Come, Stay Awhile: Top Ten Sayings of the Sage


Patterson, C. H. and Anderson, A. Leslie


In the words of the late Pat Patterson himself, “He will be missed, they say, when a well-known figure dies. But the world goes on—even the most important people die. We come, we stay awhile, we go” (Patterson, n.d.). Such a pragmatic and even-handed attitude characterizes the sayings of this respected teacher, author, and therapist. Patterson’s oft-repeated phrases cover topics from religion and spirituality to psychotherapy to human interactions and the meaning of life. He challenged thinking by shining light on obvious but unacknowledged truths that seem to lurk in popular thought, such as: “By definition, half the population is below average in ability or intelligence. Yet we persist in expecting all students to achieve at or above the average” (Patterson, n.d.). No subject seemed to miss his contemplative gaze. The reader may bounce between nodding agreement and disquietude, but rarely would one experience his words with indifference. Perhaps this response from others is what earned the venerable professor his title, “The Sage of Asheville.” So many of his insights are moving and leave lasting impressions, making it difficult to compile a top 10 list from among his pithy quotes, but I hope you enjoy this brief glimpse.