Inspirational bullshit is bullshit.
I’ve known that for a while. I was a teen when motivational poster shops were all the rage, selling posters about how Leaders are like eagles, soaring alone, next to posters demanding Teamwork because birds flying in formation use 30% less energy.
While those fecalterias (I hope I just coined a word) seem to be a fad of the past, their spirit continues online. And despite liking the OCR community, on the whole, the pleasure it takes in thoughtlessly spewing meaningless inspirational drivel does piss me off.
Inspiration is worse than useless. It’s that guy who comes over to help you move, and then declares that his contribution to the effort will be to “supervise,” so instead of hauling anything he sits on the couch, which for some reason he’s moved into the doorway, and eats your Doritos and tells everyone that what they’re doing is wrong. Only then at the end, once you are moved, he’ll be the one who’s most demanding that you tell him how incredibly helpful he was, and if you don’t—or worse, point out how much worse he made everything—he’ll throw a hissy-fit for the ages, so you have to indulge him or else he won’t ever get out of the house so you can take a shower after hauling tons of crap up three flights of stairs and then go to bed. It’s “helpful,” rather than helpful.
Sure, people post inspiration to “help” others. But inspiration doesn’t help. It is not an active endeavor. No one focuses on the soaring eagle poster as they climb a giant wall. Instead, inspiration occupies times of idleness, a parasite whose sole purpose is to reproduce so it can demonstrate its own existence.
Inspiration is impersonal. It knows only that it is right—that the secret to happiness and success and joy and everything is to do A. It doesn’t care if A is impossible if its recipient actually needs to take care of X first, and doing that requires a healthy dose of G, L, and P, with a dash of R thrown in for balance, and some Q, C, and N prime to counter the potentially toxic side effects of GLP. It doesn’t care what its recipient needs; its own glory is its only concern.
But inspiration takes no responsibility. When it fails, it is the inspiree’s fault for not committing, or not having the necessary will or brains or grit or resilience or whatever. The barriers that humans face, the frailties and harmful urges that slow us, and the malice from other humans that sabotage us, all of those are nothing to inspiration because they are literally nothing to inspiration. Inspiration can’t conceive of such things, because it is an abstract concept that will never face them. But inspiration is smug, knowing that it knows all simply because it has decided that what it does not conceive of does not exist.
And that’s where its true malice lies. It’s not meant for people who are in pain. It’s there to help people who already feel fine feel more fine, because their fineness is due to their inherent betterness than those poor, worthless, gritless, unresilient souls who are hurting due to their poorness, worthlessness, gritlessness, and unresilience.
So don’t be inspiring. Be the hand that helps someone up when they’ve fallen, or the extra weight that’s needed to start the giant boulder rolling, or the foot that stomps on the baddie’s fingers when he’s hanging from a ledge.
Or not. You’re not actually required to help.
But if you want to help, help. And if you want to “help,” go fuck yourself.