Two sides of quotations

Life is full of contradictions. Every choice has pros and cons. Every rule has an exception. Even the exceptions have exceptions. More often than not, we favor the ones that give us ease from our daily hardships in life. Perhaps the most common example in the current trend are quotations. We see it everywhere in the internet. In fact, they’re very powerful collection of words that they can alter someone’s mood in a flash and even getting glimpse of the peoples’ thoughts at a certain point in time. A girl’s status about loyalty issues in a relationship is obviously having a strong stand on the issue because of a certain incident in her life. A guy’s constant posts about specific sport news are obviously fans of this specific sport.

Being absorbed in the wide world of the internet enables us to freely stumble upon these powerful quotations in a speck of time. It is a very wonderful advantage because now, wise words from majorly everyone in the world can be used as positive reinforcements of our actions. Unfortunately, as it has been said, we favor the ones we choose to because it’s what we want to. Take familiar illustrations:

  1. Girl and Boy is in a relationship. Girl cheats on Boy and posts a quotation that every girl deserves happiness while Boy posts a quotation about how girls act like the B word.
  2. Anna and Alicia have been best friends. Anna has a big crush on Brad who asked Alicia on a date instead. Anna posts a quotation that friends do not betray each other and announces friendship over while Alicia posts about friends who should be happy for each other.
  3. Parent scold daughter for going to a party. Later on daughter posts about ‘living in the moment’ and how parents are so old-fashioned while parents post about how the present generation acts more undignified than the previous ones.
  4. A religious person uses quotations from their sacred books to attack certain current issues and a non-believer uses quotations from the same book to counter it.

While all of these are going on, imagine the friends of these people keeping the discussions longer in their comment feeds, thereby adding fuel to the fire. Don’t get me wrong, no one is to blame in all these situations. First of all, arguments are part of life. Disturbances in any form of relationships are to be expected but not be done purposely. Second, everyone is entitled to their own opinions. It is human nature, and a healthy one in fact.

But the problem here is that the meaning of these quotations that originally spurred from a very specific situation in someone’s life gets a different context to another situation. Imagine a person thinking of committing suicide and decides to follow a quote in the internet that says something like doing whatever it is that will make you free. Imagine a troubled person having alcohol, drugs and smoking addictions following a quote that says live life as how you choose it to be.

It is very troubling to imagine if every person does this. So I suggest the following guidelines when it comes to quotations, especially in the internet.

1. Quotations are simply summarized versions of a long story, not the whole of it.
2. Quotations are reminders, not decision-makers.

3. Use quotations as inspiration, not degradation.
4. Make quotations more valuable to effects, not causes.
5. Quotations are for opening your mind, not closing others’.

Let’s all enjoy the wit and clever humor of the quotations we come across. We should appreciate the values they embed in our minds and in our hearts but always keep in mind that when it comes to decision making, make a decision that will give birth to a whole new, better quote. 🙂


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