Shoeless Paraprosdokian

Before you criticize a man, walk a mile in his shoes. That way, you will be a mile away and he won’t have any shoes.

— Unknown

How could I resist? After yesterday’s exhortation to embrace empathy, it seemed only fitting to also quote a brilliant variation on the old moccasins quote.

It turns out that the above quote is a perfect example of a paraprosdokian – a figure of speech in which the latter part of a sentence or phrase is surprising or unexpected in a way that causes the reader or listener to reframe the first part. Other good examples include my previous post from Ellen DeGeneres or my all time favorite, “When I die I want to go peacefully in my sleep, like my grandfather did . . . and not screaming and yelling like the passengers in his car.”

Misunderstanding Others

It is hard for a free fish to understand what is happening to a hooked one.

— Karl A. Menninger, The Human Mind

This quote is a more poetic version of the one I posted yesterday that said, “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.”

According to Dr. George Watson at the University of Delaware, Karl Menninger was an early psychoanalyst who was probably referring to the criminal mind in this quote. Dr. Watson provides an expanded context of the quote.