You Will Continue To Suffer If You Have an Emotional Reaction To Everything

Warren Buffett? Bruce Lee? Cindy Flores? Sylvester McNutt III? Anonymous?

Dear Quote Investigator: A paragraph of advice about maintaining equanimity is popular on social media. Here is the first sentence:

You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you.

These words have been attributed to the influential martial artist Bruce Lee and the famous investor Warren Buffett. What do you think?

Quote Investigator: QI has found no substantive evidence that this passage has been spoken or written by Bruce Lee or Warren Buffett. It is very difficult to trace because it has been shared via several social media platforms. The search engines for social media platforms are typically defective or non-existent. In addition, messages are sometimes undated.

The earliest match (with a solid date) located by QI appeared in two tweets from Cindy Flores:

Twitter handle: @cfloorrrr link
Timestamp: 12:56 AM · Mar 24, 2016
You will continue to suffer if you have an emotional reaction to everything that is said to you, true power is observing everything w logic

Twitter handle: @cfloorrrr link
Timestamp: 12:57 AM · Mar 24, 2016
@cfloorrrr true power is restraint. If words control you that means everyone else can control you, breathe and allow things to pass.

The tweets did not attribute the remark to anyone; hence, Cindy Flores might be the creator. Yet, it is possible that the words were relayed from an earlier message on social media. Based on current evidence QI would label the text anonymous.

Below are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading You Will Continue To Suffer If You Have an Emotional Reaction To Everything

A Teacher Is Never a Giver of “Truth”; He Is a Guide, a Pointer to the Truth

Bruce Lee? Apocryphal?

lee08Dear Quote Investigator: Would you please help me to trace a statement attributed to the charismatic superstar martial artist and actor Bruce Lee. The first phrase in the quotation presented Lee’s viewpoint on education and mentoring:

A teacher is never a giver of truth . . .

I have seen different versions of the full comment, but I have not seen a precise citation.

Dear Quote Investigator: In 1971 “Black Belt” magazine published an essay by Bruce Lee titled “Liberate Yourself from Classical Karate” which included his provocative remark about teaching. Boldface has been added to excerpts: 1

A teacher, a really good sensei, is never a giver of “truth”; he is a guide, a pointer to the truth that the student must discover for himself. A good teacher, therefore, studies each student individually and encourages the student to explore himself, both internally and externally, until, ultimately, the student is integrated with his being.

The passage above was the earliest close match located by QI. A somewhat different version was printed in “Black Belt” magazine in 1988 which may have produced some confusion.

Here are additional selected citations in chronological order.

Continue reading A Teacher Is Never a Giver of “Truth”; He Is a Guide, a Pointer to the Truth

Notes:

  1. 1971 September, Black Belt, Volume 9, Number 9, Liberate Yourself from Classical Karate by Bruce Lee, Start Page 24, Quote Page 27, Column 2, Published by Black Belt, Inc., Los Angeles, California. (Google Books Full View) link