The Claude Book

Claude says, “Those that are more concerned with who Claude is than with what Claude says are those seeking messengers not messages.”

Claude says, “Curiosity leads to accomplishment.”

Claude says, “Seek to move through life fluid like water.”

Claude says, “Answer all questions with four seconds of silence and a thoughtful verbal response.”

Claude says, “Answer the child’s ‘why’ and you prejudice the child.”

Claude says, “The first step towards personal happiness is not caring about what other people think.”

Claude says, “There are no wrong opinions, only wrong times to share them.”

Claude says, “Obey all laws designed to maintain order and break all laws designed to generate revenue.”

Claude says, “If you will judge humans, do so based on their actions, not their beliefs.”

Claude says, “Life is learned by living and taught by mistakes.”

Claude says, “In the end, consistency earns respect.”

Claude says, “The mark of a good teacher is the student succeeding in the teacher’s absence.”

Claude says, “Life is not fair. That is why there are sports.”

Claude says, “Keep a woman laughing and you keep a woman.”

Claude says, “Women can be everything. Men can only be men.”

Claude says, “Whatever you do, do it for you.”

Claude says, “Your ability to do a thing fast will be based upon your ability to do the thing slow.”

Claude says, “Life is ten percent what happens to you and ninety percent how you react.”

Claude says, “Examine yourself honestly.”

Claude says, “The only purpose of religion is to inspire and control behavior.”

Claude says, “Religion goes astray when the messenger becomes more important than the message.”

Claude says, “No one will ever love you more than you love yourself.”

Claude says, “Seek not to protect children from life’s beatings.”

Claude says, “The liar never truly enjoys life.”

Claude says, “Remember that silence is a valid answer.”

Claude says, “Death is not the opposite of life. Death is a part of life.”

Claude says, “Make every life decision from a place of love.”

Claude says, “Do not concern yourself with reasons when it comes to love.”

Claude says, “At the end of each day, ponder your day’s actions.”

Claude says, “Every human is a combination of good, bad, and ugly character traits. Seek to tolerate all in others and accept all in yourself.”

Claude says, “Do not try to be different. You were born different. Try to be you.”

Claude says, “If you think rich, money will come and stay. If you think poor, money will come and go.”

Claude says, “Be selfless with your love and be selfish with your fears.”

Claude says, “There are many vehicles that can carry one to true happiness, but the road is always forgiveness.”

Claude says, “Live life in a constant state of appreciation for life itself.”

Claude says, “School is where humans are introduced to information. Home is where humans learn.”

Claude says, “Every generation claims to be living in the last days.”

Claude says, “Do not mistake changing masters for freedom.”

Claude says, “Love actively, not verbally.”

Claude says, “Do not wait for sickness to be concerned with health.”

Claude says, “There is no such thing as constructive criticism.”

Claude says, “Do not create rules for your children that protect your laziness as a parent.”

Claude says, “Embrace change.”

Claude says, “Choose health over everything else.”

Claude says, “Face the consequences of your actions with the same vigor you possessed when you committed the actions.”

Claude says, “The best way to avoid going to Hell is to stop believing in Hell.”

Claude says, “Replace worry with laughter.”

Claude says, “When in pain, laugh.”

Claude says, “Cultivate within yourself a world view.”

Claude says, “Nothing destroys a human’s life like low self-concept.”

Claude says, “If you are hated, you are also feared.”

Claude says, “Education is not necessary to be happy. It is necessary to be successful.”

Claude says, “Use the heart when dealing with matters of the brain. Use the brain when dealing with matters of the heart.”

Claude says, “If you face the same problem everywhere you go, then the problem is you.”

Claude says, “The truth is like gravity; it does not require your faith to affect you.”

Claude says, “Before you can truly find joy being with someone, you must find joy being alone.”

Claude says, “Avoid forcing humans to lie to you.”

Claude says, “Never forget that Humans no matter how advanced are animals. Train them well when they are young.”

