"Winners Never Quit."

Daily Meditation #316–1/4/2022

YouDaimonia

Free You Are Not Alone Quote Board on Brown Wooden Frame Stock Photo

“It is what it is.”
“Such is life.”
“Good vibes only.”
“Money can’t buy happiness.”
“When one door closes, another door opens.”

Yuck.

Platitudes.

And yet, we all see the image form of these — and hundreds of other yawntastic ones — plastered high and low all over our social media feeds, all day, every day.

And we often “like” them.

Why is it that everyone feels the need to share these common, bland, and completely empty platitudes? 

When someone is suffering a break up or divorce, is “You’ll get over it,” or “Such is life” really helpful?

If a recently laid off friend is a little spaced out during a movie, is it useful to remind them “Good vibes only!”?

And what about when your brother is jealous he didn’t get his $2000 annual performance bonus? How beneficial is telling him “Well, money can’t buy happiness!”

We like platitudes because neither the sayer nor the hearer have any responsibility to the phrases.

Telling someone to “Never give up” is worthless.
Instead, be specific — “You continue to go into your job interviews underprepared. Let’s review the resume together and practice an interview or two. You shouldn’t give up.”

Saying “Good vibes only” is empty.
Try “Hey — I know you’re really struggling to watch this movie. You’ve got a lot on your mind. Let’s just head to the store, grab a snack, and then go to your place. I’ll just listen, you gush emotions about what happened, and then tomorrow with a freshly rested head and heart, let’s work out how you can move forward!”

Instead of “Patience is a virtue!”
Maybe — “This grocery line is the perfect opportunity for you and I try practice our breathing techniques, am I wrong? Let’s try a couple of them while we are waiting.”

Where platitudes are 100+ year dead horse carcasses that have been beaten to hell and back, specificity holds great power and responsibility to you and the recipient.

Try a dash of specificity instead of the nutritionless, watery broth that are platitudes!

Follow for daily philosophical meditations.

These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”

#philosophy
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