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By Linda Sapadin, Ph.D.

Everyone loves short, witty comments that portray the essence of the human condition. And no one does it better than Mark Twain — who left this earth 100 years ago. Here are 21 Twain-isms that remain fresh, accurate and totally applicable to 21st century living..

Our opinions do not really blossom into fruition until we have expressed them to someone else.

Nothing so needs reforming as much as other people's habits.
Travel is fatal to prejudice.

Kindness is the language which the deaf can hear and the blind can see.

Take any road you please — it always curves, which is a continual promise; whereas straight roads reveal everything at a glance and kill interest.

Prosperity is the best protector of principle.

Always obey your parents, when they are present.

An uneasy conscious is a hair in the mouth.

The man with a new idea is a crank until the idea succeeds.

All good things arrive unto them that wait - and don't die in the meantime.

A full belly is little worth where the mind is starved.

A man cannot be comfortable without his own approval.

Always do right. This will gratify some people and astonish the rest.

Man is the only animal that blushes — or needs to.

Architects cannot teach nature anything.

It's not best that we would all think alike; it is the difference of opinion that makes horse races.

I was seldom able to see an opportunity until it had ceased to be one.

It is better to keep your mouth shut and appear stupid than to open it and remove all doubt.

An old, cold letter makes you wonder how you could ever have got into such a rage about nothings.

A compliment ought always to precede a complaint, where one is possible, because it softens resentment and insures for the complaint a courteous and gentle reception.

There is nothing in the world like persuasive speech to fuddle the mental apparatus.

Copyright 2010, Linda Sapadin, Ph.D. is a psychologist in private practice who specializes in helping people enrich their lives, enhance their relationships and overcome self-defeating patterns of behavior. For more information about her work, contact her at or visit her website at

Visit her newest website which is devoted to understanding and overcoming debilitating procrastination patterns

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