Claude says, “Shame on the mother and father who do not teach, nor train, desired behavior yet punish for misbehaving.”

Claude says, “Love unconditionally.”

Clause says, “Time is the most important commodity in life.”

Claude says, “Anything that can hold human faith has the potential to be a God.”

Claude says, “There are no good and bad actions only helpful and hurtful actions.”

Claude says, “The point of an education is to maximize life’s possibilities.”

Claude says, “Do not let pleasure blind you from purpose.”

Claude says, “It takes the same amount of time to decide that you do not like someone as it does to decide that you do.”

Claude says, “It takes half the time you are in a relationship to get out of that relationship.”

Claude says, “Follow all periods of time in a relationship with someone else with a period of time in a relationship with yourself.”

Claude says, “The big mistakes people make in life are often times attempts to hide little mistakes.”

Claude says, “No one can make you feel. You allow yourself to feel.”

Claude says, “Many people settle for lack of confidence in an effort to avoid conceit. Avoid this mistake.”

Claude says, “Before others can believe in you, you must believe in yourself.”

Claude says, “Do not expect to get what you want without knowing what you want.”

Claude says, “If you are unhappy, blame you.”

Claude says, “All things are difficult in the beginning.”

Claude says, “Do not mistake holding on to archaic ways of living and thinking for pride.”

Claude says, “Never do business in the absence of trust.”

Claude says, “Always choose honesty over friendship.”

Claude says, “Eat to live. Do not live to eat.”

Claude says, “Work to live. Do not live to work.”

Claude says, “Seek to see the beauty in everything.”

Claude says, “Allow children to be children. There is more than enough time for adulthood.”

Claude says, “Ignore all knowledge that does not help you live a helpful life.”

Claude says, “Learn to accept wisdom from the vagrant as well as the scholar.”

Claude says, “Those that do not think deserve what not thinking gets them.”

Claude says, "At the end of the day, success will go to the one willing to work hard.”

Claude says, “Teach others with compassion for their ignorance, not contempt for it.”

Claude says, “Let your opinions for the masses be the same as your opinions for your home.”

Claude says, "A human’s first step into the world is out of its home.”

Claude says, "Have a book with you at all times.”

Claude says, “The dominant race is the Talented.”

Claude says, "Discipline must be tailored to the individual.”

Claude says, "Due to the arrival of the information age, Knowledge is no longer King. Execution is ruler.”

Claude says, " If everybody likes you, you are doing something wrong.”

Claude says, “Teach your sons how to treat women, and teach your daughters how to use a knife.”

Claude says, “It is more important to be a friend than it is to have a friend.”

Claude says, "Sometimes the best thing you can do for someone else is nothing.”

Claude says, “Avoid making decisions when angry.”

Claude says, "Love more.”

Claude says, "It is possible to love every individual human on the planet in a unique way.”

Claude says, “Liking or disliking the task at hand must not affect your ability to perform and complete the task at hand with excellence.”

Claude says, “Tell someone you love them every day.”

Claude says, "Seek not to be Christ-like if you fear crucifixion.”

Claude says, “Disappointment is the result of unmet expectations.”

Claude says, “Minimize expectation and you minimize disappointment.”

Claude says, Every human is unique. Treat each accordingly.”

Claude says, “The hard working human judges others based on time spent. The lazy human judges based on race, religion, sex, creed, sexual orientation, and the like.”

Claude says, “It does not matter if they talk good or bad about you. All that matters is that they talk about you.”

Claude says, "No matter how fast you go, life will always move one second at a time.”

Claude says, "Only the weather just happens. All human actions are the result of choice.”

Claude says, “You do not have to like everything nor everyone. However, you must tolerate much for the greater peace.”

Claude says, “Until religion becomes a private thing, the world will never experience peace.”

Claude says, “Avoid all technological advances that support your laziness.”

Claude says, “The readers will always control the non-readers.”

Claude says, “If you are aware, you are rarely surprised.”

Claude says, "Your ability to solve problems is your ability to cause them.”

