Meme can be defined as “an idea, behavior or style that spreads from person to person within a culture”—a unit of cultural transmission, or perhaps one of repetition or imitation.
According to Cecil Adams of theStraightDope.com, the concept of memes “is either really deep, or really, really obvious.”
A politician’s gaffe, a viral video, a popular hashtag, a cute shared photo can now with the speed of light become a meme via the internet.
I have yet to have any quote or tweet of mine become a meme—and usually I am quoting someone else, anyway, as in my “Reasons for Living” tweets.
Nevertheless, I enjoy sharing what I feel are significant points that can be picked from well-written articles and books that come into my life. It is a challenge to condense and convey them in a way that does not oversimplify or distort, while piquing interest—and perhaps leading someone to check out the source.
Recent tweets I’ve posted that I would love to become memes are:
All authentic moral action results from opening to the higher forces within and above the individual self. —Jacob Needleman in A Little Book on Love.
The universe seemed sometimes to relax a little, to permit a little grace to be wrung from it. —Charles Williams in War in Heaven.
The wise remain silent until the right moment, but a boasting fool misses the right moment (Sirach 20:1).
No conscious act is ever wasted. Pure acts of compassion or attention always affect something at the planetary level. —Cynthia Bourgeault in Mystical Hope.
Our creative struggle, our search for wisdom and truth, is a love story. —Iris Murdoch.
The unity that occupied Bede Griffiths’ thinking and energized his ministry—what the mystics of all religions have known and shared: The unity of the opened heart.
Classics are books that exert a peculiar influence, both when they refuse to be eradicated from the mind and when they conceal themselves in the folds of memory. —Italo Calvino.
Say with each breath “Make me humbler, make me humbler.” When you are small as an atom you will know his glory. —Rumi.
Beauty bears repeating twice and thrice. —Erasmus.
What I call the aerial instinct—the drive to transcend our present condition—is the defining characteristic of a human being. —Sam Keen.
I guess I’d never make it as a bumper sticker creator—but the stretching of language and conceptualization of thought in these “units” of meaning satisfies me and keeps me hungry for further ways to send out memes like messages in a bottle.
How great it is to find that occasionally someone picks one up and then tells me so.