Earlier today, Katherine Trendacosta put together a great list of 10 Discworld quotes to get you through the next four years, but what it really reminded me of was more Discworld quotes. There are tons that apply to today, so here are ten more.
The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.
This one came after a long footnote about detailing how apparently governments were especially good at hushing up alien abductions, giving how terrible they were at other things. It reminds us to not simply believe in things that we wish were true, but rather actually look at the facts (and not made up facts, but real facts). Our minds will always look to fantastical lies, but we should always be aware of what is actually real.
What had she ever earned? The reward for toil had been more toil. If you dug the best ditches they gave you a bigger shovel.
— Carpe Jugulum
This is such a good one, I have it on my fridge. It’s a reminder that merely working hard won’t get you forward in life (no matter what your parents or teachers told you). You can’t just keep going forward with the hope that you will be rewarded.
“It’s not as simple as that. It’s not a black-and-white issue. There are so many shades of gray.”
“There’s no grays, only white that’s got grubby. I’m surprised you don’t know that. And sin, young man, is when you treat people as things. Including yourself. That’s what sin is.”
“It’s a lot more complicated than that—”
“No. It ain’t. When people say things are more complicated than that, they means they’re getting worried that they won’t like the truth. People as things, that’s where it starts.”
“Oh, I’m sure there are worse crimes—”
“But they starts with thinking about people as things…”
— Carpe Jugulum
Another great quote from Carpe Jugulum. I especially like how it isn’t just treating other people as things, but treating yourself as a thing that is the beginning of cruelty.
One of the hardest lessons of young Sam’s life had been finding out that the people in charge weren’t in charge. It had been finding out that governments were not, on the whole, staffed by people who had a grip, and that plans were what people made instead of thinking.
— Night Watch
I think this is pretty self-explanatory.
“If you trust in yourself ... and believe in your dreams...and follow your star...you’ll still get beaten by people who spent their time working hard and learning things and weren’t so lazy.”
— The Wee Free Men
Optimism is good. Optimism combined with learning and hard work is better.
Always remember that the crowd that applauds your coronation is the same crowd that will applaud your beheading. People like a show.
— Going Postal
People on the side of The People always ended up disappointed, in any case. They found that The People tended not to be grateful or appreciative or forward-thinking or obedient. The People tended to be small-minded and conservative and not very clever and were even distrustful of cleverness. And so the children of the revolution were faced with the age-old problem: it wasn’t that you had the wrong kind of government, which was obvious, but that you had the wrong kind of people.
As soon as you saw people as things to be measured, they didn’t measure up....
— Night Watch
Another quote about treating people as things — in this case, as a Cause. And if they don’t live up to the Cause, well, they must not be part of the People...
And it all meant this: that there are hardly any excesses of the most crazed psychopath that cannot easily be duplicated by a normal, kindly family man who just comes in to work every day and has a job to do.
— Small Gods
This one just reminds me of Terry Gilliam’s Brazil.
You did something because it had always been done, and the explanation was “but we’ve always done it this way.” A million dead people can’t have been wrong, can they?
— The Fifth Elephant
A good lesson in doing things because of tradition.
‘And what would humans be without love?’
RARE, said Death.
This one I just like.