The Secret to Life Lies in Cliches

I heard this statement somewhere once and I would like to to find out how true it is. Cliches are the stuff we hear all around us from parents, teachers, old people and just about anybody around. They’re so commonly used that most people find them worthless. They have lost the impact they once had because they’ve been overused or simply used in the wrong context so many times. But where did these cliches come from? How were they discovered?  I don’t have the answer to this but one thing I do know is that they have lasted the test of time and have been around long before me and most likely will be here long after I’m gone. Life is a complicated maze with no map telling us how to navigate it, when we were born there was no instruction manual given to us telling us what to do. These cliches can offer just a little bit of guidance but I believe perspective is an important factor to consider when dealing with cliches. Actions speak louder than words.  In an article I read from Thought Catalog the writer speaks about the ease with which people today are able to say anything with no consideration of whether or not it is factual. This is true as many people will say anything these days in a blinded narrow minded pursuit of what they want. So judging a person by their actions and not their words is crucial in determining their intent and level of honesty. A man’s character cant’t truly be known until you see the things he does but at the same time the words he speaks are just as important as his actions. Better safe than sorry. Like I said before perspective matters when thinking about how a cliche speaks to a particular situation as I learned from reading the comments of the blog post 10 Common Cliches And The Powerful Truths They Hold. The writer interpreted the cliche as saying you should live a cautious life that has no risk. He spoke about his unwillingness to take risks for most of his life and how much he regretted it. He urged his readers to take the leap because a life filled with failure is far more honorable than one consumed with regret. An excellent point that has its merit but on the other side of the coin a reader interpreted the cliche in a completely different way. The reader saw the cliche as a warning that is meant to protect us from bodily harm, wear your seat belt and look both ways before crossing the road. This is another great way of analyzing this cliche so you see the role perspective plays. The way we look at a cliche can determine if we reap the benefits of it or if we end up viewing them as worthless idioms often used by old people. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger could mean you bounce back from a failing grade and learn from your mistakes to help you pass the next one. But it could be worthless to a person who has fought a horrible disease only to be left bed ridden with no hope of return to normalcy. Does the secret to life lie in cliches? I guess it depends on the life. There’s no one size fits all.

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