The Wisdom Of Hoosiers

by Curt Kovener

A friend gifted me a book on the common sense and uncommon genius of Midwesterners. I have gleaned from it to share with you the philosophies, observations and witticisms of men and women either born or raised Hoosier.

George Ade was a Hoosier born humorist and playwright who penned “Life is a series of relapses and recoveries.”

•“Every man is the architect of his own fortunes, but the neighbors superintend the construction.”

•“Scatter seeds of kindness.”

•“Always select the right sort of parents.”

“Whenever I get ready to call it a day, I’d think, “No, somebody else is practicing,” explains much of the success gained by French Lick native and president of the Indiana Pacers Larry Bird.

From Hoosier born newscaster Elmer David, “The first and great commandment is: Don’t let them scare you.”

According to Indiana born

journalist Edgar Watson Howe, “About the only thing on a farm that has an easy time is the dog.”

•“Even if a farmer intends to loaf, he gets up in time to get an early start.”

•“People are always neglecting something they can do by trying to do something they can’t.”

•“A good scare is worth more than good advice.”

Hoosier poet James Whitcomb Riley wrote more than these pages can contain, but for this week’s column of Indiana wisdom, “It’s no use to grumble and complain, It’s just as cheap and easy to rejoice; When the Allmighty sorts out the weather and sends rain—Why, rain’s my choice.”

From the wisdom of Indiana born novelist Jessamyn West, “It is very easy to forgive others their mistakes; it takes more grit and gumption to forgive them for having witnessed your own.”

Fortunately for him and for the county, Abraham Lincoln’s parents had the wisdom to bring him north of the Ohio River where his formative years were spent right here in Southern Indiana. Volumes have been written on Lincoln’s wit, wisdom and philosophy. Here are but a few that we gleaned:

•“The best thing about the future is that it comes only one day at a time.”

•“Things may come to those who wait but only the things left by those who hustle.”

•“I don’t know who my grandfather was. I’m much more concerned to know what his grandson will be.”

•“Am I not destroying my enemies when I make friends of them?”

•“When you have got an elephant by the hind leg and he is trying to run away, it’s best to let him run.”

•“Let the people know the truth and the country is safe.”

•“Those who deny freedom to others deserve it not for themselves.”