Wednesday, November 23, 2011

The danger of the Inspirational word : A momentary orgasm of the mind

In the internet age, phrases/stories of inspiration are cheaper than a dime a dozen and nowadays anyone with any form of formal education tend to have the linguistic ability to even form their own. This situation allows the normal person to achieve what most normal person could not do before, gain constant acceptance/praise for doing nothing. The danger of craving this short burst of pleasure with little real world result is the topic of today's dicussion. 

The truly inspired or inspiring are simple to spot as when they say or tell the inspirational phrase/story, you can truly see them representing the virtue told. One can also feel that in time they will achieve the desired result they aim for or importantly, even if they don't, you know they have tried their best. For example, the Dalai Lama, who has been trying to achieve the freedom of Tibet for decades and failed but still gives inspiration to countless many. 

The opposite of the truly inspired or inspiring are those who have a tendency to need constant positive attention from others. They read or tell a inspirational phrase/story and instantly places the good aspects of the tale upon themselves and in fact, have a amazing ability to feel they are educating others with their own perceived inspirational qualities. For example, in a documentary the author saw about the poorest in India*, the daughter of a multi millionaire was interviewed at a socialite party to raise money for the poor. She admitted to never being close to a slum in India but continued to say how she understood the pain and suffering of the poor. When one watched that scene, one can only feel disbelief at her comment and truthfully disdain at the fact that off camera, she probably would rather spend her large monthly allowance on herself than give it to the poor she so truly 'understood'.

Now that the examples have been defined above, the dangers of being falsely inspired will be explained. Firstly, the vast optimism that can comes from these inspiring phrases/stories. They can set one's mind to see situations they might encounter with a skewed  sense of reality which can end up with disastrous results. Such as a person wrongly betting on his perceived ability versus his real ability to win over better opponents in a boxing match. All because he was inspired to work out once per week due to watching a documentary on Muhammad Ali.

Another problem arises for the falsely inspired in the form of the glaring inability to see one's own flaws and instead paint them as one's own talents due to mental gymnastics. Such as seeing one's arrogance as confidence and perceiving any advice to improve as sabotage due to jealously. This will result in the person not being able to improve and instead lead one to decrease in ability rather than increase due to narrow mindedness.

In conclusion, the author has nothing against being inspired or inspirational phrases/stories but rather takes exception to the way they are used. One feels that in the end the result is what matters and one good action is worth more than a whole internet of false inspiration. 

Till next word...

(*The author gives a sincere apology for not being able to give a clip on the documentary due to the lack of one's memory. All one can remember is it is from the BBC and it's premise was about the host living with a poor family in a slum in New Delhi.)

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