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?

Monday, March 16, 2009

I'm a Guest Blogger!

Charlene Kingston, who will always be @Kinchie (her Twitter handle) to me, asked me to write a guest post for her elegant and useful blog, From the Crow's Nest. Obviously, I was thrilled, and today I am also feeling quite honored as I see my post up on her site, along with her generous introduction.

Pleas click over and read my post "Finding Career Happiness." I'd love it if you'd leave a comment on the post, but even if you're not in a commenting mood, do take the time to browse around and learn more about Charlene and her company, Crow Information Design.

The tag line for Charlene's blog is: "Finding the shortest distance between your message and your audience."
Her company provides services that help companies and freelance professionals present themselves in writing for online and print media. Do you see why I'm so delighted to be guest blogging for her??