Monday, March 14, 2016
STICKS AND STONES
Recently, I have responded to a couple of political comments, posts, thoughts, memes, and flaming crosses on Facebook. I’ve learned something. Diversity killed unity.
And now we (I mean society, not you personally, unless it is you personally) can’t agree on anything—not even what constitutes name-calling. What’s name calling in your village might be terms of endearment in mine.
Diversity. Live with it.
Name-calling is a time-honored tactic in many villages used to cause spluttering, spitting, and/or high blood pressure. It’s the lowest common denominator in the argument pointy triangle.
Name-calling is a word or condition that can be inserted into the sentence, “You are a (fill in the blank) as in: You are a brat, rat, gnat, or you are silly, slippery, stupefying.
The worst name-calling offenders, in my experience, are those that claim the moral high ground like folks who say, “I believe in unconditional love . . . you brat, rat, gnat.” Unconditional love is simply love that has no conditions. Examples of this kind of love without rules, conditions, or standards include:
You just smashed me in the face with an axe; I love you anyway.
You just rolled me in cornflakes and poured motor oil all over me. I love you regardless.
She just lied, cheated, stole, betrayed, and blew her family to tiny, bloody emotional bits. I’m in love.
Sure. Sure. It’s all about love but LIKE, that’s a different story. I love you fine, but I wouldn’t recommend you for the job of dog walker, because I don’t LIKE the way you tie cat’s tails together and sling them over a clothesline so they can fight.
You are a creep. This is name-calling—also judging. I love you fine, but you’re a creep.
Names are descriptive. Names highlight diversity (always a good thing.) Names help us find birds with feathers like our own. Names keep us honest.
So, in the spirit of do as I do, I shall now call myself a name; I am a FLIBBERTIGIBBET.
A flibbertigibbet is a Middle English word referring to a flighty or whimsical person, usually a young woman. In modern use, it is used as a slang term, especially in Yorkshire, for a gossipy or overly talkative person.
Cool. I own it, and I’m calling for all flibbertigibbets to unite, unless they’re too busy being flighty.
And unless you are an insecure, flakey flibbertigibbet—who needs constant re-enforcement and self-esteem stroking—you understand that names truly cannot hurt you . . . not like sticks and stones.
Get a clue, maroon.
Linda (Short Stuff) Zern