Are you a Generous Mind?

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Wednesday, March 10, 2010

The Sharing of Quotes

Have you noticed that sharing quotes on facebook, twitter, email footers, etc is continually growing in popularity. There is something about a pithy quote that stirs us. Maybe it is that someone else can say what we do not have the courage to speak out for ourselves. Maybe it is that by quoting a person we admire we can connect with them in a unique way. I'm sure there are countless reasons.

But the fact remains that our lives are now awash in quotes.

Now I am not bemoaning this fact. I share many of my own and I collect quotes to use in writing and presentations. The big question in my mind is this:

"How would a Generous Mind share quotes?"
Here are some thoughts that you can think through next time you are about to Retweet that great piece of wisdom:
1. A Generous Mind would add why they like the quote to the posting of it.
2. A Generous Mind would target quotes to people who they felt could benefit from it.
3. A Generous Mind would ask others why they posted the quote that they did.
I hope you can apply one or more of these ideas next time to share a quote that comes across your desk!


Kathleen said...

I do love sharing quotes, as evidenced by my facebook updates and tweets. When I share the wit or wisdom of another, I do so to connect, not only to the one who was generous with the original thought, but also to connect with any who would be moved by it as I have been. The humor and profundity of life is universal; often, in our humanity, we fear that we are "the only one" to experience it the way that we have. A good quote can level that belief a little, and I think that is a good thing. We all need communion with one another; quotes can bring that sense from across the ages.

I've never considered sharing why or how a particular quote moved me. I've always looked at them a bit like poetry: while there is an inherently intended interpretation, things mean different things to different people. I wonder if I ought to consider making notes for why I share what I do, especially when sharing quotes about love, service, contemplation, forgiveness, etc. (common themes for me).

Anyway, I love it that you blogged about this. A generous mind shares his/her own thoughts, but also the valuable thoughts of others. We do this, I believe, to connect us all in the beauty and absurdity of the human experience. They provide a little fuel for the journey.

pberry said...

One thing I've been thinking about in regards to quotes is frequency. When my feed is filled with four or five quotes a day from four or five different people, I start to ignore them all.

Better one great quote every week or two than one pretty good quote every day or two.

Nate said...

With apologies to Shakespeare, sharing a quote with any other info wouldn't be a retweet.

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...


Thanks for your great observations. Mindy and I have been talking about your key question and think that sometimes quotes need to stand on their own because part of your generosity is allowing the other person to come to their own conclusion about the idea presented. Other times, God gives you a specific response to a quote that is significant and this is when you should share your response. How does that fit with your experience in sharing quotes?

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...


Frequency is a huge problem in the information age. It is so easy to pass things on that we do it without thinking. We are guilty of that for sure.

Maybe something we as generous minds should consider is a litmus test for sharing something. Maybe asking the question, "If I could only share one thing today would this be it?" We wonder if that would help deal with the frequency issue in our generosity. What do you think?

Jon and Mindy Hirst said...

Nate, thanks for your attempt at parody with Shakespeare!

Global Nomad said...

Dear John and Mindy,

Another good post on quotes.

I've a good collection of them and appreciate reading new ones. A friend has given me his bank of quotes to publish. He calls it "Trawled Treasure".

May I use part or all of the post on our Generosity-alive site?

Many thanks,

Gobal Nomad