I’ve been thinking a lot about clichés because when I scroll through Facebook I get overwhelmed with how many are posted there and how many likes they get.
The thing about a cliché is that it is born out of someone’s experience and wisdom. They are words that emerged out of the crucible of suffering, temptation, testing, sacrifice, love, patience, lots of hard work and insight.
So I’m going to use the Top 10 Spiritual Clichés. Let’s start with this one attributed to Hopi elders:
“We are the ones we’ve been waiting for.”
I would agree. It is wise to take responsibility and “be the change we want to see in the world” (Gandhi). We shouldn’t leave the solution to our problems with someone else, and we shouldn’t leave the mess we’ve made to others. It is our responsibility! It is time to grow up and effect change. We are the ones who should “be here now” (Ram Dass). And it doesn’t take many: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world” (Margaret Mead). Let us work together no matter what different creeds we subscribe to. “Out beyond right and wrong there is a field. I will meet you there” (Rumi). This is a place of real joy where we should “dance like no one is watching; love like you’ve never been hurt; sing like nobody’s listening; live like it’s heaven on earth” (Mark Twain). Because this is heaven on earth! “We are not human beings having a spiritual experience; we are spiritual beings having a human experience” (Pierre Teilhard de Chardin). Even though the task seems arduous, this is not impossible, because “the longest journey begins with a single step” (Lao-Tzu).
Wasn’t that easy? Yes, it was so easy to spout off those overused clichés that we see over and over again along with countless others. My question is, have we earned the right to say these things? Have we even earned the right to even believe them? Do we know these to be true, essentially true, in the core of our beings? Have they become truth for us personally? Or do they just sound sweet and make us look smart?
I’m not being mean. Because these clichés mean something to me too. I just care whether or not we have integrated these into our selves or whether we have tacked them onto our selves like sticky notes.