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.

Archive for the category “Family”

“Kids and Adults – Growing Up”


“There is no scientific theory of the universe that sufficiently answers the question, ‘Who entrusted to me this child.” (Robert Brault, Round Up the Usual Subjects)



“[Kids] don’t remember what you try to teach them.  They remember what you are.”   (Jim Henson, It’s Not Easy Being Green: and Other Things to Consider)



“Grown-ups don’t look like grown-ups on the inside either.  Outside, they’re big and thoughtless and they always know what they’re doing.  Inside, they look just like they always have.  Like they did when they were your age.  Truth is, there aren’t any grown-ups.  Not one, in the whole wide world.”   (Neil Gaiman)



“The clash between child and adult is never so stubborn as when the child in us confronts the adult in our child.”   (Robert Brault, Round Up the Usual Subjects)



“I was wise enough never to grow up, while fooling people into believing I had.”   (Margaret Mead)



“It’s funny, isn’t it?  When you are young you just want to be old, and then later you wish you could go back to being a kid.”   (Lauren Oliver, Before I Fall)



“Adults are always asking little kids what they want to be when they grow up ’cause they’re looking for ideas.”   (Paula Poundstone)



“’My kids are starting to notice I’m a little different from the other dads.’
‘Why don’t you have a straight job like everyone else?’ they asked me the other day. 

I told them this story:  In the forest, there was a crooked tree and a straight tree.  Every day, the straight tree would say to the crooked tree, ‘Look at me…I’m tall, and I’m straight, and I’m handsome.  Look at you…you’re all crooked and bent over.  No one wants to look at you.’  And they grew up in that forest together.  And then one day the loggers came, and they saw the crooked tree and the straight tree, and they said, ‘Just cut the straight trees and leave the rest.’  So the loggers turned all the straight trees into lumber and toothpicks and paper.  And the crooked tree is still there, growing stronger and stranger every day.”   (Tom Waits)



“When I was growing up I always wanted to be someone.  Now I realize I should have been more specific.”   (Lily Tomlin)




“Make This Christmas Thing Last”

Once again, I present to you the song, “Old City Bar” by the Trans-Siberian Orchestra. Every time I hear it, I get a bit teary-eyed and I am sure you will also. As you read the lyrics below, the words will hit you hard but try to listen to the song and get the full effect of it.  You can then understand that miracles do happen and that we all have goodness in our hearts.  After the video, is a quote that I find useful during the holiday period.    –  Alex Pena






“Here are a few suggestions for special gifts: a firm handshake to a shaky soul, a kind word to a lonely person, a warm smile to the disheartened, a sincere concern for someone troubled, a feeling of compassion for the neglected, a comforting thought for the bereaved, a respect for the dignity of others, a defense of the rights of individuals, a word of witness to help a seeking soul, a Merry Christmas to all.” (Source Unknown)

“Just a Thought … A Different Take on Father’s Day”


Just a thought ….

Today is Father’s Day, a day in which Fathers are recognized for what they ‘do’ and all sorts of accolades and gifts are bestowed upon them.  Well, at least the good fathers are; not sure what happens to the fathers that are looked upon as deadbeats, have been distant or unloving to their children.  I guess it’s just another day to those children that have ‘missing’ fathers.  Or, the love and gifts are shown toward the mother, the grandmother, aunt or whoever has raised the kids.  A special Happy ‘Father’s’ Day to them.

What I want to push forward is the idea that instead of us fathers having a special day in which everything is done for us or gifts are given to us, we turn things around and have the day in which we fathers do things for our kids and family since we have been given the privilege to have children. 

You’ve heard the quote, “Any man can be a father, but it takes someone special to be a dad.”  Dads are special and when one realizes that we’ve been given a huge responsibility to raise children, to help them grow and develop into loving, caring and responsible members of society.  There are many days in which I hear fathers talk about their kids in glowing terms and how proud they are of them.  Those children have turned out to be like that because of things that the fathers have done.  I know, I know, let’s not forget the mothers either.  Don’t get me started on the mothers and their contribution, which is even more than what fathers do.  That is material for another day.  However I do believe that we should keep Mother’s Day as one in which we should do everything for our mothers because they bore our children and have gone through tremendous pain and even more so responsibility to raise our kids.  Mothers are even more special than fathers.

