Ray Bradbury is an American author (b. 22 August 1920) who wrote in many genres including science fiction, fantasy, mystery and horror. I always loved reading his thoughts on writing. But he has said something about just about everything around him and endearingly so. I found he had interesting things to say about life, love, success, failure, creativity and culture, too.
I thought it would be a good idea to collect some of his beautiful quotes and talk about them. They are simply well-said, profound and sparkles with life and depth. So here we go with 7 quotes by Ray Bradbury that might get you rethinking about life, creativity and culture!
“We are cups, constantly and quietly being filled. The trick is, knowing how to tip ourselves over and let the beautiful stuff out.”
This quote is pretty much self-explanatory. I believe every human being is a cup of all that he or she has experienced, seen, heard, smelled, tasted and touched. Life packs a pretty good punch at being filling. And sometimes, the process of being filled is not quiet at all. Nevertheless, what we spill out depends on how we process it inside us.
Some people create beauty and inspiration out of trials and tribulations. Some people create nothing from anything. Some people focus on fuming out toxicity even from the best things in life. So, it is all about what you do to the stuff that fills your cup. The good news is that, it is not so difficult to “let the beautiful stuff out.”
“You don’t have to burn books to destroy a culture. Just get people to stop reading them.”
In his dystopian science fiction novel Fahrenheit 451, Bradbury has created a world where the printed book is an illegal commodity. The horror of such a world is apocalyptic. Books, since the advent of learning and recording knowledge, is indispensable in civilization and culture. To read is to grow and evolve. To read is to travel. A world that doesn’t read anymore is a world in regress.
Books have reformed barbarians, hunters and gatherers into seekers, teachers and creators. But books hold value only when they are read. An unread book is a non-existent book. To destroy a culture, it is enough for the people populating it to stop reading. This quote is a deeply thought provoking one, because the way the world is going now, we should be wary of the possibility of the scary dystopia of a world without reading.
“We have too many cellphones. We’ve got too many internets. We have got to get rid of those machines. We have too many machines now.”
He is right though, isn’t he? If we set a digital time tracker, it is appalling just how much time in a day we spend on our gadgets and online. While there is a lot of great things happening because of these amenities, do we really know how to cap the usage? Many people are very planned and keep track of their online and gadget time. But the majority dive into them and seldom come out.
Even our kids are born into the midst of gadgets and the web. We are caught in a web of information, lies, hypes and swipes. How much of it is useful? How much of it is necessary? Sometimes, it is hard to draw the lines. But we should be drawing lines, telling ourselves, “Hey, that’s enough. Get out into reality. Get some sun. Spare some smiles.”
There are indeed too many machines for us to untangle from.
Learning to let go should be learned before learning to get. Life should be touched, not strangled. You’ve got to relax, let it happen at times, and at others move forward with it.
Planners often get more disappointments and surprises than those who don’t. Personally, I am not a great planner. A lot of my day to day life happens on a whim, unplanned and ready to get on with whatever comes my way. But that is the fun of living as far as I am concerned.
Life throws many surprises and twists at us that it is not possible to hold on to things always. We will have to let go of many things. Letting go helps us heal, move on and live better. Letting go takes strength and makes us stronger. Letting go brings newer opportunities. Letting go is forgiving ourselves and others. It is crucial to learn to let go because life is not always about getting, but a lot is about losing, too.
We need to be aware and accepting of the fact that not everything is in our control. When something spirals out of control from your hands, it is important to consider the possibility that, maybe, it was never in your control in the first place.
If you’re embarrassed because you have some notion about how men are supposed to behave, and it doesn’t include weeping, then you have some personal work to do.
I love this! The very beauty and candor in these words that slap patriarchy hard in the face and make it see what it has done to men, the gender it wants to put above others. Not to mention how he puts emotional intelligence into focus.
Our men, since they were boys, grew up being told “Boys don’t cry.” This stereotyping has resulted in many of the problems in this world. Crying is an expression of grief, pain, frustration and disappointment. You are supposed to cry when you feel like it. You are supposed to allow others to cry if that is what they want to do. Regardless of your gender.
Weeping doesn’t weaken you. On the contrary, it strengthens you emotionally. Men, because they are taught not to ‘weep like a girl’ puts a huge emotional burden on the world. Their emotions that could have been channeled out through a good weep are often directed out through anger. They become angry persons because they cannot contain these emotions and they cannot let out their tears.
I love it when a man is capable of having teary eyes and whimpering sounds when he is sad. I love it that he is able to trespass that fence placed by this patriarchal society. For Goodness’ sake! Men are born with tear glands just as women are. Let them work when in needed. Let them ease out their pains and relieve the world of their rage. If you still think ‘behaving like a man’ or ‘manning up’ keeps weeping out of the options, you simply need to upgrade yourself, because the world is suffering from poor emotional intelligence which is what holds the humanity together.
“Don’t think. Thinking is the enemy of creativity. It’s self-conscious and anything self-conscious is lousy. You can’t “try” to do things. You simply “must” do things.”
Writers need to hear this. So do all artists. When we think too much, we are assuming control but well, creativity is a crazy witch. The magic happens only when you let it swish the wand every which way. The witch cannot cast spells and create magic if you are holding the wand. And that’s what thinking too hard can do.
The moment you are self-conscious much, self-doubt is just a step away. And that is another enemy of creativity, as Sylvia Plath said. Trying to do is often an excuse we give to fail than to get things done. Whatever your goals are, stop trying and start doing more towards it.
If you hide your ignorance, no one will hit you and you’ll never learn.
To learn more, we need to be accepting of our ignorance. We need to be humble enough to admit that we don’t know everything. Yes, sometimes, it is hard to say it out loud or do things that might give it away. But that can be very limiting, right?
When you hide it, you are safe in your comfort zone. Nobody will point it out. Nobody will bash you about it. Nobody will shame you. Nobody will know you existed. And you will never learn more.
I hope you enjoyed reading these thoughtful and thought-provoking quotes by Ray Bradbury and my little comprehensions about them. Do feel free to share any from your own favorite collections or your thoughts about these quotes which could be enlightening to me and other readers.