life.
I'm surprised how many times I go back to Alice in Wonderland and find something profound.
"Which way do I go?"
"Well that depends on WHERE you want to get to?"
"Oh, it really doesn't matter..."
"Then, it really doesn't matter on which way you go!"
"I thought it was kinda cool..."
"You are where you're meant to be."
My yoga instructor said that to the class one day during a typical routine, when a noticeable amount of people were missing. I thought it was kinda cool acknowledging that they were supposed to be in class, but were needed somewhere else (probably trying to meet a deadline for a project or something, but still).
"I never really thought..."
"From all the words of tongue or pen; the saddest are these: What Might Have Been."
I never really thought too much about it until I came to a realization that every day was just the same as the last. I missed opportunities, and time with friends. I noticed that the time I had with these people would run out. I don't like looking back now but instead I take this knowledge and I don't waste a single moment of the time that I have.
"The shackles that bind you will set you free"
English translation from Zen Buddhism.
It means that the difficulties you experience will become the path to you becoming a better version of you. IF you use them as such.
Which does not mean that the shackles will become undone. Stevie Wonder was born blind. Nothing can be done about it. Yet he's won 25 Grammy awards and enchanted millions of people with his music.
Everyone faces difficulty. Everyone grows old, falls apart, get sick and dies. Those shackles will not come undone. Freedom arises from how you respond to difficulty.
"Not really a profound quote..."
Not really a profound quote but the phrase "Not if I see you first" - I thought it was just a corny way to reply to "see you later" "see you soon" etc., but it's actually sort of an insult. It implies that if the person sees you first then they will avoid you. Meaning, if I see you first, I'll run away or hide so that I don't have to deal with you.
A song lyric actually:
"And then one day you find that ten more years have got behind you. No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun."
Basically you wake up one day in your mid-40's and you can't understand why the last 25 years have gone by so fast. Not because I feel like I've been missing out, but I've become so consumed by what I have to do every day (job, family, health, finances) that it occurs to me that the life I have led since I became an adult is one huge blur. If the next 25 years go by just as fast, I'll be at the end of my life. It seems so short.
"While fiction is easy to understand..."
"The only difference between fiction and reality is that fiction has to make sense." - Mark Twain
It implies that our world and reality is horrible and confusing. While fiction is easy to understand and that fiction should fell problem less. a perfect example of this is Star Wars. Each movie starts out saying a long time ago to imply that the troubles that our main characters have faced are gone and done with. Star Wars also states in the beginning of each movie in a galaxy far, far away to imply that whatever really happens won't affect you.