Using Good Quotations to Brighten the Day of the People You Love

“But she is my daughter.
That may mean nothing to you,
but it means everything to me.”
Dukat in DS9: “The Sacrifice of Angels”

Laughing Squid had the story of a father who wrote quotations on the napkins of the packed lunches he made for his daughter. He prepared a lot of napkins given that he has cancer and might not be around during the last years of school of his daughter.

Personally, I think it’s a great idea. I love good quotations and one reason why I buy used books and digitize them myself is that I want to be able to easily get good quotations from books. I’ve collected 18642 quotations myself (+ a couple of thousand I have not yet added to that Excel file). And while I had a lot of fun using them for personalized eMail footers, or custom books (see image), I never thought of writing them on napkins for the people I love. But then again — as far as I know — I am not a father. That opportunity never presented itself to me.

One of the things I do with the quotations I love — create custom books. Unfortunately, I cannot put the PDF of the book online, given that it is a) personal, and b) uses images that are under copyright.

And sure, this kind of “educational intervention” has to fit the child. Not every child will like this kind of “message”, no matter how inspiring the quotations are. But I think it’s a brilliant way to convey meaningful values to ones child. Just imagine what happens when you combine Bento Boxes (healthy, funny food) with the condensed sayings of great thinkers. Great food for the body and the mind. Hmm, as long as all that distilled experience does not conflict with actual experience. Too much foreknowledge can paralyze.

But still, beautiful idea. Perhaps I should invest the two or three days to sort my quotes and finish that App that allows easy search and tweeting — and records to whom I have send/given that particular quote.

And if I ever have children, I think that’s a beautiful idea to use.