Like, Um…


Four times a year, the wise editors at the Oxford English Dictionary do their revisions, adding  words to remain current with today’s lingo. Among the new entries this year were:

‘Clicktivism’, a word to describe a person who, ‘signals support for a political or social cause by means of the Internet, through social media, online petitions, etc., rather than by more substantive involvement’; a shout-out to Star Wars lovers, with ‘Yoda‘ added as a noun, meaning: ‘a person who embodies the characteristics of Yoda, esp. in being wise; an elder, sage or guru.’; ‘Non-apology’, a statement that takes the form of an apology but does not acknowledge responsibility or express regret for what has caused offence or upset; an insincere or unconvincing apology; and Squee’, representing a high-pitched squealing or squeaking sound produced by an animal, musical instrument, etc.

I have noticed, however, the overuse of a certain word (and I’m guilty of it myself, although I’m trying very hard to be cognizant of it and avoid it well, similar to the proverbial plague), that seems to be pervasive in our society, and perhaps in our younger adults more than the older ones, although it’s not limited to them. That word is “like“.  Now I have to admit with some shame (but only for research purposes for this blog article, mind you!), I watched a clip of “Rob and Chyna” online. images
The whole Kardashian thing is a train wreck in slow motion, and I feel like it just sucks my brain cells out of my head, and this short clip reinforced that for me, ugh. But what was notable for me about it was in 52 seconds, “like” was used 8 times. Rob only did it twice, but Chyna said “like” 6 times in 16 seconds!

Are a few of you squirming in your seats right now, feeling a bit uncomfortable? Thinking “I wonder, do I do that?” If so, and the answer is maybe, then start listening to yourself when you talk, or ask your friends to do it. Or, consider falling back to an old trick I picked up in a class on how to teach adult learners. Videotape yourself and then watch it so you can see what needs to change. So if you think you might be using the word “like” too often when speaking, set up your smartphone to record yourself during conversations. Just make sure to get permission from the other people participating in the conversation to record them too, otherwise you get to stand in front of some nice judge having this conversation instead:

“Will the defendant please rise and explain herself?”

“Um yes, Your Honor. I was like trying to  like record myself to see if like I say like too much when I like talk to my friends and like explain things. I just don’t understand like why I don’t do like well in interviews. I mean, like I’m a nice person, people like me, and like……”

By now the judge has driven bamboo under her fingernails and ground her molars into nubs, and is hissing between her clenched teeth at the bailiff “DO NOT MOVE ” as he waits to launch over the tables to clamp his hand over your mouth, just to make you stop using the word “like”!

Maybe those nice folks at the Oxford English Dictionary can announce days during the year where we just don’t use those overused words. Would’t it’s be interesting to find some other way to talk? When I started writing this today, I had to stop and think about it myself, as I didn’t want to use the word and say “like the proverbial plague”. Sometimes being aware and calling attention to things is enough, and we stop doing the behavior. Unfortunately, however, it seems it worked in reverse with those dratted Kardashians. Calling attention to them has just made them worse and the general public salivate like a pack of wild dogs.

Well, when the Kardashians go away, you’ll hear a loud squee from me, that’s for sure!

 

Advertisements

It Ain’t a Game of Concentration

I’ve intentionally not commented on candidates this election cycle for a number of reasons, even though there has been plenty of fodder from one in particular as far as I am concerned. And while I do so now, and realize it’s at my own peril, I’m not trying to start a conversation on the merits of one political position over another, one view over another and I hope I don’t get excoriated online, but I realize I’m opening myself up for exactly that. This isn’t about red or blue, Democrat or Republican, conservative or liberal. Contrary to popular belief I actually vote the person, not the party, and that’s as much as I will say about it. Having said that….

We have only a short time left until the election, so consider this carefully: A large number of business today follow the hiring model in HR of “past performance is the best predictor of future behavior”. While there may be some debate in it’s value from a psychological profile tool, businesses seem to agree that as an initial evaluation tool at the time of interviewing a candidate, Behavioral Based Interviewing provides more information and context than simply asking “did you do this?” or “can you create that?”

So within the context of past performance being the best, and perhaps only predicter of future behavior that we have, consider the following:

What if you’re the one that Donald Trump is talking to? Not a beauty pageant winner from 20 years ago, but you? You’re in the crowd, front row and he looks at you and singled you out as an example of:

“Fat”. “Pig”. “You really are an eating machine”.

“Unattractive”. “Flat chested, you’ll never be a ’10’ “”Too old, you’re over 40”.

