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In the crucible of our global coronavirus pandemic, here is a mixture of bitter and sweet ironies, life lessons, scriptures and quips to ponder — and enjoy.

“Don’t count the days. Make the days count.” — Muhammed Ali (R.I.P.).

“God can heal a broken heart, but He has to have all the pieces.” — Samuel Chadwick.

“Everyone, sooner or later, sits down to a breakfast of consequences.” — Robert Louis Stevenson.

“A big disappointment in life is the discovery that the man who writes the finance company ads isn’t the one who makes the loans.” — The London Free Press.

“People who think they know everything are a great annoyance to those of us who actually do.” — Isaac Asimov.

“The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter.” — Winston Churchill.

“Lord, please give me coffee to change the things that I can, and wine to accept the things I cannot.” — Anonymous.

“Those who love justice will live in the house of the Lord.” — Song refrain.

A little wisdom from P.T. Barnum: “There’s no such thing as bad publicity.” Also: “No one ever went broke underestimating the taste of the American public.”

“We shall be judged on love.” — Mother Teresa.

“Happiness is not an outside job.” — Fortune cookie.

West Virginia poet Bob Henry Baber wrote, “West Virginia — where the roads are crooked and the people are straight.”

A favorite bumper sticker for the current political season: “Make America Kind Again.”

From Galatians 5:6: “What matters is love that works through faith.”

“Destiny is not a matter of chance. It is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for; it is a thing to be achieved.” — William Jennings Bryan.

A prayer to remember: “Lord, still the clamor of our days/ and calm our rushing, anxious ways/ In silence teach us how to praise / give us peace within your love.” — B.J. Hoff.

“The most powerful weapon on earth is the human soul on fire.” — Marshall Foch.

“In times of change the learners will inherit the earth, while the learned will find themselves equipped to deal with a world that no longer exists.” — Eric Hoffer.

“I always wanted to be somebody. But I should have been more specific.” — Lily Tomlin.

From “Markings,” the posthumously published diary of U.N. Secretary-General Dag Hammarskjold: “Tired and lonely/So tired the heart aches/ Meltwater trickles down the rocks/ The fingers are numb/ the knees tremble/ It is now/ Now…that you must not give in.”

Another song refrain heard these days in any number of denominations: “Peace I leave with you, my friends. Shalom my peace, I give to you. Peace I leave with you my friends. I give to you so you can give to others too.”


John Patrick Grace is a published poet as well as a book editor and teacher of The Life Writing Class, now in its 21st year. He lives in eastern Cabell County.