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Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Ten Random Minutes: Anodyne vs. Evil

We interrupt the regularly scheduled topic for yes,….a rant.
For some reason, these 10 minute time limits just make other topics build up until I just can't contain them any longer. So, for today, here you go…..

What on earth is wrong with Miriam-Webster?

I enjoy a good dictionary for what it can teach me about this ever evolving language that we speak. This morning, I was studying about satan. Yup…I was. I'm not even kidding. It's not like I want to be his minion or anything. Actually….it's that I don't.

When I was a kid, I remember being taught how to respond in certain situations…..If someone offers you drugs, do this…..If someone wants to cheat off of you in school, do this…..

I had those things down. I knew just what to do in SO many situations.

The sad thing is, I grew up. Suddenly, no one was telling me what to do or not to do in life's situations. I mean, the most I knew going into adulthood was that if I'm ever in a car accident, I'm supposed to call my insurance agent, but you know, life just doesn't come with a manual once you're out on your own.

So, I guess I've figured that the time has come to create my own.

At this point in life, I figure anything goes. But the biggest question of all is am I prepared for what lies ahead? What will my kids be throwing at me as they hit adulthood? What will others throw at me as I move beyond this phase in life? What about all of those who think I need to be thinking like them when I don't think like them at all? How do I respond to them? Am I ready for what life has in store for me?

I've decided that the one thing I'm sure of is that that guy I mentioned at the beginning of this post?...I don't want to be anything like him.

I figure that if I don't want to be like him, I'd probably better be doing the opposite of what he stands for. If he represents evil, then I want to represent ALL that opposes that.

So, in an attempt to create my manual for myself, I decided that the dictionary was as good a place as any to turn. If I went to "evil" on the Miriam-Webster dictionary app I downloaded onto my phone, I could then look at the antonyms, and I'd be good to go. Those words would give me a plethora of things to strive for.

Here's the list I found:

  • anodyne
  • benign
  • harmless
  • hurtless
  • innocent
  • innocuous
  • inoffensive
  • safe

Puh-leeeze! What the heck is that? The opposite of evil is safe? Huh? Since when? I don't get this at all.

If I had read this from an actual book, I would have burned it, but that wouldn't have been innocuous or inoffensive, would it? Instead, I deleted the app. Much more passive aggressive of me, wouldn't you say?

Instead, I crossed my fingers and went back to the app store. There, I found Dictionary.com and uploaded it…..

  • auspicious
  • decent
  • good
  • honest
  • moral
  • sinless
  • upright
  • virtuous

Yay! Yes, those are the things I want to be. Forget safe, I want to be moral. In these days, being moral is anything but safe.

Then I got to thinking about satan and how he works, and I believe that what I found in Miriam-Webster is just exactly what he wants. He wants us to believe that there is no evil and/or good. There just is. It's all just shades of gray. He doesn't want people believing that he even exists because as long as we don't believe in him, he can get away with whatever he darned well pleases. He has free reign.

Then, I get a little baffled by things in this world….When we have a choice, and when we know from childhood--through trial and error--that good choices bring good consequences and bad choices bring bad consequences, why would we abuse the choice we're given so much as to choose bad?

I think I've decided that it's because the bad choices are the easier ones to make. They don't fight gravity. They don't rise above. They just are.

So, Miriam-Webster, I think you've sold out. I think in selling out, you sell out society. Yay for Dictionary.com. I'm a fan. Forget "innocent" and "innocuous" and for heaven's sake, "anodyne." I want to be "good," "decent," "moral," and "virtuous." Thank you, Dictionary.com, for keeping these ideals alive. Thank you for giving us something to espouse, something to hold on to in this ever changing world of gray.

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