Monday, May 3, 2010

"Whatever?" Never!

As a writer, I believe that words matter. Each one a writer chooses to use reflects an heart attitude and should convey a specific meaning. The same is true for the spoken language.

I´ve been hearing ¨"whatever" more and more and it bugs me. It´s a word of defeat, apathy, and surrender. It does not equal peaceful acceptance nor is it learning to embrace trials and the concomitant growth they produce.

I agree that we all must choose our battle grounds and we´d be perennially exhausted if we fought over every issue in our lives.

Many years ago, when I was a new, overwhelmed mother, a friend counseled me to "pick my battles." I  followed that advice. That didn´t mean hiding my head in the sand or avoiding all confrontations. It meant (to switch metaphors) knowing what it was worth going to the plate about.

Parents don´t tell their toddlers "whatever" when they´re having a tempter tantrum or permit their teenagers to drink and drive. Friends don´t look away from friends who are flirting with breaking their marriage vows, a community doesn´t ignore a judge who takes bribes, and a nation doesn´t turn its back on a lying president.

Pick your battles and go to bat for them. One for me is this:

No more "whatevers." Ever.

6 comments:

elysabeth said...

Love it. I think the "whatever" has become a common "slang" usage for the teens - they use it much to say "That's fine.", "I'm okay with that." or just "I don't give a flippin' anything about what you have to say right now." - I agree with you though that it is totally overused and inappropriately, although sometimes I do find myself saying it, just to get someone to move on or stop talking - so guilty as charged.

Check my JGDS blog - you are being featured in a sense (writing the posting now - lol) - E :)

Joyce Moyer Hostetter said...

So true that each word reflects heart attitude and conveys specific meaning. That's why I like to write - it gives me time to choose just the right words. And to get the heart attitude right. I tend to mess up often while speaking!

Anonymous said...

Judge not a book by its cover.......................................................

Anonymous said...

Joy shared with others are more enjoyed.......................................................

Rebecca Anne Lukowski said...

If we were to look back about 10 years ago, I would be willing to bet "whatever" was not used nearly as much as it is today. This is a very interesting slice of lingo in today's world. We have become such a "bottom line" and "cut-to-the-chase" society that our daily conversations with one another are eroding! I hope people will start to slow down, read more literature and take time to reflect on their interactions with people. Great post! :)

Carol Baldwin said...

Thanks "Maupin House" for the comment. To whom can I attribute this response? WHen Emily was there I knew who was writing back to me...now it's a bit of a mystery (but it sounded like Julie. Am I right?)

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