Tuesday, 9 May 2017

cliché as oral social knowledge

If you read the dictionary you'd get a negative view of cliché; something like this:


which hardly seems like a positive thing. Over the last few years I've had a few clichés delivered to me by people who meant well.

Anyone with an ounce of experience knows the old cliché of "its the thought that counts not the gift". That people wish to give something but are poor does not devalue their desires or intentions or genuine care or demean the gift.

Even myself in describing my situation to people have found myself uttering what are clichés because frankly they sum the situation up. Earlier I'd rejected using them (when forming up my words) but ended up in reflection seeing that the cliché actually phrased what I wanted to say neatly and succinctly.

Was this because I had simply heard it so many times I was unable to see things another way? I don't think so. I have come to realise that like many memes these phrases have been honed by master wordsmiths who themselves probably felt what the cliché was about.

The problem I have however is that while our words give us a way to transfer this data, words do not have a way to transfer wisdom. So cliché is in some ways the goal, just without the road map there.

The roadmap is wisdom. Without wisdom we are unable to find our way out of what troubles us, even if we can hear the guidance of a cliché and know that its trying to communicate something. Cliché is not just a "worn out phrase" any more than "love is never old" or "loss is hard to deal with" are any less true over the centuries.

There are many times that I have wished for someone to help guide me, but I come to see that because "we are all on our own journeys" meaning that no one else really knows the way for me either so I in the end have to just "go it alone".

They say "time heals all wounds" ... which I can assure you it does. But healing is not the same as never being wounded, the bleeding may stop, but there will always be scars.



So don't be ashamed to offer a cliché if your heart is really in it. (even if you don't really grasp it, I know from experience you'll be sorry you did really grasp it)

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