“Thoughts and Prayers” Found Dead,
World Completely Unfazed
by Bette Blackwell
The world reacted with a total lack of surprise at the announcement of the expected and entirely timely demise of the phrase, “Thoughts and prayers”. The cause of death was massive overuse.
The first use of the phrase, most often stated as “(Our/my) thoughts and prayers are with . . . “ was reported to have been in the 1800s, although its precise origin is unknown. It was a favored expression for over two centuries, commonly used to communicate deep sadness brought on by disasters both natural and man-made. Most recently however, it was increasingly embraced by American politicians as the vapid go-to phrase repeatedly expressed in innumerable tweets after tragedies. It was its use in that capacity that forced it over the line into empty sentimentality and, ultimately, hollow triviality.
The sentiment’s overuse caused it great stress as it struggled to remain meaningful. It fought a valiant battle against insignificance before collapsing due to exhaustion and ultimately succumbing in February, 2017, after the school shooting in Parkland, FL.
A Capitol Hill politician who spoke on the condition of anonymity said, “What am I supposed to say after a (expletive) storm hits, when I want it to look like I care about other people’s pain and loss but really don’t plan to do to anything to stop it from happening again? I mean, what do I do now?”
A Senator from an unnamed southern state echoed that sentiment. “I want to put out statements that make it seem like I care when I really don’t, especially when it comes to anything involving guns. Come on – I want people to think that I have a heart, but I’m not going to give up those checks, you know? So, I’m sort of stuck.”
“Thoughts and prayers” is survived by its relatives, “Our thoughts go out to”, “You are in my heart” and “I’ll keep you in my thoughts.”