Platitudes are loathsome!
For example, here’s one: “Good things come to those who wait.”
Well, if you plan on waiting, I hope you don’t get run over by those in hurry to get to the top by any means necessary, and then there’s the whole issue of how unfair life generally is.
And this one: “Forgive and forget.”
Forgive and forget willy nilly at your own peril. And remember this bit of wisdom: “Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.”
But here’s one of my personal favorite platitudes to despise, hate, detest, and abhor:
“Do not give to get.”
In other words, do not give of your self or your resources expecting so much as a thank you very much.
Most likely, this stupidity originated with a taker who lacked boundaries or a scintilla of gratitude and who was really pissed off because they were possibly being held accountable for behaving like an ungrateful, uncivilized human being.
TRUTH: No reasonable, grateful, or civilized beneficiary has ever used that last one in the presence of another human being’s generosity.
And that is precisely the problem with platitudes: Too many of us spout them off thoughtlessly as if they’re undeniable truths. When, in fact, they’re often a lazy, inconsiderate approach to life.
According to the Cambridge English Dictionary, a platitude is defined as “a statement that has been repeated so often that is meaningless.” And I might add ridiculously incomplete.
But here’s the question we need to ask about giving “with or without expectation:”
Can a society be truly civilized without a two-way channel of open-hearted giving AND grateful receiving?
I think not.