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Monday, November 3, 2014

In the echoes of our hearts

Yesterday, I read about a local barber who said he was influenced to begin his business by the writing of Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr., the Boston-based physician, professor, lecturer, poet and author who lived most of the 1800s (1809-94).

Curious about what a 19th Century figure wrote to influence a 21st Century barber, I explored a bit more about Holmes and found a remarkable man who had a remarkable way with words that often served to inspire many … in many different fields.

While writing wasn't his primary livelihood, writers like Emerson, Thoreau and Longfellow hung out with him and acclaimed him as one of the best writers of the day.

He made many “quotable” statements.  Here's what he wrote about the effect books held on him:
“Life-transforming ideas have always come to me through books.  The best of a book is not the thought which it contains, but the thought which it suggests; just as the charm of music dwells not in the tones but in the echoes of our hearts.” 

Oh, and his inspiration for our local barber:  “Many people die with their music still in them. Too often it is because they are always getting ready to live. Before they know it time runs out.”

 Stop procrastinating and hit the keyboard.

Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

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