Merry Christmas! Can I Say That?

Political Correctness copWait . . . will the PC Police allow me to say that?!  Bah humbug!  I am tired of kowtowing to elitists and cowering in the corner.  If words are upsetting, perhaps my physical appearance is equally upsetting!  jzeeesh!

Egad . . . what do I do?

Having multiple sclerosis is humbling in so many ways yet social acceptance of most any speech or idea other than the radical has gone to the extreme of intolerance.

In the late 20th century using words as diverse as “handicapped” and “Secretary” fell out of favor as derogatory and limiting.  “Disabled” and “Administrative Assistant” became preferred.  These shifted focus and elevated the condition/task by causing people to rethink what they associated with the words in an attempt to garner empathy, understanding and respect.  More peculiar was the change from Interior Decorator to Interior Designer.  hmmm . . . somehow reality did not matter.  True Interior Designers were denigrated as the result of elevating the Interior Decorator.

Traditional values and opinions have been ridiculed and censored throughout history.  Is it real or is this something we simply allow by our silence?  I think the latter.  It is tacit approval by virtue of embarrassment.

If you hate holidays, perhaps saying “happy holidays” is offensive to you.  Taking it to its progressive conclusion, exchanging thoughts or simply conversing with each other should be forbidden in case I or you say something that just might be “offensive” to anyone within earshot.

Consider the case of 50-year-old Martin Bashir who on November 15, 2013, suggested Sarah Palin should receive the same treatment as punished slaves in America in past centuries.  I will not repeat it because it is not something I wish to put in writing.  However, it was without doubt, a vile and disgusting visual image with sexual overtones suggesting violent behavior toward the opposite sex.

By virtue of this inflammatory and defaming insult, Bashir spoke his own thoughts and did not quote anyone.  His words were intended to be accusatory and offensive and were not just an insult.  To his credit, he resigned and apologized.

On the other hand, 67-year-old Phil Robertson (Duck Dynasty family head and self-described Bible-thumper) was quoting the Bible as something he believed.  Rather than speak hatefully or endorse violence, he explained that the Bible – the book he believes to be the word of God – declares many things are sins but we are to love each other regardless.  He stated  “We never, ever judge someone on who’s going to heaven, hell.  That’s the Almighty’s job.  We just love ’em, give ’em the good news about Jesus . . .  We let God sort ’em out later . . .”

Robertson was suspended indefinitely by A&E after saying that “everything is blurred on what’s right and what’s wrong. . . Sin becomes fine . . .”  Although he continued with more adult descriptions of his thoughts, he said these things to a print reporter, not on TV.  To his credit, he did not resign or apologize.  [Click here for  GQ article.]

The difference is one spoke hatefully.  The other spoke out of conviction but humbly.

NONE of us lack bias and/or have the wisdom to take “truly” selfless actions to correct all wrongs.  Unfortunately, today’s Americans tend to elevate the ideals of the extremes rather than pursue rational give-and-take positions.  Too many insist on pursuing polarization.  People who “shape” their beliefs and inspect all points of view, then extract the best from each viewpoint are better equipped to make appropriate assessments.  Sadly, those who do not understand this approach accuse those with this attitude of being wishy-washy.  There is an apparent willingness to ridicule those who do not believe in one-size-fits-all narrow-minded viewpoints and values.  Although we desire to find the one rational solution for all situations, we only discover there are NO pat answers.

Independent and DIFFERENT opinions WITH CONVERSATION and CONSIDERATION are the pathways to problem solving.  Mindless drone/lemming behavior is dangerous.  Acceptance and forgiveness are too often forgotten and discarded.

As an ergonomist, I revel in diversity.  I embrace it.  The ridiculousness of censoring ourselves has become epidemic, sophomoric and irrational.  Grow up.  Get a spine.  Speak out.

I hope we all experience a Merry Christmas with “goodwill toward all.”

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