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Thursday, December 16, 2021

It is better to know some of the questions than all of the answers.

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James Thurber

In 1940, “New Yorker” veteran James Thurber published a children’s book — “Fables for Our Time and Famous Poems Illustrated” — in which each story ends with a crisp moral. The above quote is the moral of “The Scotty Who Knew Too Much,” a parable about a presumptuous Scottish terrier who instigates hapless run-ins with a skunk, a porcupine, and a farm dog. No one has all the answers, and Thurber posits that pretending otherwise will get you into trouble. He encourages all generations to remember that curiosity is a sign of respect, and indicates a willingness to learn, and grow, from the presence of outside perspectives.

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