Paul Hughes

The evolving story of a hopeful skeptic.

November 12, 2012 Miscellaneous , By Paul Hughes

Life IS An Arrow

Arrow Quote

Picture taken from

On a more light-hearted (and succinct) note than my recent posts, I decided to write about something that—ever since I first saw it—has bothered me: the quote in the above picture. Yes, it is a nice sentiment, but it really makes no sense. I mean, the unknown author is effectively and arbitrarily saying that life follows all the same rules as an arrow. I could just as easily say “When an arrow stops moving, it means the arrow has hit its target and is likely to kill it; so when life seems to stop your progress forward, watch out because it means that you’re about to kill something.” Just as arbitrary, and just as absurd.

Humans have a tendency to use metaphors to wrap their minds around things that they don’t otherwise understand. But it is important to remember that just because a metaphor seems to make something make more sense doesn’t mean the metaphor is in any way correct or useful.

Are there any quotes or metaphors that bug you?

4 to “Life IS An Arrow”

  1. Daniel says...

    Generally any platitude that has an over-arching, positive outlook bothers me. I just always think about what a quote like this would sound like to… mmm… a Jew in the holocaust? A woman in Afghanistan? Fact is, it’s perfectly possible for things to just keep getting worse, or you die before they get better.

    Winky face. lol jk.
    naw seriously, life is meaningless.

  2. paul says...

    So true, Daniel (about the first paragraph, certainly). I guess the argument is “Well if it makes someone feel good, then who cares?” Still lame though, if you ask me.

    As for life being meaningless… I’m not sure we were put here with any purpose, but I do think that whether that is the case or not, it is possible to find meaning in one’s own life. Victor Frankel (a holocaust survivor who wrote “Man’s Search For Meaning”) would argue that humans *need* to find that to be happy. I think it certainly helps!

    – P

  3. Daniel says...

    I just wrote an inspirational saying:

    “When you’re having a bad day, you’ll probably still get laid and can eat ice cream afterwards.”

    It keeps me going


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