Platitudes taste good and they go down easy. Just like a piece of candy upon consumption, they give us a nice spike in our blood sugar to temporarily motivate us to do better and try harder. Platitudes can certainly give us a warm fussy feeling and a rush of emotion but in a few minutes we are either right back where we started or worse than we were before.
Have you noticed? Platitudes are everywhere. They are in the locker room, the board room, churches, gyms, doctor’s offices, restaurants, schools and businesses. A couple of days ago, I noticed a handful of tasty feel good platitudes in my local juice bar. It seems that we love platitudes. It also seems like we are not only addicted in consuming platitudes, but we are obsessed with making everything a platitude. We have no limit and no shame when it comes to platitudes (we even pull bible verses out of context to make up them some strange drivel to motivate people to obey and sometimes to play harder and run faster). Yes, I know- Very Weird. However smooth and tasty our platitudes and out of context bible verses are, the truth is that they are completely powerless to transform who we are or what we do.
The biggest issue I have with platitudes is not just they are dumb, fragmented, disconnected from truth and I hate anyone trying to tell me what to do, but they are thought to be harmless. We have forgotten that by giving ourselves and others nothing but short pithy sayings instead of whole (often hard to swallow and not easy to digest) truth, we have set ourselves up for failure. Don’t believe me, just look around at our platitude saturated culture and you will visibly see that we are not doing very well. We are sick and suffering from platitude-related disease and sickness. We are lonely, disconnected, anxious, depressed, apathetic and living in fear. We confuse truth with philosophy, motivation and opinion, and somehow we have been brainwashed to believe that fear, guilt and shame packaged in just the right platitude can get good results. But what have been the results? It’s clear we are dying from malnourishment.
In fact, our biggest epidemic is loneliness, followed closely by diet-related disease and sickness. The consumer lifestyles that we have curated are literally consuming our real lives and our real world to death. We are suffering from epidemics of poor physical, mental, emotional, relational and spiritual health. From where we stand, it appears that we desperately need some real truth because “Be Present Not Perfect” is just not going to cut it.
But if we keep standing here consuming platitudes believing that at some point we will finally find the divine platitude that will deliver us from ourselves, then we are going to keep using platitudes to deny, distract and deflect from the basic truths that we need to remember who we are and how we are naturally designed to be healthy, holy and whole and human beings.
No, we don’t need another platitude. We need truth and love. We need to participate in relationships where we give and receive truth and love. We need to be encouraged, not motivated. We need to experience truth and love. We can only do this by rebuilding our foundation on truth and love, and knowing who we are and how we are designed to be truth and love. This is the only way we can be fully nourished and filled up with the things that are excellent, good and true, and lose our appetites for paltry platitudes.
We have been given everything we need to be and to become our best self. Today, is your day to create the space to receive and give truth and love. Only by being truth and love will we find what we need to live our daily lives without platitudes but with principles, passion, and purpose!