Claude says, “Everything is harder for the unwilling.”

Claude says, “If you are bored with your surroundings, you are either in the wrong place or around the wrong people.”

Claude says, “If you are scared of being alone, you are not yet satisfied with yourself.”

Claude says, “Being alone is an underrated experience.”

Claude says, "If the rules are already bent, feel free to break them.”

Claude says, “Don’t feel bad after making the mistake. Feel bad after repeating it.”

Claude says, “The man who changes himself to please others is senseless.”

Claude says, " In order to live happily, you must accept that you cannot please everyone.”

Claude says, "If you do not cultivate joy within yourself, you cannot spread joy.”

Claude says, “Choose the hardest road.”

Claude says, “It is better to be hated for being who you are, than to be loved for who you are not.”

Claude says, “In the face of conflict, fighting should never be the first option but should always be an option.”

Claude says, “The journey is far more important than the destination.”

Claude says, "When you take a shortcut, you run the risk of bypassing an important part of the journey.”

Claude says, “The best therapy is cleaning.”

Claude says, “Master the art of patience.”

Claude says, “A child walks long before it learns the activity is called walking.”

Claude says, “Teach all language first. Later, teach acceptable and unacceptable use.”

Claude says, “Embalming the dead is an act of selfishness.”

Claude says, “To receive love, one must give love.”

Claude says, “To truly appreciate home, one must leave home.”

Claude says, “Do not dwell on anything long.”

Claude says, “All of life is relative.”

Claude says, “Only you can know you. No one else has access to your thoughts.”

Claude says, “Others will only know what you show.”

Claude says, “Avoid comfort in excess. It leads to laziness.”

Claude says, “Never let fear suppress your ability, or willingness, to love.”

Claude says, “A word is only as powerful as the reaction it receives.”

Claude says, “The best way to avoid breaking promises is to avoid making promises.”

Claude says, “To be successful, you must be willing to do what you do not want to do.”

Claude says, "Embarrassment follows all who lack humility.”

Claude says, “Keep the possession of secrets a secret.”

Claude says, “Some got it. Some don’t. Some will get it later. Some won’t.”

Claude says, “The price of personal freedom is pain to those closest to you.”

Claude says, “When making a life decision that will lead to happiness, rarely factor in what others may think of you.”

Claude says, “You can never know what people are thinking, so do not even try.”

Claude says, "Do not use money to motivate education.”

Claude says, “Most friends never know each other. They are just good at predicting each other’s reactions.”

Claude says, “Peace is found in the absence of noise.”

Claude says, “The oneness of the universe is not affected by man, yet man is affected by the oneness of the universe.”

Claude says, “Do not spend life worrying about what will happen after death. All will know in due time.”

Claude says, “Seek to live a life free of judgments.”

Claude says, "When you tell a lie, be prepared to tell many more.”

Claude says, “There are no pure races left.”

Claude says, “No one death has ever stopped the rotation of the planet.”

Claude says, “Spend time with friends building memories, for it is certain that one day you will part.”

Claude says, "Grab everything with the willingness to let it go.”

Claude says, “Never loan what you are not willing to give away.”

Claude says, “Foolish is the human who asks questions knowing the answers will upset it.”

Claude says, “Money is a tool in life, not the goal of life.”

Claude says, “Do not glorify sex. It is a base human behavior.”

Claude says, "The things we make today are the artifacts of tomorrow.”

Claude says, “The fearless have more fun.”

Claude says, “Learn from yesterday. Plan for tomorrow. Enjoy today.”

Claude says, “Know the difference between being mean and getting mean.”

Claude says, “Do not tell people what you are going to do. Just do it.”

Claude says, “The best defense against temptation is to look away.”

Claude says, “That which can be rejected can not be the absolute truth.”

Claude says, “It is better to remain silent than to offer an excuse.”

Claude says, “Be fearless, undeniable, confident, amazing, awesome, and fun.”

Claude says, “Greatness is forged by hurt.”

Claude says, “Teach others so that they can be greater than you.”

