“A Better Word”

Blog 1260 – 02.10.2019

“A Better Word”

I used that phrase yesterday when I decided against using a better word and instead inserted “crap” lest I offend those folks I grew up with who taught and still believe that there are better words to express things with than some of the adult words that children are not allowed to use.

As a writer one of the things I find most fun is the continuing search for a better, word, the best word, to express a point. And as the title of this blog assumes I am first and foremost looking for the encouraging word, the compelling word, the entertaining word.

Years ago in high school while many of my contemporaries were bored out of their gourds with the chapel services that usually consisted of speakers sharing something our Principal hoped might be of interest to his student body, I was listening completely enamored with the English spoken word. I think part of the reason I attended Bible College and spend three years studying to be a preacher was that I know there is persuasive power in words, power to thrill, to heal, and to even instill a desire to act better, to change.

That power has been misused and there are many examples. I cite but one, Adolf Hitler. I did my senior term paper on him and read much about him and learned that he was a very charismatic and gifted orator. Much as a Billy Sunday, or Billy Graham he was a persuasive speaker and could really move a crowd. Crowd-think is often not the best thinking but crowds are often moved by a single person or a small group to do their bidding, good or bad.

I would much rather there be thinking individuals that say, “Wait a minute, Bub, that stuff you’re spouting just does not make sense. Who are you trying to fool?” than have a bunch of mindless followers. What is it about us that we find it so easy to follow a popular figure and go along with the crowd when we often know deep inside that they and we are headed in the wrong direction.

Any time any man or woman stands up and says, “I am the only one that know how to handle this and get us through” alarm bells should go off in our heads. Anyone who has trouble admitting when he or she is and has been wrong is going to be wrong more times than not. That my friends is a given and we do not need to be drinking that Kool Aid, Jim. Jim Jones probably did not start out to be a “bad guy” but any guy who surrounds himself only with “yes people” is bound to go bad, having no one to check him on his bad ideas and we all have them.

And I know leaders have to have powerful egos to get up front, to get out front, and to try to lead but the same drive that gets them there, unchecked will lead them and us off the proverbial cliff or down a dead end road. Three encouraging words we need to continually ask our preachers, politicians, and leaders are WTF (and I will use just the initials to avoid offending my fundamentalist friends.) Any supposed leader who like a childish South Park Cartman yells, “How dare you question my authoritay?” is someone to shun. If the shoe fits wear it, whoever you are, but we can always choose to discard the old shoe and to put on a new pair or so says the encouraging word.

Your friend and fellow traveler,

David White

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