Does It Help? by Ann Walsh
This is the age of platitudes. The ‘feel good’ one-liners so every person can be their best and have an impact. I call bullshit! Foil wrapped candies have so-called inspirational sayings on the inside of the wrapper. Thoughts, sayings, worn out testaments submitted by customers. “You are never too old, and it is never too late.” Really? It may sound good to some but then one must break it down according to reality. One becomes too old for a multitude of things as the year's progress. Even the military has an age limit for enlistment. It is too late for many things. It is too late to attend a concert of one’s favorite musician if the musician has died. “Too old and too late” for what is the question. Is one too old and is it too late to attempt skydiving? Perhaps. Depends on the person now doesn’t it. Context is everything.
A pablum of platitudes simply lulls the masses into feeling good so they don’t have actually to think, react, or act upon anything. These little ditties are emotional crack for the populace. Get hooked on the ‘inspiration’ and keep hunting for more. The hunt continues by way of every social media outlet in existence, in addition to other avenues of written communication.
Organized religion and church attendance used to be the source of all that could lull the masses. ‘Holy’ writings provided the faithful with words to live by. As those sources have become less popular with the masses, secular sources are increasingly becoming the standard for people to seek inspiration and comfort when times are turbulent. Some of the current emotional crack for consumption include old quotes by writers such as Henry James. Three things in human life are important: the first is to be kind; The second is to be kind; and, the third is to be kind. James lived during tumultuous times in England that included World War I. One doubts kindness won out during his lifetime. There’s the “love conquers hate” cliché roaming through social media. Does it? If one looks at history, one will note hate has won more often than not. Entire civilizations have been conquered due to hatred of conquering warlords. There is no dispute on the brutality of Genghis Khan. There is also no dispute on his military brilliance.
Current controlling forces rely upon a content populace. Miserable peasants are more likely to storm the castle walls. Keep mollifying the peasants with things for them to feel good about and their perceived happiness will keep them away from pitchforks. Logical, rational, educated individuals are less likely to be lulled by the pablum. But if one needs the emotional crack of platitudes to feel good, perhaps one really needs a vacation. Or a puppy.