Recommended Summer Reads

Hola, Readers!

Since Merriam-Webster came out with their recommended summer reading picks for 2019, I decided to throw out a few recommendations of my own.

Fiction
nrats IMAGE1. No Road Among the Stars: An Innerstellar Commonwealth Novel (Vol. 1) by A. Walker Scott
This book transported me back to the wonder and newness that first drew me to science fiction fandom. It’s well written and clean, and has believable, full characters with their own languages and cultures that the author (a real-life linguist and world traveler) created. All that and a high-stakes conflict in space. Keep an eye out for some fun Easter eggs, too.

Promise at Daybreak Image2. Promise at Daybreak by Elizabeth Wehman
This novel is about two elderly sisters, cordial but not friendly because of their opposite opinions on faith and politics. They must cohabitate to face a promise that they made to one another at their mother’s grave site, though neither sister is sure she can go through with the promise. This is a feel-good relationship story with a mystery and a twist that I did not see coming. This book is clean and has specific Christian content.

between the bridge and the river3. Between the Bridge and the River by Craig Ferguson
This novel is raunchy and rude, filthy, funny, provocative, and spiritually insightful. I literally laughed and cried (and sometimes gagged a little) through the whole thing. And when I finished, I felt encouraged and thoughtful. If you’re offended by anything at all (not everything, just anything), it’ll probably offend you. But if you roll with the punches, it’s worth the ride.

Nonfiction
Blue Like Jazz book image1. Blue Like Jazz: Nonreligious Thoughts on Christian Spirituality  by Donald Miller
I recommend this book at every opportunity for a reason: It’s one of those very rare books that I can honestly say changed my outlook on life. It’s riveting, clever, at times laugh-out-loud funny and at times mind-blowingly profound. If you saw the movie and it wasn’t for you, read the book anyway. As we old folks used to say back in the day, the book is a “totally different head.” Mostly clean reading. There’s some light cussing, if I remember correctly.

Democrat or republican2. Is Jesus a Democrat or a Republican? by Tony Campolo
This book was first published in 1995, but I cannot think of a better time to read it than today. Without judgement, and with courageous love and truth, this book explores opposing sides of some polarizing political and social issues in light of the Bible–and why good and godly people can disagree with one another. It’s written in essay form, and delivers opinion with humility.

stranger in the woods image3. The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkle
This is the true story of a man who just wanted to be left alone. At the age of twenty, Christopher Knight parked his car and vanished. He lived alone in the deep woods of Maine–undetected and unattached to civilization–for twenty-seven years. This is a fascinating story.

[Note: I don’t get sponsored or paid to recommend these, and I don’t get anything if you follow the links. They’re just books that I’ve read and like, and I linked to where you can find them on Amazon. Buy them anywhere you want or request them at your local public library. If you like one of my recommendations, and you’re feeling generous, I wouldn’t turn down a small donation.  paypal.me/KAFrazier. ]

What are you reading? Do you prefer fiction or nonfiction? What books do you recommend for the summer? Please leave the titles of your favorites in the comment section, so I can find more awesome books to read. We’re in this together.

Hugs,
Kathy

 

The N-word: Is it ever OK to say? Plus NaNoWriMo editing update

Hola, Writer Peeps!

grawlix wikimedia pdi
FYI: A string of characters that take the place of a cuss word is called a grawlix.

What do you think? Can I say the N-word and other “bad” words in a historical context? Or are some words just not acceptable ever?

As an example of non-acceptance, my husband Frazierhead and I went to a family’s home for dinner. The children ate in another room so they could relax and be children and so the grownups could relax and be grown up.

Over soup, our hosts asked if we had seen the movie Amazing Grace, a biographical film about the abolishment of the African slave trade in England. We said that we had and that we recommended it.

The mom asked if the movie was appropriate for children. I answered, “There’s no overt violence but there’s language you may not want your children to hear.”

“Like what?” she pressed. “What do they say?”

Because I was among adults and because she asked me directly, I said that, in the movie, a slave owner refers to a slave as the N-word. Only I didn’t say, “the N-word.” I said the N-word.

Both husband and wife—in unrehearsed but perfect unison—audibly gasped and drew back as if I had slapped them. Silence fell over the room. I looked to Frazierhead for support. He seemed frozen in wide-eyed horror. I quickly started chattering about the historical accuracy of the film’s use of the N-word, avoiding saying it again, and then changed the subject. We were not invited back.

mark_twain_by_af_bradley i said it
Mark Twain, 1907. Photo by A.F. Bradley, public domain

In retrospect, I should have apologized. Even though, in context, I hadn’t said anything deliberately cruel or racist, the fact that I said the N-word at all was offensive to that couple and shocking to my husband. The current American convention says to replace some cuss words—the really bad ones—with initials. We say “the N-word,” “the B-word,” and “the F-word.”

