Words of wisdom from an unlikely source

Baseball great Yogi Berra died this week at the age of 90 and was known across the globe for his many quotes. You know you’ve lived a long, productive life when The USA Today runs a story on your death listing 50 of your greatest one-liners and quotes.

baseballMany people are familiar with Berra’s more commonly quoted expressions or turns of a phrase: “It ain’t over till it’s over” and “It’s like déjà vu all over again” to name two that have been cited the most over the years.

I’ve always had a preference for Berra’s more lesser-known and off-beat quotes. I suspect it’s the folksy wisdom that he presents and how it can be applied to work, home, and everything in between. He would have fit in well with some of the rural, farm folk I grew up with in Central Pennsylvania.

If I close my eyes tightly, I can hear the retired school teacher and part-time farmer who I helped one summer offering the same type of Berra-esque advice as we took our lunch break one summer day during my tenure working for him. We’d spend the morning chopping wood or weeding his small garden in the hot sun and then retreat for lunch on his porch. I didn’t think much about his advice then, but ended up learning a lot about life and myself that long, hot summer.

I suspect too that my affinity for Berra comes from the fact that I’ve been known to botch a quote or two in my day. Here’s a handful of my favorite Berra quotes:

–“When you come to a fork in the road, take it.”

–“You can observe a lot by just watching.”

–“Always go to other people’s funerals, otherwise they won’t come to yours.”

–“How can you think and hit at the same time?”

–“It gets late early out here.”

–“You’ve got to be very careful if you don’t know where you are going, because you might not get there.”

–“It was impossible to get a conversation going, everybody was talking too much.”

–“A nickel ain’t worth a dime anymore.”

–“You better cut the pizza in four pieces because I’m not hungry enough to eat six.”

Thank you and Rest in Peace Yogi.

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