Feel Good Quotes
Originally posted June 2015
Uck. I hate feel good quotes. Hate is a pretty strong word. I was reminded of how intense my feelings are towards them when we stayed in an Airbnb apartment in Zagreb literally jam-packed with saccharine sweet slogans and sayings. A few photos from the apartment.
There are many reasons why I don’t like these quotes. Firstly, don’t tell me what to do. I just arrived in your city where I waited an hour for you at the train station. I then got scammed by a taxi driver when I decided to make my way there on my own. I don’t need your cheery welcome mat or your little welcome heart. It’s fake. Why don’t you serve me a beer or make me a sandwich, that would be real to me. I would have appreciated a beer and a sandwich. Secondly: you don’t know me from a bar of soap, what do you care where my mind wanders or who I kiss good night? Mind your own business. Thirdly: you were the most unfriendly, unhelpful Airbnb host that we’ve had over the last year of travels. Acknowledging my wife when we said hello or helping us up the stairs with all our luggage would have been appreciated. Even calling us a taxi on the day we left seemed too much for you.
Cheery sayings on your walls don’t mean anything except suggest that you might be a hypocrite.
A few days later we were in Montreal where we went to our favorite book store. Indigo is the biggest bookstore chain here in Canada (Spanky says they’d be like the equivalent of what Barnes & Noble would be in the States). To our surprise a lot has changed over the past year. For one thing Indigo sells a lot less books than they used to. They now sell ‘stuff’; pillows, baskets, and Hello Kitty crap. They have a brand new, huge section selling what is described as “Paper”; calendars, journals, memo pads and all other kinds of paper stuff. And guess what’s all over the covers of that paper stuff? Feel good slogans.
A few photos with thoughts that come to mind.
Wishy washy, insipid, feel good slogans filled with empty words and implied judgement; “Why can’t you be happy? There must be something wrong with you. Why can’t you treat every day like it’s your birthday, then you could enjoy it properly. There’s something seriously wrong with you”.
When did we become a society of such self-indulgent platitudes? Everyone has to feel good or made to feel special. Even if it’s fake. And why work towards something if it doesn’t reap immediate rewards? If it’s not easy and doesn’t make you happy, why bother? My feeling when I read these quotes is that it trivializes everything. Life is not easy for most people. You see it not just when you travel, you see it at home too. Not everything in life can be summed up on the cover of a greeting card. I think it’s this trivialization of everything that really bothers me about these slogans.
You probably think I’m a Grinch reading the above. I’m actually a sentimental person. I get misty eyed when my son calls me to wish me a happy Father’s Day or when Lissette hand-makes me a card. But empty, feel good slogans and quotes? They don’t spark any sentiment and they certainly don’t inspire me. I think they’re emblematic of a society that puts fake sentiment and platitudes in front of real thought or feeling.
What do you think? Maybe I just don’t get it…
Related: Why I’ve had it with Instagrammers (and some travel bloggers)
Related: Signs in Japan: The funny, strange or just unusual
Related: Reasons why I don’t visit your blog
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“Yeah, whatever. You ever worked a 12 hour shift as a dishwasher in a Mexican restaurant where everyone orders nothing but nachos? I have. Crusty cheese is a bitch to clean.”
This one nearly had me falling out of my chair laughing!!! Reminding me of when I was working my way through college, one of my jobs was washing dishes, oh so true!
Those things influence me in the same way ads do. Block them out. It’s how people behave to me and how I behave towards them that matters. I don’t even care what people say. If their actions don’t match their words, then puff, why bother with them? Aside from that, we have the right to our emotions. If we want to get riled up about superficiality and if we want to call out people for being fake, why not? It might give them something to reflect on. Anyway, a colleague of mine who I only knew online but chatted with regularly died of a heart attack 2 weeks ago. 62. Just dropped dead suddenly. That made me reflect more on my life than any of those feel-good quotes ever would.
Enjoy yourself before you’re worm food. That’s the only quote you need.
Ah, well at least it’s not some happy psychobabble 🙂
Tag Along Deb
Ha! I’m right there with you on these quotes. Can’t stand ’em! I wrote a post on travel quotes specifically, along the same vein. That “the world is a book” quote is one that really needs to get kicked to the curb. So arrogant.
Enjoyed your post 🙂 We think along the same lines Deb.
Isa from Westwards
The other day I had to sort a huge jar of hearts into different recycling bins – glass and ceramics, wood, stone, metal. Plain, coloured, with slogans. It was rather sad.