Maybe you and your spouse hit a rough patch, even separated? Maybe it was over another person, or even over something else? You’re in that crowd, and Trump singles you out and says “adulterer!! cheater!! enabler! you’re both pathetic.” “You can’t keep your marriage together” and other nasty things. Is this ok when it’s you, calling that out in front of your friends? Coworkers and neighbors? He seems to think that because he’s been married ONLY three times, and ONLY had one ‘affair’, that somehow he’s better than others. But here’s the thing: He’s bragged openly about the number of married women that he’s slept with. I don’t know about you, but folks, in my book, even if he wasn’t married at the time, that’s still having an affair.  So, are we now OK with a serial adulterer in the White House? If so, then you certainly can’t hold any of Bill’s past against Hilary, now, can you?

What if….

He really IS friends with Vladimir Putin. What REALLY happens then?

He uses one of the nukes that he thinks he should be able to use, since we have them? What happens then? Are you seriously ready to die?

He really IS friends with David Duke, and the white supremacists? You remember them, right? The ones he had trouble disavowing…What happens then? If you’re even a small percent African-American, Jewish, or some other less than perfect non-perfect caucasian, maybe it will be welcome to either the resettlement camps in America, or the deportation lines at the airport.

And about those tax returns. He says he’ll release them after he’s no longer under audit, which is likely to be after the election is over. I’ll go one better. Using logic and if-this-then-that thinking: He’s been under audit continuously since, what 1995? He says he knows people as wealthy as he is who never have been audited. Ponder this: Why does the IRS audit? 1 – Random audits or 2 – They found a red flag. For over 20 years he’s gotten randomly audited? I doubt it, so for over 20 years the IRS has continually found red flags in what he files in his tax return, so much so that they feel is alarming enough for him to be audited every year. Now here is the kicker…why can’t you see the returns from 2013, 2012, 2011? Because they are part of the 2014 audit. What happens when the 2014 audit is done? He’ll be audited on the 2015 tax year. Guess what? He won’t release 2014 then either, because it will be tied up with the 2015 audit, because the IRS will find another red flag. And so on, and so on. You will never see his tax returns. Not until hell freezes over. 

What I really don’t understand I guess, is the support that is given to him by the Evangelicals in this country. Back in June, James Dobson said that Trump had accepted Christ as his savior, referring to him as a “baby Christian”. Now as a Christian, I’m not one to proselytize, I don’t get up on rooftops and wave my faith around like a big flag at Perkins. That’s not my style. I’m more like my dad…I prefer to be more in the background. And I know that we’re all perfectly imperfect, works in progress. We makes mistakes, lots of them, all of the time and I’m no exception. But here’s the thing…as Christians, we do have to try to not repeat them, and to not make them intentionally. When you make mistakes, you apologize genuinely and make it right, then move on. And try to not it again.

Ahem. To the Christian Evangelical political leaders in this country:

  1. You shall have no other gods before Me.
  2. You shall not make idols.
  3. You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain.
  4. Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy.
  5. Honor your father and your mother.
  6. You shall not murder.
  7. You shall not commit adultery.
  8. You shall not steal.
  9. You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
  10. You shall not covet.

Perhaps you’d like to have a little chat with Trump re: 1,7,8,9.  His repeated attacks on individuals regarding their character, their abilities, their skills, their bodies, his shady business dealings, his lack of respect for others, the laws of our country, our military, our veterans, simple things like not interrupting another person when they are speaking (oh heck, I learned that when I was 3!) just aren’t lining up with the commandments, and aren’t indicative of someone who is supposedly espousing Christian values. Aren’t we taught that lying is wrong? Yet this man not only lies, but then reverses it, and refuses to acknowledge the first lie, or worse, goes out and finds some conspiracy theory website as his “source of fact” without really doing any true due diligence, then spews hurtful rhetoric. This is someone you want representing you? Why aren’t you all denouncing this horrible, un-Christian behavior? And don’t turn and point the finger at Hilary and give me that “well she’s no better” bull. She might be, she might not be. Listen to me well. Whatever she is or is not, has no bearing on what he is. Did you hear me? 

His behavior isn’t erased by hers. He doesn’t get a pass, there is no “oh look, a Democrat sinned so we’ll let the Republican get a pass for a free sin too.” I’m pretty sure it doesn’t work like that. As believers, when we die we believe we’ll go to heaven, and face our Father, and have to account for our life. I don’t think He’s going to have my sins laid out like the card game “Concentration”. Remember that one from when you were a child? Where you laid out the deck of cards one at a time, face down, then picked them up and tried to match them. You’d look for a pair of 2’s, or a pair of 10’s, and when you found a pair, they were discarded, until the entire deck was gone. I don’t think God is going to say “Beth, we have to find matching sins among your family, friends and peers for all of yours before you can enter heaven.”  I have to answer for myself.

Trump needs to do the same. So does Hillary. But it’s time to stop saying “yeah!” to him every time he refuses to offer contrition for his wrongs, or apologize without bringing Clinton’s name into the conversation. Make him answer for what he does wrong, tell him to stop bringing Clinton’s name into everything as a tool to try and deflect. Until he can take accountability, and learn contrition, well, there’s that old parable about the camel and the eye of the needle.