Just think about it, guys.  What would you be without your children?  They have given you love, looks that can melt your heart, pride, a sense of accomplishment, and did I mention love.  Yes, I know there are days in which you wonder ‘what did you do’ to deserve such love and conversely also days in which you wonder, ‘how can you stand your kids’ when they’ve done something wrong.  But you still love them and will do whatever you can to make them well.  You love them, you cherish them, and you cannot be without them.

Just a thought … let’s make it a different Father’s Day today.  Let’s make it “Happy Children’s Day” or “Happy Family Day.”


Just a thought.


“Happy Funny Mother’s Day”

Today is Mother’s Day and at many homes there are flowers, cards, gifts and memorials given to our mothers.  We get sentimental and mushy and talk about how special our Mother is to us and we place her on a pedestal and look up to her and proclaim her to be the Queen of the Day. Our Mothers are all that but we also want to acknowledge the funny side of motherhood and how funny our Moms can be at times.  Here are some funny quotes I’d like to share with you on this special Mother Day because sometimes parenting and being a Mother can be a funny thing.  Happy Mother’s Day to all our funny mothers.  (AP)



“The most remarkable thing about my mother is that for thirty years she served the family nothing but leftovers.  The original meal has never been found.”   (Calvin Trillin)



“I want my children to have all the things I couldn’t afford.  Then I want to move in with them.”   (Phyllis Diller)



“The best way to keep children at home is to make the home atmosphere pleasant, and let the air of the tires.”   (Dorothy Parker)



“My mother never saw the irony in calling me a son-of-a-bitch.”   (Jack Nicholson)



“No matter how old a mother is, she watches her middle-aged children for signs of improvement.”   (Florida Scott-Maxwell)



“Don’t forget to pick up a bottle of wine for your Mom for Mother’s Day.  After all, you’re one of the reasons she drinks.”   (Anonymous)



“Any mother could perform the jobs of several air traffic controllers with ease.”   (Lisa Alther)



“My mother had a great deal of trouble with me, but I think she enjoyed it.”   (Mark Twain)



”In spite of the seven thousand books of expert advice, the right way to discipline a child is still a mystery to most fathers and … mothers.  Only your grandmother and Genghis Khan know how to do it.”  (Bill Cosby)



“If Mama ain’t happy, ain’t nobody happy.”   (Ferrell Sims)


Mom – “You’re the real MVP.”


“I don’t think you know what you did.  You had my brother when you were 18 years old. Three years later I came out.  The odds were stacked against him.  Single parent with two boys by the time you were 21 years old.

Everybody told us we weren’t supposed to be here.  We moved from apartment to apartment by ourselves.  One of the best memories I have is when we moved into our first apartment. No bed, no furniture, and we just all sat in the living room and hugged each other because we thought we made it.

When something good happens to you, I don’t know about you guys, but I tend to look back to what brought me here.  You woke me up in the middle of the night in the summer times. Making me run up a hill.  Making me do push-ups.  Screaming at me from the sidelines at my games at eight or nine years old.

We weren’t supposed to be here.  You made us believe.  You kept us off the street, put clothes on our backs, food on the table.  When you didn’t eat, you made sure we ate.  You went to sleep hungry.  You sacrificed for us.  You’re the real MVP.”   (Kevin Durant, Basketball Player, at his MVP acceptance speech, talking about his Mom, 5.6.14)



“Nothing of me is original.  I am the combined effort of everyone I’ve ever known.”   (Chuck Palahniuk, Invisible Monsters)



“Hug and kiss whoever helped get you – financially, mentally, morally, emotionally – to this day.  Parents, mentors, friends, teachers.  If you’re too uptight to do that, at least do the old handshake thing, but I recommend a hug and a kiss.  Don’t let the sun go down without saying thank you to someone, and without admitting to yourself that absolutely no one gets this far alone.”   (Stephen King)



“The voice of parents is the voice of gods, for to their children they are heaven’s lieutenants.”  (Shakespeare)



“If you raise your children to feel that they can accomplish any goal or task they decide upon, you will have succeeded as a parent and you will have given your children the greatest of all blessings.”   (Brian Tracy)



Every child comes with a message that God is yet not discouraged by man.”   (Unknown Author)


“Make a Difference / Do the Impossible”


“I’m not old enough to play baseball or football.  I’m not eight yet.

My mom told me when you start baseball, you aren’t going to be able to run that fast because you had an operation.  I told Mom I wouldn’t need to run that fast.