The problem, I think, with the initial thing is that all words are symbols. When I wrote, “the N-word,” I put that word into your brain. You didn’t wonder what I meant. I accomplished the exact same thing that I would have accomplished by saying or writing the word out in full. This seems pointless to me. I’d rather say the word or not say it. But seeing where that gets me in the real world, I’m hesitant to follow through.

Mark Twain’s The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn is full of the N-word. Harper Lee’s To Kill a Mockingbird also uses it. Yet both books are clearly anti-racism. The racist words within the stories testify to racism’s cruelty within those cultures and in those times. Still, some people believe that the use of the word alone compels us to ban or censor these books–or at least let them drop off of reading lists. What do you think? Should books with bad words get put on the shelf forever? Should we “fix” art and censor history to make it conform to our current sensibilities?

Read The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn online for free.
Read To Kill a Mockingbird online for free. 

As writers, we know that authentic characters make or break our story. But we also know to write for our target reader. And if our target reader is going to gasp and fall back, or—more importantly—stop reading if we let our characters use bad words, we need to make adjustments. Or we need to reevaluate our target reader.

In fiction, it’s easy to avoid cussing.
Marion slammed the vase to the ground, shouting profanities at no one in particular.

“Why, you’re just a no good, dirty–”
“Enough!” Alex pulled him back by the collar.

I’ve mentioned the 1964 film Lady in a Cage (bad title) before, but it’s still the best example of believable bad-guy dialogue without cussing that I know. If you write bad-guy characters and want to avoid cussing, it’s worth your time to see it. Don’t let kids watch it, though. Even without cussing or nudity, it’s violent and disturbing.

I’m currently writing a biographical book about ordinary family life during the Civil Rights Movement in the USA. A lot of racial slurs, sexist slurs, and homophobic slurs flew freely in those days. I’m tiptoeing around the words in my book, but I will have to make some hard choices. Do I spell out the sins of the past or just hint at them?

What would you do as a writer? As a reader, would you read an overall “good” book if it contains bad words? Or would you shrink back in horror? Let me know in the comments below. We’re all in this together.

Hugs,
Kathy
————————————————————————

all-half-price-sale

UPDATE!  Half Off Copyedits for NaNoWriMo Winners

I’ve currently booked 241,000 words of the 800,000-word limit. That means there’s still plenty of room to book your work in progress! Details HERE.

 

 

This year, I’m all about Christmas!

Hello everybody!

We’ve just finished Hanukkah. I lit the candles and sang the prayers. But this year, I’m all about celebrating Christmas! Who’s with me?

Aunt Bethany Christmas vacation
Last year at this time, my husband’s mother had just died–only six months after my own mother’s death which was eleven months after my father’s death. It was a time of indescribable grief for our entire family.

This year, sadness has (mostly) given way to fond memories. We have a new baby grandson–our first!–and we’re looking forward to making new memories with this new little person. Our lives have settled back into a routine and we’re ready to open up and accept the joy of the Christmas season again. This year, we’re celebrating along with the angels of God, saying, Glory to God in the highest, And on earth peace, goodwill toward men!” (Luke 2:14)

6 Ideas for Celebrating Advent as a Family

How is your holiday season going this year? Are you in a sad or anxious time, or a time of refreshment (or some of each)? I’d love to hear about it in the comments below. Whether this season finds you mourning or rejoicing, I pray that the free gift of God, which is eternal life through Jesus, will guard your heart with peace.

“For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest anyone should boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9 NKJV 

Ready for a chuckle? Check out this short video from Blimey Cow.


Cartoon elf from publicdomainpicturesdotnetATTENTION NANOWRIMO WINNERS:

Did you finish NaNoWriMo or NaNoWriMo Young Writers Program last month? If you did, you’re eligible for half off copyedits in 2019. Read the specifics at Half off Copyedits for NaNoWriMo Winners and contact me to schedule yours. I have two novels scheduled already but there’s still plenty of room for more. Pass this offer along to NaNoWriMo winners that you know. We’re in this together!

Hugs,
Kathy

Light Shines in the Darkness

Hola, peeps!

Tristan 2018
Thanksgiving grandbaby! Cutest little guy ever. 

I’m gonna level with you: This isn’t going to be the most coherent post I’ve ever written. I’m on day five of a stubborn migraine, taking painkillers, AND I’m on day five of BEING A GRANDMOTHER! Woooooot! My grandbaby Tristan Alexander was born November 21st, the day before Thanksgiving, and we are so very thankful for him! So I’m distracted. Bear with me. We’re in this together.

