People love quotes. Just think about it: anything you read, maybe its an article, or book, or even an instagram caption, but it most likely has a quote in it. And if it doesn’t, you may even quote it yourself. People love the way other people put words together–its a beautiful fact. You may even have a favorite quote and for some reason it stuck with you when you first read or heard it, and it changed your life.
Quotes are like air to me. I can’t live with out them and they are everywhere. I have countless journals with quotes scribbled endlessly throughout. In my books you’ll find my favorite quote scrawled inside the front cover. I write quotes on my mirror and I hang them on my door. I memorize them and hold them dear to my heart. They comfort me, they inspire me, and they give me the words I struggle to make myself. But my favorite quote is out of the ordinary. Its not some philosophical qualm or existential lament nor even a word of wonderment or phrase of insight. Its simple:
…and I loved her for that because it was so human.
Just that. 11 words.
But those 11 words made my heart beat faster, made my head spin, and made my soul ache. Let me explain.
These simple words are from Kurt Vonnegut’s Slaughterhouse Five, (which is a must read if you haven’t already) a satirical antiwar novel. At the point in which these words grace the page, Billy Pilgrim–narrator of the novel–recalls the Biblical story of Lot and his family escaping the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah. He says:
And Lot’s wife, of course, was told not to look back where all those people and their homes had been. But she did look back, and I love her for that, because it was so human. So she was turned into a pillar of salt. So it goes.
It was exactly that. So human.
These words forever resonate with me because as much as I’ve done, and as much as I strive to do, all my successes, all my failures, my mistakes, my good deeds, everything, is all so very human. It all stems from our inherent human desire to fix things. From the deep need to solve the world’s problems. To leave a mark. To be someone. Yes, our lives are unique; we have our own personality, strengths, and weaknesses. We’ve all been through things others have not and done things others only dream of doing. We’ve had our moments and travelled through our doldrums. But that’s just it. Every choice we make or everything thing we do, they’re all such human things to do. We can’t help it. We fall into these habits and we become these people who do these things, but its all the same. And I love it, because no matter who you are, no matter what you’ve done, where you’ve been, what you’ve become, and despite every single person’s unique importance in this world, deep down we are all the same… Simply human.