Friday, January 25, 2013

On Average

There is no such thing as an average person any more than there is such a thing as an average cloud. Every person is as constantly in flux as a cloud. There is no way every one of us can be studied and measured at every moment of every day. An average is a number that corresponds to a statistical reality, not a person...or a cloud. The average is affixed to the highest number of people that fall into a certain percentile. For example: no one has 2.6 children yet that is what the average American family is said to have. Some have 4, some have 3, some have 2, but when you do the math the average comes in at 2.6.

So? What point am I trying to make? I guess I am, at times, struck with how the world seems to want to make me average. Now, don't get me wrong. I am not one of those Rah Rah " I'm spectacular" self esteem guys. I don't get my esteem from me. My esteem was given to me when the Son of God said I was good enough to die for and then proved it by dying. Any 'self-esteem' is almost laughable given that fact. No, the point I am (with much effort) trying to make is this: we are, none of us, average. We are not even faintly the same as each other. Oh sure, we have similarities, but sameness and similarity are nowhere near synonymous. I am not close to average and neither are you and that is what makes life marvelously, interestingly difficult, challenging and captivating.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

The case for more creative speech

Whatever happened to decency? Lately I have just become more and more tired of vulgar language. Where I work it's always sort of been a given. It's kind of a 'man's world' workplace so it's to be expected. But why? How did it become expected? Where's our restraint?

I grew up in a 'G' rated world and, quite frankly, I miss it. I heard my dad swear once (in his native Frisian, but I knew he was swearing just by the context of his demeanor). It was such a big deal that I can remember to this day, the whole circumstance clearly. Once. That was the only time I ever heard my dad curse and I am glad of that fact.

I'm sure it makes me sound old, but I don't care. I think it takes more of a man to find creative ways to communicate his thoughts and feelings than to merely spout off obscenities. (Note: they are still called obscenities. Why then, are they so easily spewed?) Don't get me wrong. I am not offended by most swearing, nor am I a prude, I'm just sick of it. I don't want my mom walking around, hearing 'R' rated language at every turn. I think she deserves a better world than that. I realize that most people are just too lazy to think of a new, different way to say something so they use the old, tired standby by default. I think it's indicative of the larger societal problem called: lack of consideration for others.

So, rather than just spout off my distaste without offering a solution, I'm going to offer some of the alternate 'swear words' that I use from time to time. If for no other reason than to let you know (once again) how strange I am, here are few choice morsels:

Stink puppet!
Dinglecheese! (insulting, no?)
Skunk Pirate Jones!