Name Calling

When I started this morning’s meditation I was thinking about a new book, New Happy: Getting Happiness Right in a World That’s Got It Wrong, by Stephanie Harrison. I’m not recommending the book one way or the other, because I haven’t read it, but I did read an interview of her and what she had to say caused me to ask whether at this stage in my life, I am happy, and if not what can I do about it.

Somehow in the quiet of the moment, I thought about what had made me unhappy this morning — the language, especially the name calling, that goes on everyday by our leaders and millions of people on social media. Maybe I’m overly sensitive to this subject since I was raised by women who “took no cotton to name calling.” If certain words spilled out of my mouth the consequences involved various degrees of punishment culminating with the dreaded washing out my mouth with Dial soap. (A fate worse than death). Words like “stupid, fool, idiot,” and much worse, best not be said. “Sticks and stones may break my  bones, but words can never hurt me” didn’t apply to my classmates or other friends in my grandmother’s house.

Trashing people has become part of our society, much to my chagrin. You may not feel this way, but I wonder how name calling and trash mouths became acceptable.

Once again, I know I’m not going to change anything by what I do. However, as I thought about the last time soap touched my  tongue in a vigorous scrub, I decided to try something. During this political season I am going to try my best to avoid “name calling.” If I have something to say about a candidate or a leader I will choose my words carefully. The candidates, their surrogates, and those on social media will not receive license from me to engage in trash talking.

I probably will fail, but at least it might make me happy.


About the author

Webb Hubbell is the former Associate Attorney General of The United States. His novels, When Men Betray, Ginger Snaps, A Game of Inches, The Eighteenth Green, and The East End are published by Beaufort Books and are available online or at your local bookstore. When Men Betray won one of the IndieFab awards for best novel in 2014. Ginger Snaps and The Eighteenth Green won the IPPY Awards Gold Medal for best suspense/thriller. His latest, “Light of Day” will be on the bookstands soon.

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