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Aster's avatar

Is "this too shall pass" always relevant or will some things never change?

Asked by Aster (20002points) September 9th, 2013
13 responses
“Great Question” (1points)

I’m amazed by people trying to write off major problems in life by saying with a comforting smile, “this too shall pass” when I know some things won’t. Some situations actually get worse as time goes on. Do you agree?

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elbanditoroso's avatar

That is one of two expressions which I find to be depressing and extremely negative. The other is, “it Is What It Is” – which you hear far too often.

Both of those expressions take a pessimistic, almost powerless stance. I personally don’t believe that anything is that bad that it can’t be addressed.

But saying “this too shall pass” means that they are passively accepting whatever it is – that they are impotent to make changes, and that they are simply going to sit like a bump on a log for the passage of time.

People and things can and do change. But not by being passive.

gailcalled's avatar

It’s a cliché, and like all clichés, is suitable only for some occasions.

Pachy's avatar

Interesting… my mother used to say that to us kids from time and time, and I never heard it as negative. To me it means that no matter how bad circumstances may be now, things will get better—and in my experience, they usually have done so. Yes, it’s a cliche, but that doesn’t mean it’s not a truism.

DWW25921's avatar

Well I suppose I can dig it. If it’s a situation that I have control over and I know I can solve it’s a lot less stressful than a problem that I really have no say in…

Dutchess_III's avatar

It applies to everything, in the end.

tom_g's avatar

This type of thing used to infuriate me. It now makes sense (the only constant is change, etc). It can be comforting, but since it also applies to the good stuff, it can be quite challenging for some people.
But this doesn’t mean that people who are close to you need to approach you and your problems like this. If it doesn’t comfort you in some way, you should probably let them know. It might be true, but not very comforting to some people.

Sunny2's avatar

I have a friend who insists on saying “This too shall pass away.” A little different effect. I picture funeral wreaths and tomb stones.
The fact is, time passes and to that extent, it’s a truism. But you’re right @Aster It doesn’t always mean things will get better. It’s more a way of sweeping it under the rug (only to be dealt with later.)

glacial's avatar

This expression, too, shall pass.

rojo's avatar

I usually use this quotation before eating and, so far, it has always come true. So, yes it is relevant.

elbanditoroso's avatar

And speaking of things that pass…

KNOWITALL's avatar

Most bad times end or get better to a degree, or you die & it’s better. Words that are Meant to comfort l’m sure.

augustlan's avatar

There is pretty much no situation that will never change. While the initial issue itself may be set in stone, how we respond to or feel about that issue can and does change over time, generally. I’m sure “this, too, shall pass” isn’t always true, but it is so frequently that it seems appropriate, to me.

downtide's avatar

Even Earth itself will pass eventually, and so therefore will all problems on it.

@elbanditoroso I hate “It is what it is”. I have a friend who says that a lot and it always feels totally negative to me.

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