A SLOUCHING OF WORDS

I heard a good one the other day. I overheard a man visiting with his friend who said, “Yes, he’s pretty honest.” I’m thinking, “What’s pretty honest?”..Kinda honest, 75% honest …for the most part, honest?

Is it just me, but does it seem like words don’t have the same integrity they once did. Words like courage, honest, legendary, iconic, etc. are tossed about like a well worn whiffle ball.

There are all kinds of ways we offer up word descriptions. For the industry in which I was a part, it seems that the only qualification to be iconic or legendary is to still be alive by the time you’re in your 60’s…then it’s pretty much automatic. At 71, I feel a lot more older than legendary. I realize these are words of discretion, but in present times…praise has become less discrete.

Another word used a lot is courage. When I think of this word, I think of Gandhi, Martin Luther, William Tyndale,
Martin Luther King, Nelson Mandela, Desmond Tutu, Mother Teresa, Bonhoeffer, Harriet Tubman, Rosa Parks, religious martyrs and the scores of individuals who protected the Jews in World War II. The resolve and courage of the British people during World War II was inspirational.

I love the Thomas Babington Macaulay quote from “Lays Of Ancient Rome” in a scene from “Darkest Hour“ that has Sir Winston Churchill reciting these lines as he considers his Britain’s fate and

Then out spake brave Horatius,
The Captain of the Gate:
“To every man upon this earth
Death cometh soon or late.
And how can man die better
Than facing fearful odds,
For the ashes of his fathers,
And the temples of his gods”

As carefully as I care for the positive words I use, I’m given pause to consider the disparaging words I use as well.

Bishop Whipple, the first Episcopal bishop of Minnesota, a humanitarian and an advocate for Native Americans, spoke these challenging words:

“For the last 30 years, I have looked for the face of Christ in the people with whom I have disagreed.”

I have to catch myself on that some..uh..many times..

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