Claude says, “At the heart of every human disaster is an unchecked emotion.”

Claude says, "If to err is human, then the quest for an error free world is a quest for a human free world.”

Claude says, “When more time is needed in your day, play and sleep are the first to be reduced.”

Claude says, “Be sympathetic to your parents. By the time they have learned how to raise you, you have already been raised.”

Claude says, “Remember that the good book tells you to honor your parents. Not worship, obey, serve, submit, or subject yourself to.”

Claude says, “Know your own worth.”

Claude says, “Start everything with a commitment to finishing.”

Claude says, "The people closest to you are the ones in the best position to hurt you.”

Claude says, "It is the business of schools that is ruining children.”

Claude says, "There are always new things to learn.”

Claude says, "Love things simply because they exist.”

Claude says, “Never stop learning.”

Claude says, "You are solely responsible for your education.”

Claude says, “An education from the worst school is better than no education.”

Claude says, "Both disrespect and respect is earned.”

Claude says, "Remove all doubt about your abilities.”

Claude says, “Occasionally, turn the television off and leave it off.”

Claude says, “Argue with a willingness to learn, change and grow.”

Claude says, "Avoid getting addicted to pleasures.”

Claude says, "At the point when you realize that the person you are arguing with lacks intelligence: stop.”

Claude says, “Do not associate with people whose life condition is lower than yours.”

Claude says, "When name calling begins, intelligence has ended.”

Claude says, "Checked behavior will protect unchecked emotions.”

Claude says, "Never confuse stupidity with bravery.”

Claude says, “Happiness is a personal responsibility.”

Claude says, “All humans are the same sufferers of too much love or too little love.”

Claude says, “Happiness begins with a love for life itself.”

Claude says, "Do not expect someone to give what they do not have.”

Claude says, "If humans washed filth from their brains as often as they washed filth from their bodies, earth would be a better planet.”

Claude says, “No one will care as much about your affairs as you do.”

Claude says, “Avoid those who have decided to be unhappy.”

Claude says, “When people say they are not loved, what they mean is that they are not loved by the people they want to be loved by.”

Claude says, “The willingness to accept that your choices may hurt others' feelings is necessary to live a life of honesty.”

Claude says, “Religion will better serve man when it learns to change with the times.”

Claude says, "To be successful, you must be able to code switch.”

Claude says, “Just as a person in deep water fights to stay afloat, so does a person in deep thought.”

Claude says, “What you worship should remain constant. How you worship should remain evolving.”

Claude says, “Rights are no good if not exercised.”

Claude says, “When it comes to housework act as if you live alone.”

Claude says, “Identify your beliefs and your fears.”

Claude says, “A human who thinks poor is always poor, no matter how much money it gains.”

Claude says, “Abandon the culture of poverty.”

Claude says, "Stop living the bootleg life.”

Claude says, “Knowing that government must generate revenue, it is better to pay high taxes and enjoy more freedoms than to pay low taxes and suffer an excess of laws and ordinances.”

Claude says, “The truth only hurts those that have found comfort in the lie.”

Claude says, “Others' opinions of you are none of your business.”

Claude says, “You are the greatest asset and threat to your own success.”

Claude says, “Right and wrong change with time. Help and hurt do not change.”

Claude says, “If it is money you seek, the worst job is better than no job.”

Claude says, "To minimize hurt, one must minimize care.”

Claude says, “Live life through you, not your children.”

Claude says, “Raise children without concern of being liked by them.”

Claude says, “Do not be concerned with being liked. Care only for being respected and tolerated.”

Claude says, "Avoid change for the sake of change.”

Claude says, “Anyone who proclaims their religion suffers from pride, the first deadly sin.”

Claude says, "Do not discuss the contents of any book with people who have not read it.”

Claude says, “Without mean people, you wouldn’t know the nice ones.”

Claude says, “Seek to understand, not just to know.”

Claude says, “Know when not to know.”

Claude says, “The cure for boredom is reading.”

Claude says, “People only care about people closely related to them.”