My guess is that by far most people who flash these feel-good slogans don’t do it to deceive you into thinking they are like that while they well know that they are beasts. Rather, the other way round: they wouldn’t want to admit that they are lonely, stressed, purposeless, not at peace with themselves, or whatever; and they use the slogans to deceive themselves.
Ok, I’m not the lenient type myself. But.
Ha! So mean Isa 🙂 But I tend to agree with you.
Hahha, this has tickled me! I do kinda love collecting quotes but on the wrong day they can just seem bossy and make me feel like a big failure. Stupid instagram pretending to inspire when all it does is niggle! I also kinda want all of those notebooks, currently wishing I lived in Canada!
Who needs quotes to remind us we’re big failures when we have people in our lives who do the same 🙂 Damn quotes screaming at us with their big letters…I’m sure they have book stores selling this kind of shit (oh, you guys say shite) in the UK?
“To our surprise a lot has changed over the past year. For one thing Indigo sells a lot less books than they used to. They now sell ‘stuff’; pillows, baskets, and Hello Kitty crap. They have a brand new, huge section selling what is described as “Paper”; calendars, journals, memo pads and all other kinds of paper stuff.”
The same can be said of Barnes & Noble. 😉
Yeah, nobody reads books anymore. Give it 5 years, they’ll no longer be book stores.
Sad, but true. I “love” my books but when we travel the Kindle comes along.
I bought a Kindle last year but I just can’t get into it. I still like the feel of a book, the ability to quickly turn to a page or reference the table of contents or the index. I know you can do the same with Kindle…but it’s just not the same. Maybe I’m old fashioned that way.
The Guy Who Flies
It looks like these have really hit a nerve, I can see how strongly you feel about it.
I’m guilty of feeling appreciative of a well thought out piece of prose, however I wouldn’t go to the extent of shoving it down someone’s throat as people appear to have done to you.
I also share the frustrations you have hear. People push these quotes in your face yet don’t embrace them and live the life they espouse. A bit like mis-guided religious zealots who ask us to do what they say and not what they do.
I think you nailed it on your last paragraph. I have problems with fakes, hypocrites and people who sugarcoat everything. No problems however with a well thought out, intelligent quote 🙂
Natascha from Westwards
Very true! I also hate the Feelgood post in my news-feed and the requests to share them…
I didn’t really write this in relation to other bloggers and their cutesy, artificial feel good posts – but you’re the 2nd person who’s commented on that. You’re absolutely right. It’s unoriginal, appealing to the masses, and winning points with empty feel good sentiment. Maybe some people eat that up. I can’t stand it.
I had tears in my eyes reading this! I call Fede a cantankerous old man. Now, l am adding you to the list…hah hah. I love this post, as l am always saying the same thing whenever l see that crap. A lot of the blogs that l read, or used to, always have these “pinworthy” pictures with these cutesy sayings on them. I want to puke!!! :-). I can’t bring myself to like them for the life of me. By the way, l have never met a man in a fedora whistling while walking down the street, but l would probably like it, l would even join in if l knew the tune :-). It is so nice to know that someone else hates this cutesy sayings. I always sound like a twat when l say it, so l just ignore them, but it’s getting harder and harder..they are everywhere!!!
You’re right Kemkem. I Can’t take it. Its so fake. My next target should be bloggers who have pictures taken of themselves while jumping up 🙂 Maybe I need my own jumping up photo, with my heels halfway up my ass and my thumb sticking up in the air.
I love travel and I love a blog that portrays it truthfully. You can be weird, sarcastic, witty – but as long as its original and the real you.I just don’t like the contrived bullshit meant to appeal to the masses…
I used to hate this stuff too until I quadrupled my fiber intake and started a strict regiment of Mike’s hard ice tea Prozac and a few Xanax chasers!!!
Now every morning is Sunday and my B-day ;^(
HA! That’s funny 🙂 Thanks for the always great comment Ron.
The best yet from my friend “The Grinch”…. Yugh !!! It all makes you want to throw up – but I guess theres a ‘feel good’ quote for that too ?
The only one of the quotes I can appreciate Frank is “Carpe Diem” (but then thats hardly ‘feel good’) – and if one knows it, they sure as hell don’t have to be told about it.. Yeah, everyone has to be made to feel good , unique and special – that way trivia, bullshit and celebrity makes the world go around .Forget the rest – its all too complicated anyway ! Great stuff Frank.
Thanks Tony, you’re as cycnical as I am. I knew you’d like this one 🙂