There is a trend on the internet (especially on sites such as Pinterest and Instagram) in which people like to post motivational quotes. Most of the time, these “quotes” are set on a background, usually a landscape, or view of the ocean, or city street, that has been edited by filters with varying degrees of intensity. Now, I understand what people are trying to do. It’s great to motivate yourself, or remind others to stay positive or be encouraged by a bible verse. HOWEVER. If you are planning on creating (or retweeting, repinnng, or posting) one of these lovely images, please check up on a few things before doing so. I’m begging you.
Let’s start with the most prominent problem here. The term quote implies that you are quoting someone else, which means someone else said it. And that person probably took a good amount of time coming up with whatever it is he or she said (although in some cases, probably not at all). Don’t you think you should give that person credit for his/her amazing bit of inspiration? No, not necessary? Apparently that’s what most people think, and then no one knows who actually said anything, which is precisely what gets us images like this one circulating the internet:
You see? I mean obviously Lincoln didn’t say that, but hopefully you enjoyed the satiric example. Anyway, the next problem is what many of these quotes are actually saying. Don’t get me wrong, there are plenty of quotes out there that inspire me, have deep meaning, have a right to be spread and infiltrate people’s minds. Some just get under my skin with their lack of…sense. These are a few of my favorites, all of which I’ve seen on either Pinterest or Twitter.
- “May you always do what you are afraid to do.” Ok. First off, I’m pretty sure this is trying to tell me to have the courage to try new things, instead of never trying and missing out on wonderful opportunities in life. That makes sense. But this is literally telling me to do all the things I’m scared of. I’m afraid to drink lye, and yet I feel like, somehow, the fear in and of itself doesn’t mean I should do it. I’m also afraid to jump off of a building, befriend snakes and spiders, get electrocuted, and eat raw meat. Sorry Mr. Quote, it’s just not gonna happen.
- “If you can’t be thankful for what you have, be thankful for what you’ve escaped.” Right. At first glance, this one seems reasonable. Read it again though. “…be thankful for what you’ve escaped.” Hypothetically speaking, let’s say I escaped a psychopath boyfriend. Maybe I was scuba diving when I narrowly escaped a pack of Man-of-War jellyfish. Or maybe I just barely escaped a kidnapper. I’m supposed to be thankful for these crazy people and animals? I sure will be grateful none of them killed me, but there is no way I’ll go back and thank any of them for being a part of my life.
- “Some people are meant to fall in love with each other but not meant to be together.” Um, what? When I read this one I picture a boy and a girl, staring at each other with daydream eyes, eternally separated by a large force-field surrounding each of their bodies. They’re totally meant for each other…except not really. Yep.
There you go. Do you understand why I rarely look at the quotes section of any website? The gems are buried deep within piles of platitudes. I hardly can be motivated by words someone arbitrarily threw together in a vain attempt to inspire me. Try a deeper thought next time, and then we’ll talk. For now, I’ll leave you with one on perspective, a true favorite of mine. Remember what I always say, life’s not perfect, and neither are we. But it’s better that way. 🙂
” We can complain because rose bushes have thorns, or rejoice because thorn bushes have roses.” – Abraham Lincoln