Claude says, “One day there will be humans mixed with every race.”

Claude says, “Do not fear silence.”

Claude says, “Remember that the purpose of shoes is to protect the feet.”

Claude says, “Do not live life by rote.”

Claude says, “Do not let love make you annoying.”

Claude says, “Do not break the spirit of others. Do not let others break yours.”

Claude says, “Learn how to accept compliments.”

Claude says, “Fear of silence causes people to state the obvious.”

Claude says, “One major obstacle that stops people from being who they want to be is the concern for other people’s thoughts.”

Claude says, “Religion is a man-made concept. God is a God-made concept.”

Claude says, “No god has ever appeared to a people and confused them.”

Claude says, “A friend that loves you unconditionally is the only friend you need.”

Claude says, “An unleveled playing field is leveled by those who succeed on the unleveled field.”

Claude says, “Teach your children early that sex is not love and love is not sex.”

Claude says, “Any religion that helps you live a joyous, peaceful and tolerant life is a good one.”

Claude says, “Marriage is a business. The products are love and children.”

Claude says, “The smart ones need more teaching.”

Claude says, “Train children without destroying their spirit.”

Claude says, "Children do not belong to you. They come through you.”

Claude says, “Do not let unhappy people teach your children.”

Claude says, “The price of freedom is allowing others to be free.”

Claude says, “If you embrace life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness then you must not impede on others’ life, liberty, and pursuit of happiness.”

Claude says, “If you do not like another human’s lifestyle you must know that they probably do not like yours.”

Claude says, “Tolerance is not a negative concept. It is the essence of peace among humans.”

Claude says, “Know the difference between intelligent and smart.”

Claude says, “Live without regret.”

Claude says, “Anyone who judges you based on the you of yesterday has no desire to know the you of today.”

Claude says, “Examine yourself without judgments.”

Claude says, “Pretend to be something long enough, and eventually you will be it.”

Claude says, “If someone can pay you, two things are true; that someone has more money than you, and that someone is making money more from your energy than you.”

Claude says, “If you can not pay cash for it, you cannot afford it.”

Claude says, “Everyone deserves the opportunity to fail.”

Claude says, “Avoid unhappy people.”

Claude says, “Learn to say no to those you love.”

Claude says, “The human spirit cares nothing for laws.”

Claude says, “Discard all beliefs and fears given to you without your permission.”

Claude says, “That which can be controlled will be legal and that which cannot be controlled will be illegal.”

Claude says, “Humans are more than likely to change beliefs before they change behaviors.”

Claude says, “Pepper your speech with ‘please,’ ‘thank you,’ ‘ma’am,’ and ‘sir.’”

Claude says, “Hide your true self behind silence, a smile, and decent manners.”

Claude says, “Defense wins.”

Claude says, “Teach children with the understanding that the lesson may not manifest itself for many years.”

Claude says, “If you treat your children like servants then they will treat you like a former master when they are adults.”

Claude says, “History is a one-sided tale.”

Claude says, “Once comfortable and safe, humans begin to lose dreams.”

Claude says, “Only seek advice from people who have nothing to lose by being honest with you.”

Claude says, “Do not become a slave to your lifestyle.”

Claude says, “Just because something is not real to you doesn’t mean that it is not real to others.”

Claude says, “Recognize that not all humans think as you do.”

Claude says, “Communication is the key to the success and/or the failure of endeavors involving more than one human.”

Claude says, “Learn to live with rejection.”

Claude says, “When a person says something is too expensive, what they mean is that they cannot afford it.”

Claude says, “Assume the worst for the worst never happens.”

Claude says, “Allow yourself to see others for who they are, not who you want them to be.”

Claude says, “Much fame brings little fortune.”

Claude says, “Regardless of how you feel, be courteous to all.”

Claude says, “To be kind to people you dislike is not being phony. It is being humane.”

Claude says, “Mental intercourse is far more pleasing that physical intercourse.”

Claude says, “Live well below your means.”

