Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Ersatz Wisdom

I'm feeling bombarded by bumper-sticker wisdom (an oxymoron, I know). It's everywhere! On the aforesaid bumper stickers. On coffee cups and paperweights. In email. Embroidered or stamped on those tacky framed homily things that hang in touristy stores full of kitschy crap. And littered all over social media sites, the online equivalent, it occurs to me, of touristy stores full of kitschy crap.

I guess it's OK for people to take inspiration wherever they can find it, but it's beyond me how anyone could find the following drivel* inspiring:
"If your goal doesn't make you just a little bit sick, then you are not reaching far enough."

"Act as if you have already achieved your goal and it is yours."

"If we set our attitudes by the days of the week, then our actions will remain the same continually."

"Knowing what to do is different than actually doing it."

"I act with balance in my heart. I speak with balance on my lips. I walk with balance in my feet."

"By thought, the thing you want is brought to you. By action, you receive it."

These little gems range from total gibberish to the sort of lame piffle only someone resolutely opposed to employing gray matter could find meaningful, inspirational or worth passing along. There is no legitimate response to this garbage, if you actually think about it, other than a bewildered "Wait. What?!?" or a sarcastic "Really? Ya think??"

I haven't even included coddling codswallop like "Mistakes are the route to success" or treacly tommyrot like "Just as the sun sets & we must find a way to let go of another day, the sun will rise with the promise of a new day & a new beginning." (I also haven't yet used all the synonyms for "nonsense" I can think of without consulting a thesaurus.)

Contrast all this balderdash, if you will, with the following pithy, profound and thought-provoking aphorisms:
"Everything should be made as simple as possible, but not simpler." Albert Einstein

"Example is not the main thing influencing others. It is the only thing." Albert Schweitzer

"The reward for conformity was that everyone liked you except yourself." Rita Mae Brown

"Amusement is the happiness of those who cannot think." Alexander Pope

"Before you speak, ask yourself: Is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence?" Sai Baba

And if we must have some treacliness: "The summit of happiness is reached when a person is ready to be what he is." Erasmus

I rest my case.

*I'd attribute these quotations if I could, but I've been scribbling them as I see them and, really, who would want his or her name attached to any of them anyway?


Julie Roads said...

Egads. Seriously, that's all I've got. I have a little cringe reserved just for these nuggets as they vomit all over my Twitter stream.

Debra Snider said...

No kidding! Too bad there's not a Tweetdeck filter for gibberish.

Karen said...

Ugh, I hate that crap more than anything. There are some people who use Twitter for nothing but. How quickly can you say "UNFOLLOW"?

Anonymous said...

I feel a bit guilty, being one of those who RTs nuggets of stuff.

I try to stick to the good stuff though. Your last quote moved me very deeply.