From time to time, acquaintances will bring to my attention that a saying of mine, also known as an aphorism, has gone "viral" and somehow captured the popular imagination, online.
Even though I've been writing in this time-honored form since I was a teenager, nearly 30 years ago, it's only now in the Age of Twitter (and shortened attention spans) that my one-liners have really begun to gain traction.
For example, here's a talk I was invited to deliver at Oxford University, just a few weeks ago, to launch a book of my aphorisms, Where Epics Fail: Meditations to Live By
Growing up in Egypt, I was surrounded by a love of language, where it was not uncommon to speak in proverbs. Both my maternal and paternal grandmothers, for example, spoke almost almost exclusively, at times, in sing-songy, witty-wise sayings. It came as no surprise when I began to write them.
It's always interesting for me to see which ones of these personal reflections resonate with strangers, and why. Below, is a mixed selection of some of my quotes that I hope you appreciate:
"Do you know what an aphorism is? It’s not exactly a Haiku, a proverb, an axiom, nor a poem, yet it harnesses the power of all these. Aphorisms are an ancient form, but its current-day master is Yahia Lababidi."
—Richard Blanco, President Barack Obama's inaugural poet
“Lababidi is an aphorist of the spirit. His aphorisms could form a new gnostic religion, and I could dwell a long while inside them. Yahia Lababidi may be our greatest living aphorist.”
—Sharon Dolin, award-winning poet
'Lababidi writes as a man possessed with both the sayable and unsayable, as a poet “in search of that which is in search of him," as one of his mystical predecessors, Rūmī'
—Chard deNiord, Poet Laureate
"I find myself pausing everywhere among these wisdoms, wondering why the world stumbles and staggers through such a dark and greedy time when there are people alive with such keen, caring insight. . . If Yahia Samir Lababidi were in charge of a country, I would want to live there."
—Naomi Shihab Nye, Youth Poet Laureate, USA
I hope you enjoyed these short reflections and, if so that you might consider sharing them with others who might appreciate them. Below, is a short video trailer of my new book of aphorisms, Signposts to Elsewhere from Hay House, the publishers of Deepak Chopra.