Claude says, “Find joy in the mundane and the simple.”

Claude says, “The cure to disease is ease.”

Claude says, “Vote according to beliefs, not party membership.”

Claude says, “If you want to be someone to the world, be someone to your children.”

Claude says, “Whatever it is, get over it.”

Foreward to The Claude Book


In the year 2005, I met the most incredible human beings. I call them Memmer and Sander. Despite their youth, they had an incredible gift. They listened. And I listened to them.

It was Memmer would told me to stop using the Lord’s name in vain so instead of God we said Claude.

It was Sander who said that sometimes I say the coolest things and I don’t even know it.

Later, when Memmer, Sander and I were discussing C.S. Lewis’ idea of Moral Law; the third voice inside of every human being that governs between good and bad impulses, it was Memmer who said, “That is Claude.”

And then it began. Our devotion to Claude. “In God we believe and In Claude we trust.” was our creed. “Cultured Sane Wit” was our code. We even painted our pinky fingers on our left hand black as our sacrifice to Claude. (The backlash from the black fingers only fueled the idea that we were on to something.)

We began to recognize when Claude was speaking and we documented the sayings. I kept a composition book with me at all times and as sayings manifested themselves, one of us would write it in the book. This went on for months. Saying poured from our mouths at any given time and diligently we recorded every one for fear of losing them. For we knew these were not our sayings. They were Claude’s.

Then the sayings stopped. Just as suddenly as they began, they ended. That’s not to say that Claude left us. Or that we lost our third voices. But rather, the feeling that we had when heard a saying left. While we knew that Claude would never leave, we knew The Claude Book was finished.

Many years have passed since the sayings stopped. I have hand written The Claude Book out for myself and typed copies for Memmer and Sander to read. I have shared a few copies with friends always under the guise of not knowing where it came from for fear of credit being given to me.

And yet, there is an impulse within me to share The Claude Book with the world. For I have yet to share it with anyone and it not have a profound effect on the consciousness. The irony is that I was trapped between two impulses about what to do with the book of sayings from the voice that governs between one’s two impulses. After many years in this position, I finally called Memmer to ask her advice.

She simply said, “Trust Claude.”

So, with my belief in God and my trust in Claude, I humbly present to you The Claude Book.

Introduction to The Claude Book by Azya R. Y. Maxton

About Claude:

Yusef Williams is a Genius. This may sound like a compliment. In fact, it is. However, Genius is not without its difficulties. Yusef possesses the kind of radical intelligence that Erykah Badu speaks about in On and On. “Most intellects do not believe in God, but they fear us just the same.” I first met this mastermind when he came to my freshman dorm as a Super Senior seeking election for President of the Student Government Association, an election which he rightfully won. I admired his confidence, his capacity for deep thought, his humor, his ease with people, and his authenticity. These qualities have endeared me to him over the years as I have come to witness his passionate pursuit of various endeavors. Yet some things have concerned me as well. I found myself worry whether someone with such profound practicality and such a wide array of knowledge would be humble enough to find the faith necessary for the kind of success I always felt he was destined for. In my experience, faith is the only antidote for the fear Miss Badu referred to in her song.
It was this same sense of fret that filled me some years ago, when Yusef pronounced that he was tempted to “sell out.” It is my hope that with this, his first literary effort, he will do just that!

Claude says ...was inspired by Yusef’s brief teaching stint, a career he left when prompted by students who he’d inspired to follow their dreams asked if teaching was his passion. Classroom teaching was not, yet just as the professor cannot abandon his pupils, a leader cannot ignore the call to lead. Williams compiled this anthology of quotes with those same students, using Claude as a euphemism for God. A guru-esque guide to living is contained within these pages, and through five rounds of reading (I broke a flash drive after the first three sets of standard edits), I found some new insight each time. It is my sincere belief that you will as well. The Comedic wit and worldly wisdom personified by Yusef Williams come together in this collection, inspired by something deeper, that this writer would dare to call faith.

Azya R. Y. Maxton