“Everything worth saying has already been said; everything worth writing has already been written.”
I’ve loved this quote ever since I first read it, in one of the Will Durant’s volumes on Civilization. It’s pithy, and it brilliantly captures that world weariness that you sometimes feel when you’re on the treadmill at work and you feel like there is nothing new under the sun and you’re absolutely going to scream if somebody walks into your office and gives you another mundane chore.
But here’s the really great thing about that perfect quote — it was penned by some Egyptian writer in about 2100 B.C. That’s centuries before Moses and the books of the Old Testament, centuries before the Greek Civilization and the Roman Empire, and millennia before the Renaissance, the writings of Shakespeare, and Dr. Hunter S. Thompson. So whoever wrote that wonderful statement was dead wrong. There were new things to write, there were new things to say, there were new things to do and new ideas to discover and new things to invent. That was true in 2100 B.C., and it is still true, today.
It’s a pretty good quote to think of when you’ve had one of those days.