If you care about design you've probably caught yourself sighing at a coworker's trite inspirational post, or a friend's Etsy-sourced hand-lettered reminder to Live, Laugh and also to Love. But maybe you (like most people cursed with good taste) should take it down a notch. Why? It looks like we've had needless uplifting imagery and aestheticized reminders to Be Here Now for as long as we've had the self-impressed humans to make them.
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In 2012, archeologists working in Turkey uncovered a beautifully tiled floor featuring a seriously chill looking skeleton and a surprisingly modern message. The triptych is thought to have been part of a wealthy private home (or possibly public soup kitchen?) from the Roman Empire, likely as part of a dining area. The skeleton, in comfy repose, seems to be eating and drinking wine peacefully.
The Greek caption can be translated as "Be cheerful and live your life."
U do u, yknow?
Cheery messaging, right? This guy has it figured out, and this guy is literally within us all. So empowering!
Even if you loathe positivity kittens and those ubiquitous "Keep Strong & [whatever stupid thing you're into] On" signs like I do, their implications might be good for us. Next time you see a doozy, mentally add "Or Else…" and see if what you come up with isn't more motivating. Another reading of this skeletal scene translates it: "You get the pleasure of the food you eat hastily with death," which is just so inspiring, you know?