Remember the good old days?
You know, when everyone was gay and carefree?
Well who can blame you if you don't because those good old days were the nineties - The 1890's!
The decade directly preceding the twentieth century was given the nickname the "Gay Nineties." Of course many nicknamed the decade directly preceding this century as the Gay Nineties again but for a completely different reason.
So how did the word become so misused and misunderstood? How did we all miss the point?
I think it points to a 'dumbing up' of America.
Many intelligent people have tried to explain our fear of the unknown. But if we are in fact most afraid of the unknown then wouldn't it stand to reason that education could eradicate that fear?
Learn all you can about that which frightens you. Then use your new found brain power and God-given logical skills to erase your fear!
We all have preconceived notions of others and nearly innate prejudices that cannot and do not stand the light of day.
For example, and since I mean no disrespect here I will leave the second part of every line blank for you to fill in with your own slur. Trust me you will not be alone in your thinking.
Asians are -
Blacks are -
Jews are -
Gays are -
Italians are -
The Poles (Different word usually used) are -
You get the picture.
Will Rogers never met a man he did not like. What he meant was once he met someone, really met them and knew them he liked them for who or what they were, But conversely he may not have liked them prior to meeting them.
They say that fear breeds contempt. But contempt can also fester and grow as a cancer on society. And that cancer is not one-sided. Those we fear and irrationally hate eventually return the favor! Wars have started for similar reasons.
A recent poll in America shows our misunderstanding in a rather disturbing yet amusing way.
Asked "Do you favor or oppose homosexuals in the military" we receive the expected biased number. But change the operative word to 'Gay Men & Lesbians' and the change in response is dramatic. A 60 - 40 percentage in favor of 'Homosexuals' increases to a 70 - 30 favorable result for gays and lesbians!
The entire article is worthwhile reading for those of you interested in bettering yourselves.
Words do matter!
And how we use them matter even more!
The late great actor John Barrymore was said to have an amazing profile.
A bestselling book about our late President John F Kennedy was entitled 'Profiles in Courage.'
So profiles are good. Even the start of the word is "Pro" - which means, 'In favor of!"
But profiling is bad!
Years ago being called a Twit was bad - Now the entire world is a Twit, or at least they tweet.
In our current sound-bite era of information overload the truth is being obscured by the noise.
We use words that can save us time more these days than ever before. And we use them to signify entire paragraphs in order to set off desired emotions and reactions in our listeners or readers.
This is why now more than ever it is imperative that we really listen and understand what we hear! Most polls are meant to generalize and their results may give wrong impressions as in the above one.
How many of you would like your taxes cut?
How many of you want your neighbors' taxes cut?
How about if your neighbors' taxes were cut but not yours?
And by the way, remember that first Gay Nineties?
There was no Income Tax back then - (It didn't start for another ten or fifteen years.)
Yup - We were all gay and carefree!
The Good Old Days!