Top Ten Quotes from Sir Terry Pratchett's "Mort" That Reveal Life's Little Secrets

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Peony Hill

Peony Hill

Last updated:  2022-08-08 08:52:00

Sir Terry Pratchett does best by putting little gems in his works. Yet, that sounds impossible since his books are a treasure already. Nonetheless, he manages to sneak in some great life advice and shows us ways the world works. When you buy one of his books, it'll definitely end up filled with little notes you make. For now, enjoy this spoiler-free top ten quotes collection!

10. But Magicians Have Counted That One-In-A-Million Chances Crop Up Nine Times out of Ten

The world can be a strange place

That always seems to be the norm in fantasy books, doesn't it? Really, it's there in any media, for that matter. If you hear someone saying that this or that is an impossible occurrence, chances are, it's going to happen. At this point, it's not Chekhov's gun - it's Chekhov's firing squad. The question is, do authors even realize how obvious they're being? Or are they counting on it?

This doesn't happen only in fiction, though. How many times have you opened the news to find someone's impossible life story written in it? The thing is, it doesn't have to be just in the news. Maybe a friend of yours recently told you about an unbelievable encounter with their childhood friend. Or you have been almost hit by a colossal icicle that could've killed you. Life adores going against the odds.

 9. The World Is a Funny Old Place Where One Should Never, Metaphorically Speaking, Be so Proud as to Turn Down the Offer of a Perfectly Good Hot Meat Pie

Pies… They're the world's greatest treasure

Metaphorically or not, this is excellent advice. Unless you don't like meat pie, in which case, there are definitely some great recipes for pies with greens. Europeans have some great pies with different cheeses as well. If your father has told you that he has bought some nice hot pie, why would you turn it down, really? It's a hot pie, for crying out loud.

But to focus on the metaphor, you really shouldn't turn down a perfectly presented opportunity, especially regarding temporary pleasure with no long-term consequences. The world can be a cruel place. So take the chances given to you. If a friend randomly offers you to go out, go. Or, if you get an unexpected chance to stay inside, get cozy and watch a good movie. Whatever it is, take a chance to enjoy the little things in life.

8. Rather Than Drown in Uncertainty, It's Best To Just Surf Over It

Certainly, we have had a lot of uncertainties in the past lmao

It's most likely safe to say that each of us knows uncertainty intimately. After all, life is full of it. There's only one certainty in life: it's filled with uncertainties until it ends. Yes, we can make as many plans as we want, writing down in our calendars dates for appointments. Yet, if the 2020s have shown us anything, it's that we can never certainly know what will come next.

Naturally, we have to wonder, "what next?" But, if we only worry about the future, our anxieties will consume us whole. Times can always be uncertain. It's up to us to decide what we'll do about it. Instead of worrying yourself to death, just look life in the eyes and say, "You know what? Fine, whatever". It's a tried and true survival tactic. When in doubt, improvise, adapt, overcome.

7. He Was Determined to Discover The Underlying Logic of the Universe. Which Was Going to Be Hard, Because There Wasn't One

Logic is overrated anyways

If the world was logical, we would be living in a very different place now, wouldn't we? All the unnecessary suffering would cease to exist. We wouldn't have forest fires caused by gender reveals, nor would global warming be at such an alarming rate. Even on a small scale: no one would run into their exes in coffee shops

But there's comfort in it too. For no reason at all, you might find a twenty-dollar bill on the sidewalk. A random dog might look at you and waggle its tail for no reason at all. You can spend your life banging your head against the wall, trying to find the cosmic reason for living. But after all, we're alive for better and for the worse. It's up to us to make the most of it.

6. [MORTALS ONLY GET] A FEW YEARS IN THIS WORLD, AND THEY SPEND THEM ALL IN MAKING THINGS COMPLICATED FOR THEMSELVES. FASCINATING.

We sure tend to self-sabotage a lot!

It is fascinating, isn't it? First, there are problems in the very way our society is structured. Our working hours are too long, thousands of people are underpaid, and hospitals and schools are understaffed. Therefore, we seem to find an obstacle that doesn't let us enjoy life at every turn. But, even to disregard the structural problems of our society, we are professionals at self-sabotage.

