“When the whole world is running towards a cliff, he who is running in the opposite direction appears to have lost his mind.” C. S. Lewis
I’ll bet you thought this was going to be a post about us becoming a herd of sheep. It isn’t really, though I probably will write that one someday. Today I’m thinking about the foolish things that were said to us as children and we continued to perpetuate to ours and they to theirs. It’s kind of a right of passage. “Eat your vegetables. Don’t you know that children are starving in China?” When I heard that as a child, I often wondered how my eating my vegetables was going to benefit some starving kid in China. Or how about this one? “Eat your spinach, it will grow hair on your chest.” Why would I even want to grow hair on my chest?
When we’re parents, we often say dumb things. We repeat what we heard as children. We speak without thinking and often leave a negative memory in the mind of those we’re talking to. For example: “Don’t step on a crack, you’ll break your mother’s back.” So now we are laying the blame on our children for his mom’s backaches.
When I was a child, I heard that sitting on cement would give you piles. I couldn’t imagine what that meant. Piles of what? Would I be glued to the cement and it would climb all the way to heaven? Later I discovered that piles was another name for hemorrhoids. Another falsehood came when I was told that cracking my knuckles would later cause arthritis. I’m still wondering about that one.
Currently our words and actions are on display for everyone to judge. So we must be extra careful about how we use them. Instead of worrying about walking on cracks in the pavement, we’re being led to believe that we must walk on eggs and not say anything that could be misinterpreted. However some of those old sayings have some merit. The book of Proverbs is full of them. Thinking before we speak doesn’t always happen when you’re on Twitter or Facebook. We tend to respond in the moment and that’s when we get into trouble.
But is some of our individuality being challenged when we must be like everyone else? Maybe it’s best to just keep quiet and say nothing. Well, like I said, that’s a whole different post which I will someday write. Oh, maybe I just did.