From: The Sandman, specifically from A Dream of a Thousand Cats
Who said it?: A Siamese Cat
The story behind the quote: The quote comes from the highly acclaimed graphic novel series, The Sandman, by Neil Gaiman. The Sandman is a non-conventional “comic book” series and focuses on Morpheus, the personification of dreams and stories. He is also not really a hero and he is sometimes not even the main character in his own series. However, most of the stories do have him interact with the story in some way.
The quote comes from one of the series’ short stories, A Dream of a Thousand Cats. In the tale, a cat is listening to a Siamese cat with a rather radical belief that cats used to rule the world and humans were the pets instead of the other way around. The Siamese cat came to this realization because Morpheus (looking like a black cat) came to her in a dream and showed the cat this reality. This reality was destroyed because enough humans believed in a vision where humans ruled. Enough humans eventually believed it and that dream became a reality. The Siamese cat then tells the other cat the quote, stating that things can be changed.
Geek wisdom: We sometimes feel helpless with the way the world currently is but we refuse to believe that anything we do will change anything. This isn’t true and the only thing that’s stopping us from changing the world for the better is the thought that anything we do won’t matter. But, if enough people actually get together and believe and dream for a better future, then the world will have not choice but to change.
From: The Matrix
Who said it?: Morpheus
The story behind the quote: Released in 1999, The Matrix was a groundbreaking film that was unlike any other. First, the trailer did not reveal a single thing about the plot. It only asked “What is the Matrix?” Because of this, people were hooked! They just had to see it! Before I go into the plot, people that haven’t watched it yet should go watch it first… this will get kinda spoiler-y. Don’t worry. I’ll wait.
Watched it already? Good!
So the plot of the movie is that machines have actually taken over the world and the world that human think they’re living in is just a computer simulation called The Matrix. All of humanity are plugged into machines where our bio-chemistry gives energy to the machines. Essentially, we’re all just giant living batteries. Only a small segment of humanity know about this and are trying to fight the machines.
The hero, Neo (played by Keanu Reeves) gets an audience with Morpheus (portrayed by Lawrence Fishburne). Morpheus gives Neo a chance to take a blue pill (which will just knock him out but he will never learn that we’re just giant batteries) or a red pill (which will make him wake up from The Matrix).
Geek wisdom: Throughout life, we are given the choice of taking the blue pill or ignorance or the red pill of knowledge. While there is a saying that ignorance is bliss, having knowledge is always going to be better. Now, the thing is, every thing that we learn is actually through our own choice.
All of us have a great capacity to learn new things on a daily basis. However, a lot of us don’t even try. Even reading a geeky site about wisdom you can find in pop culture (ahem!) adds to one’s knowledge about life. What we become educated on is wholly dependent on our own choice to educate ourselves with what is available in the world.