Since I’m all about the baby right now, I’ve been thinking about the humility of our Savior’s birth. I’m awestruck to think that the Light of the World, the Creator of the ends of the Earth, willingly gave up his position in heaven and confined himself to the darkness of the womb for nine months. For you. For me. For himself. Such a humble and patient spirit! And to think I get miffed when someone cuts in front of me in a line. Sigh. I need to work on that.

light-small-candle

Many people believe that Jesus began life in the womb of the Virgin Mary during Hanukkah, which begins this year (2018) after sundown Sunday, December 2nd.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.  The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it… He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him… Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God.” John 1:1-12

My very dear friend Cindy Elliott, over at His-Israel.com, along with Keren Hannah Pryor, wrote up a DIY Hanukkah free download for Christians who want to get in on the celebration. Even if you’re not observing Hanukkah this year, I recommend reading through the guide for a deeper understanding of Messiah and Savior, Jesus.

What are you doing to express humility and patience this holiday season?

Hugs,
Kathy

Half Off Copyedits for NaNoWriMo Winners

woman on computer by axelle b at publicdomainpicturesdotnet
Photo by  axelle b.

Hello, Writer Peeps!

It’s November, and that means NaNoWriMo!

National Novel Writing Month is a time to write, write, write your little heart out, and produce 50,000 words in thirty days. Your novel has to have a beginning, middle, and end, but it does not need to be good. You can do this. We all know the only way to write a brilliant novel is to get that first ugly draft down.

Kids can write shorter books through the NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program.

Read: How it Works for more on winning NaNoWriMo. 

For those of you participating this year, Godspeed! NaNoWriMo has lots of company sponsors and loads of useful incentive offers for participants and winners. Check them out [HERE].

what-your-story by George Hodan at publicdomainpicturesdotnet
Original photo by George Hodan

As a little bonus incentive, I’m offering a limited number of NaNoWriMo 2018 winners a discount on copyediting your new novel. I’ll give you time to flesh it out and clean it up first so the discount will be applied in 2019.

Terms of Offer:
(1) All NaNoWriMo and NaNoWriMo Young Writer’s Program winners are eligible for this discount and will be scheduled on a first-come, first served basis. A 10% non-refundable deposit will hold your scheduled spot and will be applied toward your final cost. If you schedule a copyedit, then don’t have your manuscript ready by the scheduled date, you can apply your deposit toward another date, if available.

(2) Offer limited to copyediting a total combined word count of 800,000. Once that number is reached, no more discounted copyedits will be scheduled. So, keep writing at NaNoWriMo speed to get in on this deal!

(3) Discounted copyediting price is equal to half of my average fee, that is $3.50 per 1000 words or any part of 1000 words, with no minimum. (e.g., With this discount, a book of 50,000 words will cost $175.00 to copyedit; A book of 50,001 to 51,000 words will cost $178.50. A young writer’s book of 10,000 words will cost $35.00 to copyedit.)

(4) Word count applies to the manuscript as given to me, not to the copyedited version. I count every word I have to read, including titles, footnotes, subheadings, etc.

(5) Copyediting discount will apply to both fiction and nonfiction books of any genre.

(6) Discount will apply to copyedits scheduled from December 1, 2018, through December 31, 2019, and completed on or before March 1, 2020.

(7) Copyediting will be defined as:
* Correcting spelling, punctuation, and other grammatical errors in accordance with the most current Chicago Manual of Style guidelines and the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.
* Detecting inconsistencies in tone, style, story timeline, facts, and character point of view
* Detecting misused or overused words
* Detecting awkward or less-than-comprehensible language
* Rearranging or cutting words, phrases, sentences, or paragraphs for better flow, logical transitions, and easier readability
* Replacing passive (boring) verbs with active (engaging) verbs, where appropriate (Example: When she had gone [went] to the store, it was still light outside.)
* Offering suggestions for improvements, if any
* Tracking and explaining changes in the most current version of either MS Word or Open Office (your choice)
* Answering follow-up questions

(8) This offer does not include formatting for e-readers.

That’s all folks. I hope to see you among the NaNoWriMo 2018 Winners soon!

Hugs,
Kathy

 

Do you believe in ghosts?

haunted-cemetery by Linnaea Mallette pdp
Picture by Linnaea Mallette via publicdomainpictures.net

Boo!

I’m not planning to post mid-week as a regular thing, but I read an interesting article about ghosts by Alexander Preston on the blog Empyrean Voyager.  Since today is Halloween, I figure it’s good timing to share it with you.

The topic of the souls of the dead reaching out to the living is one that has been debated probably as long as people have left behind grieving loved ones. The linked article explores the subject of ghosts from a Biblical and Church history point of view.

