We are too damn sensitive! That statement alone probably offended someone. Truth is, however, we are. Everything has to be worded so as not to upset the gentle sensitivities of a weaker majority. Roosevelt said, "Speak softly and carry a big stick.” Personally, I say we speak out and hit them over the head anyway. I'd kick a few in the seat of their pants except they wear them so low, I'd only hit air. We are so worried about hurting someone's self-esteem that we've actually made them softer human beings. Look, I'm as sensitive as the next guy but a bum is a bum, not a person between residences. I know, I know. I'm cold and heartless, but I've talked to some of these connoisseurs of loose change. They don't want to better their lives because they think their life is great. They don't have mortgages or grocery bills; they don't have electric bills. Hell, they don't even have electricity.
They do have walkie-talkies, however. I watched as one panhandler stood under the Dog Trek sign and handed off one of the squeaky boxes to his cohort in vagrancy. He would then sit across the street and warn the begging one when a police officer was coming. I would just like some honesty from the local beggar, that's all. Hold a sign that says, "Too lazy to work. Would rather beg,” and then, I'll give you my loose change. Shoot, I'll give you a whole dollar. Of course, saying this out loud, the girls each made a sign and stood with their hands out by the front door.
When did it become a crime to call things what they are? Does it make the garbage not reek if the one who collects it is called a Waste Management Technician instead of a garbage man? I would have assumed the seventeen dollars an hour would have done that.
We can't even tell people their fired anymore. It went from "You're fired." to "We are terminating you," which to me sounds worse than being fired. Termination just feels like a memorial service is in the near future. Now, however, it's become "Separation of Employment.” Does that make the unemployment check alimony? Seriously, is this a better way of handling the situation? The person being fired has screwed his job up and now we're worried about hurting his feelings when we get rid of them so that we can do business better.
"Aren't you going to work today, honey?"
"Oh, you didn't hear? My boss and I separated. Yeah, I got the shaft and he got the coffee pot. It's okay, though. He was interrupting my Twitter time."
With this new phrasing, I wonder if they make them see a career counselor to try and save the employment marriage. Many people hate it when you call their career a job as well. They've spent 75,000 dollars on a college education in order to call their “job” a career. I hate to inform you, it's still work and you can still be separated from it. Of course, it's harder for people who have been separated from their careers to find new ones, but jobs are everywhere.
I don't think counseling would be a good idea either.
"Manager, why do you think you and Employee are having issues?"
"Because he's a lazy screw-up."
"Now, Manager, those are harsh terms. We usually use the term 'underachiever'."
"Try never achiever. He's nothing but a dust collector."
"Well, see there. He is achieving something."
Why do we insist on making people feel good about themselves who refuse to do any good? He lost his job because he did a piss poor job, and according to my dad that leads to not being able to afford the pot you piss in, which made me leery when Mom made beans in the big pot.
They tried to make it easier by giving people pretty pink slips and saying they were only temporarily letting them go. They called it “laid off” because basically you just got screwed. They created this phrase because they would rather sacrifice your standard of living than sacrifice even part of theirs, but hey, you can collect your Employment Alimony sooner.
Still, we are afraid of basic terms for things. Bag boys have become packaging technicians, housewives have turned into domestic engineers and toilet bowl cleaners are politicians. I'm a writer, a purveyor of words, a connoisseur of description, and a slinger of verbiage. I prefer the simple term writer, however.
Our heritage has also fallen under this New Word Order. Everyone is trying so hard to run from the past that nationalities have been reinvented. I keep looking for the spot to check that says Irish-German-Native American-American on applications. This can be taken way too far in the creation of sub-categories of Americans declaring they deserve special rights. One day you open the paper and the headline reads: “Thumper suing the creator of Twitter for using his word.”
Thumper is seen on national television, left foot thumping away. “I had the word first! It’s my creation. It’s part of ‘twitter-pated’, which I used when that stinking skunk with the silly name got all googly-eyed over a girl. Hey, wait! I created Google as well.” He then goes on about being a Cartoon-American and having special rights. I believe in equal rights. I do not believe in special rights. We’re all the same even if a little different. How about we just say, “I’m an American”?
With the last name of Cox, I've taken quite a few name adjustments. People can be childish, especially children. However, never did I want to change my name to avoid the nonsense of idiots. That's giving in. I preferred to run home, crying, and write a short story where I kill off all the morons.
This all leads to Separation of Ancestry, however, which leads to loss of identity. I don't believe in apologizing for the people who went before me. Their mistakes and poor decisions were theirs not mine. They can apologize for them from wherever they are. What happened four generations ago should not dictate attitudes of today. We’ve grown as a people in our understandings and our technologies.
Likewise, I don't expect my children to have to pay for my blunders. Others, however, don't share this view. Rather, they hold to the mindset guilty by association. Not all within a race are the same, nor within an age group or gender. This judgmental attitude has already happened to my eldest son. Due to something I had done, an educational minister's family thought they couldn't have my son join them at the movies. Jesus apparently had it wrong when he ate with sinners such as I, but then again his focus was the hurting, not the self-healed.
These attitudes lead to Separation of Compassion, which proves we've become way too sensitive about ourselves when we value our supposed place in this temporary world over the feelings of others. I don’t care what you’ve accomplished in life or what your position is, it doesn’t give you the right to turn your nose up and your speech down at people. Fifteen years ago, when I taught a small group at a church, I had a poster on the wall of a well-known preacher straddling a Harley and dressed like Arnold
Schwarzenegger in The Terminator. The caption read, “The Sermonator,” which I thought was hilarious and one preacher didn’t. I was told that it showed a lack of respect to pastors. Everyone else thought it was a riot and great marketing. People need to laugh at themselves more and catch up to the rest of us.
I stopped reading a series of short stories because the editor was condescending and rude in her introductions to the stories to the people who didn’t make the cut. I loved this woman’s writing, but I’m not sure I would have liked her as a person. As my dad would say, “They act like their shit don’t stink.” And everyone’s shit stinks, especially after three Burrito Supremes from Taco Bell.
It's time to stop worrying about names and start worrying about people. Stop worrying about yourself and start living with a heart that cares more for people than position. Stop being so sensitive and become sensitive to those around you.
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