The Non-Expert


Experts answer what they know. The Non-Expert answers anything. This week we explain why people are perpetually fascinated with inspirational quotes. Like that “Vince Lombardi shit.”

Have a question? Need some advice? Ignored by everyone else? Send us your questions via email. The Non-Expert handles all subjects and is updated on Fridays, and is written by a member of The Morning News staff.


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Question: Tell me please. Why do people like inspirational quotes? Like Vince Lombardi shit. Thanks. —Claire

Answer: When you try to answer a question like this, you have to step back and think a moment: Do I have what it takes? Maybe yes, maybe no. But the real question here is: Do I think I have what it takes? And that’s the answer. In the thinking. Think not? Think so. Think it. Think all over it. Just think. And the question—and the answer—will eventually come. Believe it.

You face a question like this, and there’s no question about this question. Don’t question it. It’s time to give 110 percent, that’s for sure. Questions lead to answers, answers lead to more questions, more questions lead to more answers. The more you question, the more you answer. That’s just a simple fact.

Are you gonna give up? Just throw it in and say, ‘I don’t know?’ I don’t think so. Think about it. Or don’t. But either way, you’re just like a Gila monster in a jackrabbit suit. Don’t get it? That’s fine. But you’re still at square one until you do.

You’re feeling down. You’re feeling like there’s no way you’re gonna find the answer. You could quit now. I won’t hold it against you, no way. I’ll still look you in the eye, know your spirit, know your heart, maybe even read your mind. Who knows? You can’t prove it. If you thought I might know what you were thinking, I’d just pretend I didn’t. You wouldn’t know. So that’s all you need to worry about that. Just keep your eye on the real goal here and don’t worry about my abilities.

Take a look around you. Everyone else is in the same spot you are. They’re all trying to come up with the answer. Does that make them any worse than you? Of course not. But I’ll tell you one thing: It means we’re all after the same prize here. Maybe we’ll figure it out, maybe we won’t. But we’ll try. Because in trying, you succeed. And nobody can take that away from you. Not even my dog.

Forget I said that.

But remember this: A dog never forgets. Just like the mighty giraffe. And the lucid tiger. And the whooping crane. And that’s just what you should remember: Never forget.

Laugh in the face of adversity and you laugh in the face of fear. Fear is the remnant of corrupt belief. And of that corruption you can be sure, I’ll tell you. Because it’s everywhere. All at once. Left, right, upside down, and in your pants. Looking you straight-faced. Never wincing, sometimes tempting, always pouncing, often listening, occasionally singing. But never, never loudly.

Knowing this, you know everything. And that’s the answer. And perhaps really even the question. Now let’s get out there and play some ball.


Andrew Womack is a founding editor of The Morning News. He is always working on the next installment of the Albums of the Year series at TMN. More by Andrew Womack