Sunday, June 16, 2013

Thought for the Day

When we tug at a single thing
in nature, we find it attached
to the rest of the world.*
~ John Muir

* The above, apparently, is a misquote, as are these variants: "When one  tugs at a single  thing in nature, he finds it attached to the rest of the world."; "Tug on anything at all and you'll find it connected to everything else in the universe."; "If you pick up anything in the universe, you find it hooked up to everything else."; and "Tug on one part of nature and you find the whole world connected." According to the Sierra Club's post "John Muir Misquoted", the correct version is: "When we try to pick out anything by itself, we find it hitched to everything else in the Universe." Clearly, some versions are a bit more elegant or poetic than others. Even Muir himself rewrote his own original idea: "When we try to pick out anything by itself we find that it is bound fast by a  thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe." It does pay to be curious and check sources!

John Muir (1838-1914), founder of world-wide conservation movement and one of America's finest nature writers.

Also see "Thought for the Day" (May 30, 2010)

John Muir, "Biography: The Life and Contributions of John Muir", Sierra Club John Muir Exhibit


S. Etole said...

Sometimes I wonder if famous people who are frequently quoted on the internet would recognize their own words. So glad you shared this.

Hannah Stephenson said...

What a beautiful, important idea (in all its variations)!