There's a thread on Facebook and all over the Internet that goes: "Shakespeare said: I always feel happy. You know why? Because I don't expect anything from anyone; expectations always hurt. Life is short, so love your life. Be happy and keep smiling. Just live for yourself and always remember: Before you speak... Listen. Before you write... Think. Before you spend... Earn. Before you pray... Forgive. Before you hurt... Feel. Before you hate... Love. Before you quit... Try. Before you die... Live."
There's no way the Bard could have said, or written, this. Nowhere are those words to be found in, say, the Riverside Shakespeare. Please people, don't be fooled. Shakespeare may certainly have passed a similar message in many of his plays and poems, but I really care too much for his works to let them be stripped off their insight or masqueraded into a worldwide-webbed farce. Robert Herrick has certainly meant this in "To the virgins to make much of time" (1648), following Horace in his Odes (1, 11), but remember that their message, similar to the Bard's, is always way more subtle than the one above, and stems from a willingness not to preach, but to warn and to share experience, insight, knowledge, and an innate passion for life. There is, in their words, as ever, more than meets the eye. I understand that many yearn for this kind of messages of hope or philosophies, but hey, render unto Caesar the things which are Caesar's, and unto Shakespeare the things that are Shakespeare's.
Let's hope I don't sound like an old, cantankerous man. Carpe diem everyone, but don't forget quam minimum credula postero. As always, words are important.