Six degrees of platitude: on “inspirational” quotes


I often wonder if the developers of Facebook and Twitter ever foresaw just how much of their traffic would be made up of inspirational quotes. Day in day out, social media users are bombarded with quotes attributed to the Dalai Lama, twelve step recovery aphorisms and ersatz Native American wisdom. Of course there’s a special market in mental health maxims about how we are strong at our broken places, about how the darkest hour is always before the dawn, about how pain is going to teach us patience. I know from Twitter conversations that I’m not alone in finding many of these little bundles of advice irksome rather than supportive but now I’m in crisis I’m finding them unbearably trite. There are so many I could have chosen, but since I imagine you’ve better things to do that read a dissertation on inspiration, here are my top peeves.

1) This…

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