I was recently sent this quote:
“I no longer have patience for certain things, not because I’ve become arrogant, but simply because I reached a point in my life where I do not want to waste more time with what displeases me or hurts me. I have no patience for cynicism, excessive criticism and demands of any nature. I lost the will to please those who do not like me, to love those who do not love me and to smile at those who do not want to smile at me.
I no longer spend a single minute on those who lie or want to manipulate. I decided not to coexist anymore with pretense, hypocrisy, dishonesty and cheap praise. I do not tolerate selective erudition nor academic arrogance. I do not adjust either to popular gossiping. I hate conflict and comparisons. I believe in a world of opposites and that’s why I avoid people with rigid and inflexible personalities. In friendship I dislike the lack of loyalty and betrayal. I do not get along with those who do not know how to give a compliment or a word of encouragement. Exaggerations bore me and I have difficulty accepting those who do not like animals. And on top of everything I have no patience for anyone who does not deserve my patience.”
It was attributed to Meryl Streep. On a bit of further research, it appeared that the original quote was not by Meryl Streep at all – but by a Portuguese self-help author/life coach José Micard Teixeira.
The research (and subsequent discovery of a mis-attribution) reminded me of another quote, supposedly by Einstein:
“If the bee disappeared off the surface of the globe, then man would have only four years of life left. No more bees, no more pollination, no more plants, no more animals, no more man.”
No one has found evidence that Einstein was the source.
And so it is. There are great quotes and famous people. Many times, famous people say great things. But with the internet, great quotes can go viral – particularly when attributed to a famous person who is likely to have said it.
Makes you think. The power of great thoughts that go viral by being mis-attributed to famous people might actually be a good thing – particularly if they spread those great thoughts further than if they were attributed to a Portuguese self-help author that no one has heard of.
Famous people come and go. But great quotes and great thoughts live on forever. Even before the Internet, how many great quotes remain in current parlance having been written by the famous Anon E. Mouse!