• Book Reviews,  Living as a Leader

    Wisdom from The Lord of the Rings

    As I read The Lord of the Rings for something like the 10th time I was once again reminded of the great wisdom Tolkien shares as part of the story. Below are some of my favorite quotes, many of which I’ve looked to and shared with others when they’ve seemed most applicable.

    “I wish it had not happened in my time.” Said Frodo. “So do I” said Gandalf, “and so do all who live in such times. But that is not for them to decide. All
    we have to decide is what to do with the time that is given us.”

    “He deserves death.” Deserves it! I dare say he does. Many that live deserve death. And some that die deserve life. Can you give it to them? Then do not be too eager to deal out death in judgment. For even the very wise cannot see all ends.”

    “Handsome is as handsome does.”

    “You have come and here met, in this very nick of time, by chance as it may seem. Yet it is not so. Believe rather that it is so ordered that we, who sit here, and none others, must now find counsel for the peril of the world.”

    “All that is gold does not glitter, not all those who wonder are lost; the old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, a light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken: The crownless again shall be king.”

    “He that breaks a thing to find out what it is has left the path of wisdom.”

    “It is perilous to study too deeply the arts of the Enemy, for good or for ill.”

    “Despair or folly?” said Gandalf “It is not despair, for despair is only for those who see the end beyond all doubt. We do not. It is wisdom to recognize necessity, when all other courses have been weighed, though as folly it may appear to those who cling to false hope.”

    “The road must be trod, but it will be very hard. And neither strength nor wisdom will carry us far upon it. This quest may be attempted by the weak with as much hope as the strong. Yes such is oft the course of deeds that move the wheels of the world: small hands do them because they must, while the eyes of the great are elsewhere.”

    “You have come and here met, in this very nick of time, by chance as it may seem. Yet it is not so. Believe rather that it is so ordered that we, who sit here, and none others, must now find counsel for the peril of the world.”

    “To cast aside regret and fear. To do the deed at hand.”

    “The treacherous are ever distrustful.”

    “Perilous to us all are the devices of an art deeper than we possess ourselves.”

    “The houses of the dead are no places for the living…Authority is not given you to order the hour of your death,” answered Gandalf.

    “Despair had not left him, but the weakness had passed. He even smiled grimly, feeling now as clearly as a moment before he had felt the opposite, that what he had to do, he had to do, if he could, and what whether anyone
    ever knew about it was beside the purpose.”

    “The houses of the dead are no places for the living…Authority is not given you to order the hour of your death,” answered Gandalf.

    “For it is said in old lore: ‘The hands of the king are the hands of a healer.’

  • Book Reviews

    Rereading The Lord of the Rings

    “I can’t imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once.” C.S. Lewis

    I’ve just finished reading J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Lord of the Rings for maybe the 10th time. I’ve read it so many times because it moves me like no other book (besides the Bible). I actually want to be in the story.

    And here’s what moves me and draws me back every few years.

    First I love the characters. They are noble, humble, live sacrificially and fun-loving. We, however, live in a cynical and jaded world where we’ve come to believe that no one is capable of living for something greater than themselves. Even Peter Jackson’s movie version affirms this view by his portrayal of some of the characters. But Tolkien’s characters provide us hope that it’s possible that the world and Jackson are wrong and we can live above the cynicism that surrounds us.

    Speaking of worlds, I also love the world in which the story takes place. I want to live in a world, like the Shire and Middle Earth, where the love of family, friends and the land seem so rooted and intertwined. Instead we live in a transient world where we’re disconnected from each other and creation. To believe a different life’s possible, one as Tolkien created, has a powerful draw.

    Finally it has one of the elements I love in any story – a grand adventure. I’m an adventurer at heart and this story has the ultimate adventure – to do the impossible, at any cost, for the sake of others and the world.

    So I know I’ll read The Lord of the Rings again someday because I’ll want the old magic to once again rekindle within me the desire for a different world, Tolkien’s, and ours.

    In my next post I’ll share some of my favorite quotes from The Lord of the Rings.

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