Me And My Tragedy Don’t Need Your Inspirational Quotes
Don’t Need Your Inspirational Quotes
It’s been a rough fall so far. I feel a little guilty whining given the mass destruction that just came courtesy of Hurricane Sandy, but I’m still pretty sure that I’m allowed to say that thisyear has been a crappy one. I’ve experienced loss, tried to hel
p some extremely ill relativeswho will never recuperate, and struggled with a murder trial for a relative who was killedyears ago. So yea. Rough.I have to say that my wonderful friends and family have been supportive, loving and all
together amazing. I’
ve gotten lots of offers for free food, free babysitting, and just a free ear
to listen when I need to vent. I am extremely grateful for all the goodwill I’ve been shown.
However, there’s one little bit of kindness that I don’t understand. There’s one tren
d in mysympathy gifts that makes me shake my head. (And then feel immediately guilty for not being sufficiently grateful.)
Guys, what’s with all the inspirational quotes? I’ve received wall hangings telling me that “Happiness is a way of travel, not a destination,” and “The past is like an anchor holding usback. You have to let go of who you are to become who you will be.” Gee thanks to those
telling me that I need to move on when I want to wallow in my sadness for a bit. I now have
picture frames with, “
The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their
dreams,” scrawled around their perimeter. I like Eleanor Roosevelt as well as the next person, but I don’t need pictures of my family or friends to remind me of her corniest
moments.It feels like people want to use inspirational quotations, the kind you look up online in
middle school and write in cursive throughout little notebooks, because they just don’t know what to say. It’s easier to quote someone famous than to come up with your own
s of sorrow or support. Why say, “I’m so sorry for your loss,” when you can quote Dr.Seuss? “Don’t cry because it’s over, smile because it happened.”
Let me explain. You should come up with your own words because they mean more. Thosequotations were poet
ic enough to hang around for a while, but they’ve also been used byhundreds of people for any number of situations. They’ve been stretched andmisappropriated and taken out of context. They’re just vague enough that lots of people can
relate to them with just enough keywords to invoke meaning.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying an intelligent quote. I have nothing against remembering someone else’s words of wisdom during a difficult time. I’m a writer, so I
suppose I will always like catchy quotations. I hope to write a few myself some day.But using those quotes in place of actually connecting to people, in place of expressing your
own feelings, it just doesn’t do a lot of good. It throws a little emotion behind a hollowphrase. Seeing those quotes doesn’t make me feel any better. They don’t remind me of friends who care and love me. Those quotes just remind me to buy my next “Keep Calm &Carry On” desk calendar.