We get angry at ourselves over things we can and can't change. While anger is an understandable human emotion, it's counterproductive to get consumed by it. In case we can change something, we should do it. If we can't, there are ways to work around it. How many times have we been completely paralyzed by fear or worry? The only thing that's happening is that we're not taking the time to truly enjoy ourselves.

5. The Awesome Splendor of the Universe Is Easier to Deal With if You Think of It in Small Chunks

Smaller and smaller until it's manageable

This is a well-known thought pattern of bored kids in school. "There's twenty minutes until the class ends: that means that's two times ten minutes. Now, ten minutes is two times five minutes. After the first five minutes, I'll have five more minutes, and after that is only ten minutes. Then it's just five more minutes and it will be five minutes until the class ends." The mind truly is a wondrous place!

Existential dread is also easier to overcome this way. Sure, the universe is vast and unknowable, but we only have the Earth to worry about. Plus, the entire planet doesn't need our constant attention. We have our countries, our states, cities. And in all of that, we have our own lives. And even those lives are easier to divide into chunks.

4. Do You Know What Happens to Lads Who Ask Too Many Questions? [...] Probably They Get Answers 

It's always nice to get answers

If you're going to be vaguely threatening, you better mean it. But yes, we agree that asking too many questions is the way to go. It's better to always be in the loop. So ask questions and engage in life around you. Really, what do you have to lose? Someone in charge will be angry with you? So? It's so easy to be angry when you're in charge. It should be counted as an occupational hazard.

Bonuses outweigh the drawbacks anyways. You get to find out how stuff works. You get knowledge. That's the most crucial thing in this universe. Depending on the question, the answer might be life-changing. You might stumble across a new hobby or into a different profession entirely. After all, nothing is set in stone, and you should go where life takes you.

3. People Think [Time] Is Important Only Because They Invented It

How we perceive life and death?

Everyone who lived through the 2020 lockdown can agree on this one. Time really is a human invention, made to help us keep track of things. While the sun does rise and set each day, and plants and animals alike grow old and die, none really think about how to make it on time for the meeting at 5:30 next Saturday. Finally, time can confuse us all.

Flora and fauna go by their inner clocks rather than seeing time as obsolete. No bear out there is thinking: "Hm. Well, it is winter, but I have a deadline to reach. Maybe I should skip hibernation this year and spend some time on spreadsheets." We tend to ignore our personal needs because of bureaucracy. Ideally, we would let our bodies rest when needed instead of trying to reach all our deadlines.

There's so much going on upstairs

Many of us have sadly experienced this. While it sometimes feels like we're running on "head empty, no thoughts" mode, it's more likely that it's "head full, no thoughts." There are just so many thoughts swimming around in our minds, looking like a hive of ferocious wasps. The only problem is the wasps are buzzing in their own language and, try as we might, we can't comprehend them.

How rude of those wasps! Here we are, expecting that it'll be enough space for us in our heads, and there still isn't! They just keep buzzing around, not caring that we have some other things that we want to be doing. Really, someone should have warned us that our heads don't hold nearly as much space as they should. Plus, they might get filled up with tidbits of knowledge, like that Tutankhamun's mask weighs 22lb.

1. If There's One Thing That Really Annoys a God, It's Not Knowing Something

No-one likes a know-it-all, but a lot of people worship one

While it's played off as another quirky line in the books, it can be examined more thoroughly. One fascinating thing is that many western figures being worshiped are all-knowing. First, God in Christianity is always presented as omnipotent. In Norse mythology, Odin, the head of the gods, has ravens that tell him the world's goings-on. No one likes a know-it-all, but a lot of people worship one.

Given the nature of humans, it's no surprise that we tend to flock to and make up all-knowing figures. We are constantly pushing to find out more about the world around us: space exploration, nuclear physics, psychology. We want to know everything about the world, so we see religious figures that already do. Maybe humanity will learn all there's to know one day, but we'll always explore until then.

Really, no one does it as Sir Terry Pratchett does, as shown on our top ten list. He can make us laugh to tears while giving us some of the most insightful wisdom there is. His books are always fun to read, and they're a guaranteed way to put you in a good mood. It's no surprise that he was knighted, after all. Consequently, everyone alive benefits from his work!

 Do you like Sir Terry Pratchett's work? Would you like to read some of his books? Let us know in the comments!

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