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Aphorisms 101

The need for aphorisms, the desire for the well-written and pithy quote, is one of the truly ironic things about modern society. It speaks – not ‘to’, but ‘for’ – our willingness to allow someone else to do our thinking for us. It’s an intellectual/philosophical laziness, enabled by a 24/7 culture, where anything we might want can be had on the instant.

“I don’t have the time or the energy to figure out what I believe, or how I feel. What does this expert think? What does that celebrity say? Oh, look. Here’s a comforting/funny/profound saying on a blog/in a book/on a greeting card. There – my critical thinking’s been done for me. Let’s eat.”

We can’t even be bothered to personalize the sentiment – the words of the anonymous author will have to do – for to put it into our own words would require us to think about it for longer than it took to read it.

A true philosophy, even one so small as to be suitable to a congregation of just the one, will never be content with “close enough…”

EJ Liederstein

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