Catalyst Quotes

Compiled by Alex Pena ~ ‘Catalyst’: “to spark, to ignite, energize, mobilize; something that accelerates a reaction (DDI)." Thought-provoking & motivational quotes and stories for you to read, reflect on and move forward in making creative and positive changes in your life.

“Politeness, Manners, Hot Air, Dogs, Philosophy and Self-Help”


“I’m making a list

I’m making a list of things I must say

For politeness,

And goodness and kindness and gentleness

Sweetness and rightness:


Pardon me

How are you?

Excuse me

Bless you

May I?

Thank you


If you know some that I’ve forgot,

Please stick them in your eye!”    (Shel Silverstein, Where the Sidewalk Ends)



“’Oh Tigger, where are your manners?’ 

“I don’t know, but I bet they’re having more fun than I am.’”   (A. A. Milne)



“The master was certainly not a stickler for etiquette and good manners but there was always a natural courtesy and grace in his dealings with others.

A young disciple once was very rude to a toll collector as he drove the Master home one night.  In self-defense he said, ‘I’d rather be myself and let people know exactly how I feel.  Politeness is nothing but a lot of hot air anyway.’

‘True enough,’ replied the Master pleasantly, ‘but that’s what we have in our automobile tires and see how it eases the bumps.’”   (Anthony de Mello, SJ)



“Look at children.  Of course they may quarrel, but generally speaking they do not harbor ill feelings as much or as long as adults do.  Most adults have the advantage of education over children, but what is the use of an education if they show a big smile while hiding negative feelings deep inside?  Children don’t usually act in such a manner.  If they feel angry with someone, they express it, and then it is finished.  They can still play with that person the following day.”  (Dalai Lama XIV)



“A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes.  Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine.  A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside.  A dog doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his.  It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not.  As I wrote that farewell column to Marley, I realized it was all right there in front of us, if only we opened our eyes.  Sometimes it took a dog with bad breath, worse manners, and pure intentions to help us see.”   (John Grogan)



“Several years back there was a terrific scene in Jeff MacNelly’s comic strip ‘Shoe.’  The main character is a frazzled ‘Perfesser’ sitting in his usual spot in Roz’s Diner.  He seems hard at work on his latest writing.

Roz stands behind the counter and asks the ‘Perfesser’ what he’s writing this time.  ‘I’m writing the definitive self-help book based on my personal philosophy,’ he explains.

‘Your philosophy?’ Roz chuckles.

The ‘Perfesser’ indignantly looks up and says, ‘Yes. I’m calling my book The Three Ups: Shut Up, Grow Up and Listen Up.’”   (Apple Seeds)



“I went to a bookstore and asked the saleswoman, ‘Where’s the self-help section?’ She said if she told me, it would defeat the purpose.”   (George Carlin)

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