When I play baseball, I’ll just hit them out of the park.  Then I’ll be able to walk.”   (Edward J. McGrath Jr., ‘An Exceptional View of Life’)



“A father was late getting to his son’s baseball game.  As he sat down behind the players’ bench he asked one of the boys known as a real leader on the team what the score was. “We’re behind 14 to nothing,” he answered with a smile.  “Really!” the Dad replied.  “I am surprised that you don’t look very discouraged.”

“Discouraged?” the boy replied with a puzzled look on his face.  “Why should we be discouraged?  We haven’t been up to bat yet!”   …  Just as pessimism erodes our ability to deal successfully with change, so does optimism enhance it.”   (Jim Clemmer, Leaders Inspire Their Teams with Optimism)



“I tried to teach my child with books.  He gave me only puzzled looks.

I tried to teach my child with words.  They passed him by, often unheard.

Despairingly, I turned aside, ‘How shall I teach this child?’  I cried.

‘Come,’ he said, ‘Play with me!”   (Unknown Author)



“You just have to decide if you’re a Tigger or an Eeyore.”   (Randy Pausch, The Last Lecture)



“Act as if what you do makes a difference.  It does.”   (William James)



“It’s kind of fun to do the impossible.”   (Walt Disney)

~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~  

“Miracles do Happen and We All Have Goodness in Our Heart” 2013

This is a repeat of a post I did in December 2012. It moves me so much during this time that I felt it was needed again. Merry Christmas everyone!  



Although today’s post is a bit longer than my previous ones, I couldn’t excerpt parts of this without destroying the meaning of the story. Please bear with me and read the whole story. This story is a song by Trans-Siberian Orchestra and every time I hear it, I get a bit teary-eyed. Reading the lyrics below will hit you hard but try to listen to the song and get the full effect of it and understand why one can get a bit teary-eyed and understand that miracles do happen and that we all have goodness in our hearts. ~ GM Universe


In an old city bar, that is never too far

From the places that gather, the dreams that have been

In the safety of night with its old neon light
It beckons to strangers and they always come in

And the snow it was falling; the neon was calling
The music was low, and the night Christmas Eve

And here was the danger, that even with strangers
Inside of this night it’s easier to believe

Then the door opened wide and a child came inside
That no one in the bar had seen there before

And he asked did we know that outside in the snow
That someone was lost standing outside our door

Then the bartender gazed through the smoke and the haze

Through the window and ice to a corner streetlight

Where standing alone, by a broken pay phone
Was a girl the child said could no longer get home

And the snow it was falling, the neon was calling
The bartender turned and said, not that I care
But how would you know this?
The child said I’ve noticed, if one could be home, they’d be all ready there

Then the bartender came out from behind the bar, and in all of his life he was never that far
And he did something else that he thought no one saw when he took all the cash from the register draw

Then he followed the child to the girl cross the street and we watched from the bar as they started to speak

Then he called for a cab and he said J.F.K., put the girl in the cab and the cab drove away

And we saw in his hand that the cash was all gone from the light that she had wished upon

If you want to arrange it this world you can change it
If we could somehow make this Christmas thing last

By helping a neighbor or even a stranger
And to know who needs help you need only just ask

Then he looked for the child but the child wasn’t there
Just the wind and the snow waltzing dreams through the air

So he walked back inside, somehow different I think
For the rest of the night no one paid for a drink

And the cynics will say that some neighborhood kid
Wandered in on some bums in the world where they hid

But they weren’t there so they couldn’t see
By an old neon star on that night, Christmas Eve

When the snow it was falling the neon was calling
And in case you should wonder, in case you should care

Why we’re on our own
Never went home
On that night of all nights
We were already there. ” (‘Old City Bar’ lyrics, Trans-Siberian Orchestra)


“Here are a few suggestions for special gifts: a firm handshake to a shaky soul, a kind word to a lonely person, a warm smile to the disheartened, a sincere concern for someone troubled, a feeling of compassion for the neglected, a comforting thought for the bereaved, a respect for the dignity of others, a defense of the rights of individuals, a word of witness to help a seeking soul, a Merry Christmas to all.” (Source Unknown)

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“Children Remember What You Are”


“Give me a child for the first seven years, and you may do what you like with him afterwards.”  (Jesuit Maxim)



“There are only two lasting bequests we can hope to give our children.  One of these is roots; the other, wings.”   (Hodding Carter)



“Children have neither a past nor a future.  Thus they enjoy the present, which seldom happens to us.”   (Jean de la Bruyere)



“The attitude you have as a parent is what your kids will learn from more than what you will tell them.  They don’t remember what you try to teach them.  They remember what you are.”  (Jim Henson)



“Conspicuously absent from the Ten Commandments is any obligation of parent to child.  We must suppose that God felt it unnecessary to command by law what He had ensured by love.”  (Robert Brault)



“We do not realize how fragile our childhood was until it becomes our turn to play the grown-up.”   (Robert Brault)


“More Advice – This Time From Dad”


“I am not my uncle.  I am not my father, but I do subscribe to the twenty rules he taught me from the cradle.

