beth.clark@ymail.com

Things to Rethink

The introvert musings and hilariously true life adventures of a pragmatic optimist and professional writer.

Things to Rethink

I think about the sayings and commonly accepted beliefs that have somehow become part of American life kind of a lot, mostly in a humorous light; others not so much. Here are five I’d like to vanquish from the universe:

Money is the root of all evil. NO. It’s not. Evil is the root of all evil. Greed is one root of evil, along with entitlement, both can lead people to do things that harm others, and it sucks when evil people have money. But poor evil people are just as awful. A lot of good people with money do a lot of good things with it, so hating on it doesn’t change the fact that it’s almost impossible to function in modern society without it. Embrace it and the opportunities and freedom it brings. Stop judging money and what other people do with theirs. If fewer people cared about how they appeared to others, there’d be a lot less conflict and angst around it. Personally, money buys plane tickets and makes other good (and necessary) things possible, which makes it a friend I want to have as many play dates with as possible.

There are two sides to every story. Technically, this is correct. But it doesn’t mean that both sides are in the right or being honest.(See above on evil people.) People lie, and they can be wrong. So can their behavior. It’s entirely possible for a situation to be 100/0 and true 50/50 is rare. As someone who loathes drama, I understand not wanting to get involved, but sometimes bystanders need to stand up for someone who is or was being mistreated by saying, “Hey, what you’re doing/did isn’t/wasn’t okay.” It’s possible to call out the behavior without calling out the person and getting into a conflict of your own. There are some really fucking mean people out there you guys, so speak up. Bullies aren’t just on the playground or Facebook, and staying quiet gives them more power since a lack of opposition is perceived as tolerance or acceptance. Empower the person who was mistreated by validating what happened to them instead.

It is what it is. Is it? And what is it? Presumably, a situation that’s in the past or out of someone’s control. But it isn’t what it is, because you always have the power to change your thoughts, beliefs, and behavior…especially how you respond to something. There are way more meaningful things that can be said in place of this cliché, especially if it’s preceded with “At the end of the day”…

Everything happens for a reason. OMFG. Whose reason? There are bazillion philosophies that could fuel a bazillion possible explanations for anything that happens at any given second of any day, but if I don’t know that reason, this is of no comfort. The truth is, everything happens. Or doesn’t. If the reason something happened is obvious and it’s something you don’t want to happen again, embrace the learning opportunity. Conversely, if it’s something you want to happen again, embrace the outcome. For some reason (!), people don’t usually say this when something good happens, which is backwards.

It’s the thought that counts. Bullshit. For everyone over the age of five, the majority of the time, it’s what you do with/about that thought that counts. This often accompanies a failed attempt to do something nice, so why not just admit you failed or missed the target, apologize if you need to, and ask for a do-over if possible/appropriate?

Let’s all just say no to clichés.

 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.