My mother had an expression about one's value in the world, something to the effect that no one was much more than a ripple in the river of life. She always said, one should be humble enough to laugh at his foibles because everyone is in the same boat. And worth mentioning again her mixed metaphor:
"Cast your bread upon the water and it will come back sandwiches." A wise woman of her era.
She was a voracious reader--my role model.