“If you build it, he will come.” – Shoeless Joe Jackson
Lately, I am becoming annoyed by all the “posters” with quotes that everyone is posting on Facebook. I really have no right to be annoyed because I sometimes post them, too. And I still love quotes. I post quotes by really smart people occasionally. Also, movie quotes. I like those. I like the funny posters as well, but there are a ton of the kind I’m speaking of that apparently some random people are designing and others are sharing like crazy. Like this one. Who actually said this?
Never? Along the same sentiment, I prefer the Friedrich Nietzsche quote, “Hope is the worst of evils, for it prolongs the torment of man.” I know that’s sort of a downer, but when you compare the two, I prefer to think that what Nietzsche is saying is stop living in the past. Look ahead and live in the moment. Believe me, I realize there are times in our lives when hope sustains us, and I’m not talking about a goal or a dream that you have to do something or be someone. There are times we shouldn’t give up. But I’m reading this quote that isn’t attributed to anyone as telling us to hope for something we may never get. Or what if heroin is the thing you can’t stop thinking about? I hope I’m not being cynical, but I’ve spent too much time over-thinking and over-analyzing until my brain hurts. This is as much for me. I see something like this and the sappy side of me thinks, Okay, see? Don’t give up. As if the Almighty himself wrote it. And then the rational side of me slaps me upside the head. Bullshit! False hope. Torment. Nietzsche is right.
Well, not specifically this, because this was actually the real propaganda poster created by the British Government back in 1939 at the beginning of World War II. It was intended to raise the British morale in the event of an invasion. (Yes, I just got all that from Wikipedia). When I first laid eyes on this and found out what it was all about, I liked it. Then, when I first started seeing Keep Calm and Ride a Bike or Keep Calm and eat a Cupcake, I thought it was so cute! I once used Keep Calm and Call Batman as my profile picture on Facebook. But now it has lost it’s charm. I’m over it. Too much of a good thing. Can we just leave this poster alone now? The original was perfect.
Look at that. Plato. Ancient Greece. Before Christ. Who knows if he really said that. I like to think he did. Regardless, it’s a good one and one of my all-time favorite quotes. It truly means something to me. It means don’t judge, and don’t assume anything about anyone. We are moving about in life with strangers all around us and we have no idea what kind of roads they are traveling. Here’s an example:
The day after my son was diagnosed with cancer, I had no choice but to go to work. At the time, I was managing a very small boutique hotel in Palm Springs. There was no one else to take over. Every Friday, I made a run to Costco in Palm Desert. My entire trunk and every available space inside my car would be filled with supplies needed for the week. I was the woman, not with a cart, but with one of those other big thingamabobs that you push. So there I am in the parking lot, it’s 110 degrees, and in the worst possible frame of mind that you can imagine. I am barely holding myself together. As I was loading up my car, a man walked up to me with a clipboard and started to tell me about needing signatures for such and such petition. I politely said, “I’m sorry, I’m not interested.” Well, apparently I was the straw that broke the camel’s back for this man. He must have been ignored all day. He started berating me and saying something to the effect, “you rich white women don’t care about anything…” OH MY GOD. Did he actually just say that to me? I had a crappy car! I said, “Excuse me?” and then I got right in his face and ripped him a new one. I asked him if he had any idea what was going on in my life. And then I burst into tears. He apologized. I forgave him. This was long before I came across this quote, but when I did, I thought of him. I hope he learned a lesson. I did, and I was the one being judged.
This one is worth repeating. “Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle.” ~Plato