The world breaks everyone, and afterward, many are strong at the broken places. – Ernest Hemingway, ‘A Farewell to Arms’

When I saw this quote earlier today, I really wasn’t keen on it. In fact, I sent a message to one of my cousins saying as much.

It crossed my mind to post it somewhere, which meant I had to check the validity of the quote for myself. My search quickly turned up the following,

The Real Quote: “If people bring so much courage to this world the world has to kill them to break them, so of course it kills them. The world breaks every one and afterward many are strong at the broken places. But those that will not break it kills. It kills the very good and the very gentle and the very brave impartially. If you are none of these you can be sure it will kill you too but there will be no special hurry.Six Things Hemingway Would Never Say

I can’t say I was keen on the full quote either!

I forwarded this full quote to my cousin, and her response,

“That’s why they say text without context is a con!”

Context is so important. Not just for what we post online, but for our daily interactions with others; and the decisions we make based on the information we believe we have.

A lack of context can not only be ‘a con’, but a recipe for great misunderstandings. With potentially damaging and lasting effects.

It possibly goes without saying, but the instant ease with which we can post stuff online these days, has had some very negative ripple effects.

I like and want context. I like to know what I’m dealing with. Even if it isn’t stuff I am keen on. I want to endeavour to be mindful of what I am responding to, and what my decisions are based upon. I want to be mindful of what I pass on to others, whether with the mighty ‘pen’ or my spoken words. And let me not forget my actions, that as the saying says, “can speak louder than words.”**

*Additional context to Hemingway quote

**Suggested origin