â€œPertinent truths” meant to inspire writers in search of deeper meaning in their words.
In the political frenzy of an election year, the ability to captivate with a soundbite proves ever necessary. And while presidential candidates have speechwriters aplenty to help mesmerize the masses, the rest of us don’t have it so easy. And so a whole industry has been built upon the supposition that many of us often suffer from a crippling case of writer’s block when trying to wax poetic. Greeting cards that do the talking for us–â€œI love you,” â€œHang in there, champ” or â€œYou’re the best”–fill drugstore aisles. Paperbacks filled with Pablo Neruda poems fly off bookstore shelves around Valentine’s Day. And then there’s that niche filled with the Dr. Phil McGraws of the world, the inspirational genre formulating phrases to make our inner selves sing. Gordon considers himself in that league. Here, his â€œinspiring, witty and motivating words,” coupled with illustrations, are offered to help unclog that word-pumping artery, or better yet, soothe what ails you and make you think. It sounds a bit Chicken Soup for the Soul-ish, but it’s not exactly. There are words that do make you ponder: â€œAim to be rich–poverty is more expensive,” for example. One can hardly argue with some of the revelations in these pages. â€œRead the signs carefully,” one of the sayings goes, tactfully partnered with a picture of a warning sign that reads: Primates (monkeys) are highly intelligent and are capable of inflicting serious injury when teased or harassed. Indeed, that is a sign worth reading. Mind-blowing, life-altering, thought-provoking even? No–most of this is a simple matter of common sense, something surely one’s grandmother often uttered when imparting good old-fashioned wisdom.
Then again, as one popular saying goes, common sense is not common–perhaps that one should have been included here.