Quod Me Nutrit, Me Destruit

“Quod me nutrit, me destruit” is a kitschy Latin phrase that generally translates into “What nourishes me, also destroys me.” Young people love to spout that phrase because they relate the idea of “nourishment” to sex, drugs, alcohol and probably, at one time, Rock and Roll.

Angelina Jolie has “Quod me nutrit, me destruit” tattooed on her lower abdomen along with a thick, black, cross — making one wonder if the “destruction” is in the semiotic cross or what the bottom of the cross is pointing to while she sucks her thumb.

Nietzsche also has an oft-employed quote “What doesn’t kill us makes us stronger” that many young people also immortalize in ink on their skin:

Is there cold human comfort offered in these quotes about destruction and strength?

Do people invoke these quotes to provide power in the thoughts of others or are they instead trying to advertise a fleeting, false, intellect?

Does anyone ever question the validity of these quotes before permanently imprinting them on their largest organ?

Is it true nourishment destroys — or is that phrase now merely a convenient platitude?

I can think of a lot of people who were not killed by terrible accidents but they are in no way stronger after the experience.

Are we able to provoke meaning from quoting others; or are we only pretending to honor memory by recycling the past?

Do you have a favorite quote?

If yes — what is the quote — and did you have it tattooed on your body?