This Is Twittering: Inspiration Edition, Part 1

A few months ago I thought of something dumb. It was this:

I noticed that if you knocked off the second leg of the lowercase n’s in “cannot”, it would look like “carrot”. The idea of turning “cannot” into something else struck me as a funny faux-inspirational message, so I slapped the “Inspirational Musing of the Day” label on it.

Then I got to thinking. I’m always fascinated by the trite motivational sayings that people so often parrot, online and off. I decided I’d take a crack at writing my own. Sure, I wanted to satirize them, but there’s a twist: although I tend toward pessimism on an individual level, I’m not fatalistic about it. I can’t shake the inkling of hope that we, as human beings, can be better. Just because most so-called inspirational clichés are bullshit, that doesn’t mean it’s impossible to find inspiration in less expected places.

So, although a lot of these “inspirational” jokes are just dumb jokes, some of them actually do carry a hopeful undertone. Which I will expound upon presently, and in additional episodes every day this week.

Cynicism is a lazy worldview that I’ve criticized before.1 Most “cynical” people are only cynical about those with whom they disagree. It’s only people in the other political party (or whatever) who are driven solely by greed, stupidity, lust for power, or hate. But folks on our side? No, we are motivated purely by principle and our earnest desire for the good of all.

Cynicism is a useful mindset for pushing one’s own agenda, and it’s also dishonest and it’s also bullshit.

False dichotomies pop up all the time. Any time you find yourself thinking in terms of “either/or”, it may be helpful to reexamine the situation. You may have more options that you think.

In other words, it’s helpful to look at things from a different angle. Every “problem” that arises in your life could potentially turn out to be free ipecac.

You are completely unique. But that’s not a virtue; it’s a starting point.

In most cases, not very many people.

This is just a joke about how old people smell?

This one is notable for my typo. If I wanted to make up a fake reason for typing “Inspiration” instead of “Inspirational”, it would be that I was making the transition from “Inspirational Musing of the Day” to “Daily Inspiration” (see next and subsequent tweets). But really it was just a typo.

I actually like this one a lot. The quotation marks around “too cool” are implied, and the lesson is valid. If people don’t like you because of your little, weird, inconsequential habits, then screw them; they’re not worth trying to impress. (Note: This does not apply to acting like an asshole. If people don’t like you because you are an asshole, that is your own fault. I’m talking about things like your hairstyle, your propensity for laughing at your own jokes, and your love of shitty beer.) At the same time, everyone has different preferences. You’ve surely got pet peeves that annoy you about other people. That’s fine. We don’t have to be best friends with everybody. Let’s just try to not be dicks about it.

That concludes this extra-special episode of This Is Twittering: Meta-Commentary Digest. Tune in tomorrow for Part 2!

  1. Note: Cynicism is not the same as pessimism. Pessimism expects bad outcomes; cynicism expects people to behave like assholes. These are different. Cynicism is pessimistic, but pessimism is not necessarily cynical. []