One, if you’re afraid to fight, then you’ll never win.

Two, in times of tragedy and turmoil, you’ll learn who your true friends are. Treasure them because they are few and far between.

Three, know your enemies, and never become your own worst one.

Four, be grateful for those enemies.  They will keep you honest and ever striving to better yourself.

Five, listen to all good advice, but never substitute someone else’s judgment for your own.

Six, all men and women lie.  But never lie to yourself.

Seven, many will flatter you.  Befriend the ones who don’t, for they will remind you that you’re human and not infallible.

Eight, never fear the truth.  It’s the lies that will destroy you.

Nine, your worst decisions will always be those that are made out of fear.  Think all matters through with a clear head.

Ten, your mistakes won’t define you, but your memories, good and bad, will.

Eleven, be grateful for your mistakes as they will tell you who and what you’re not.

Twelve, don’t be afraid to examine the past, it’s how you learn what you don’t want to do again.

Thirteen, there’s a lot to be said for not knowing better.

Fourteen, all men die.  Not everyone lives.

Fifteen, on your deathbed, your greatest regrets will be what you didn’t do.

Sixteen, don’t be afraid to love.  Yes, it’s a weakness that can be used against you.  But it’s also a source of the greatest strength you will ever know.  

Seventeen, the past is history written in stone that can’t be altered.  The future is transitory and never guaranteed.  Today is the only thing you can change for certain.  Have the courage to do so and make the most of it because it could be all you’ll ever have.

Eighteen, you can be in a crowd, surrounded by people, and still be lonely.

Nineteen, love all, regardless of what they do.  Trust only those you have to.  

And twenty … Never be afraid … destroy your enemies.  They won’t hesitate to … destroy you.”   (Sherrilyn Kenyon)



“A piece of advice his father had given him surfaced in Edgar’s mind. Sometimes, he had said, it’s better just to keep quiet and think with your heart.”  (Sharan Newman)


“Advice From Mom”


“To my babies,

Merry Christmas.  I’m sorry if these letters have caught you both by surprise. There is just so much more I have to say.  I know you thought I was done giving advice, but I couldn’t leave without reiterating a few things in writing.  You may not relate to these things now, but someday you will.  I wasn’t able to be around forever, but I hope that my words can be.

  • Don’t stop making basagna.  Basagna is good.  Wait until a day when there is no bad news, and bake a damn basagna.
  • Find a balance between head and heart.  Hopefully you’ve found that Lake, and you can help Kel sort it out when he gets to that point.
  • Push your boundaries; that’s what they’re there for.
  • I’m stealing this snippet from your favorite band, Lake.  ‘Always remember there is nothing worth sharing, like the love that let us share our name.’
  • Don’t take life too seriously.  Punch it in the face when it needs a good hit.  Laugh at it.
  • And Laugh a lot.  Never go a day without laughing at least once.
  • Never judge others.  You both know good and well how unexpected events can change who a person is.  Always keep that in mind.  You never know what someone else is experiencing within their own life.
  • Question everything.  Your love, your religion, your passions.  If you don’t have questions, you’ll never find answers.
  • Be accepting.  Of everything.  People’s differences, their similarities, their choices, their personalities. Sometimes it takes a variety to make a good collection.  The same goes for people.
  • Choose your battles, but don’t choose very many.
  • Keep an open mind; it’s the only way new things can get in.
  • And last but not least, not the tiniest bit least.  Never regret.

Thank you both for giving me the best years of my life.  Especially the last one.


Mom”   (Colleen Hoover, Slammed)


“My mother’s last word to me clanks inside me like an iron bell that someone beats at dinnertime:  love, love, love, love, love.”   (Cheryl Strayed, Tiny Beautiful Things:  Advice on Love and Life from Dear Sugar)


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