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Sunday, June 04, 2006

The Most Stupid Motivational Story Ever Told!

It was the archetypical pep rally, repeated no doubt since the days of Caesar and his legions, and probably countless times before. But at this time, this moment, it was being repeated in schools across the continent. And boy, was everybody pepped up! You know the routine. We can do it! We just need the will, the motive, the desire. Just repeat the mantra of success and surrender to the enthusiasm of the crowd. Nothing can stop you if you really want it. And the reward was respect, prestige, and the right to shout from the roof tops: we’re number 1 !!!

So with mounting enthusiasm they all listened, and en masse marched off to earn their place in the sun. Unfortunately, what most of them earned was an unmarked place under the ground. It was August, 1914, the beginning of World War I, and the month of the can do attitude. Of course, a collision with reality can derail even the highest convictions. But in the meantime, we got motivation!!

Now inspirational platitudes can be sometimes be a good thing, as we need a little delusion now and then as we go down with the ship. But inspiration, if held by the gossamer thread of an unrealistic perception of the world, is a lemmings ideal. Unfortunately, in spite of our intellectual and cultural sophistication. We still follow the crowd, surrender to the metaphors of God and country, and do as we are told. But in the meantime, as all of the pundits and self-help guru’s keep telling us, the question’s not the thing, for all we truly need is motivation.

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