Disclaimer: I do not personally agree with much of this article. It is well written, however, and seems to use sound theological study methods and research. I share it because I think it’s helpful for Christians to share their interpretations with one another and the article is genuinely interesting.

Read the article here:  Halloween Special: Can Christians Believe in Ghosts?

Did you read it? What do you think? Do you believe in ghosts? Have you ever encountered one personally?

Let me know in the comments.

Hugs,
Kathy

7 Non-Partisan Voting Tips

ballot-box-vote Linnaea Mallette publicdomainpicturesdotnet
Picture by Linnaea Mallette

Hey-o Voting Peeps!

Election day in the USA is nearly here. Some of you have already voted and some of you know exactly how you plan to vote. For those of you who are waiting for November 6th, I offer these non-partisan voting tips that come from many years of experience. I hope they help to clarify your choices. If you have more tips, share in the comments below. We’re all in this together.

  1. Political party affiliation is not marriage. In a marriage, you vow to stick with your partner for better or for worse, in sickness and in health, for richer for poorer. You take your spouse as-is: stinky feet, bad habits, credit card debt, and all. And if you both play by the rules and if God smiles on your union, you’ll stay together as long as you both shall live.
    Politics is not the same. You don’t have to take a political party as-is or stay with it for life. Just because you’re registered red or blue doesn’t mean you have to accept the bad with the good. You can still vote for a law or a candidate that is outside of your registered party. (No, not in the primaries. You know what I mean.)
  2. If a proposed law seems like a given, look for the catch. If proposed legislation promises something that is already a right, watch out. There’s something else tacked on. For example, in Florida, a proposed state constitutional amendment [No. 6 Constitutional Revision, Article I, Section 16, Article V, Sections 8 and 21, Article XII, New Section] would require courts to uphold the constitutional rights of victims. That’s a red flag because courts are already required to uphold the constitutional rights of all. Tacked onto this proposed amendment is a mandatory retirement age for judges.
    Many proposals also couple something popular with a totally unrelated unpopular issue. Again in Florida, a proposed amendment to the state constitution [No. 9 Constitutional Revision, Article II, Section 7, Article X, Section 20] would prohibit both offshore drilling and indoor vaping. Why are these two issues being decided by one vote and do both of these laws need to be a part of the Florida Constitution?
  3. Don’t write in a candidate that is not on the ballot. You may think you’re throwing away your vote with a protest anyway, so you write in Jesus or Mickey Mouse or Deez Nuts. The thing is, if the write-in candidate is not registered in your county, that vote is disregarded. However, if you write in a candidate that is registered, that vote is counted. Choose a registered candidate that represents your personal values the closest. Even if that candidate doesn’t win, the vote will send a message to the winning candidate about what voters really want.
  4. You don’t have to discuss it. It used to be considered bad manners to talk politics with acquaintances, or to continue a political conversation with friends or family if things start to get heated. These days, pollsters come right up to our doorsteps and ask who we plan to vote for. We argue with strangers on social media. Even close friendships are broken over differences of opinion. It’s sad and meaningless. You don’t need to tell pollsters, your classmates, your workmates, or even your family how you plan to vote or how you did vote. You don’t need to feel pressured and you don’t need to pressure others. Vote for whoever you feel is the best choice and support or oppose whatever legislation you feel is appropriate with anonymity. If you say you’ll vote one way, then vote another, no one will know unless you tell. Vote your conscience and let others vote theirs.
  5. Prioritize your values. Yes, it would be great if a candidate or policy agreed with every single thing we believe, but that’s not how it works. Think about what is the most important issue for you, what is the next most important issue, etc. Think about what each candidate and/or proposed legislation is doing or will do about those issues. If they’ve already served, have they done what they said in regards to that issue or are they all talk? Sometimes we have to compromise and accept something we don’t like for a greater good.
  6. Do your homework close to home. Most voters focus on controversial legislation–such as the legalization of marijuana–and big-ticket candidates–such as senators and governors–but your county’s local government will impact your life more directly. In addition to the “big” issues, do an internet search for your county’s sample ballot to find out who is running and what local legislation is being considered. Look up candidates for school board, sheriff, county commissioners, judges and more. Find out as much as you can before voting.
  7. When in doubt, don’t. If you are uncertain about proposed legislation, vote no. This is especially important if the proposed change is a change in your state’s constitution–because that is a big thing. You may want a law in place in your county but not necessarily want that law constitutionally mandated for every county in your state. Or you may want part of the proposal, but not the other part that is tacked on. Weigh out risk versus benefit. If it doesn’t pass, nothing changes. It can be brought up again, perhaps rewritten. If it does pass, it’s the law. There’s more to lose by voting for a law you’re unsure of.

As Forrest Gump says, “That’s all I have to say about that.” Let me know what you think in the comments below. I leave you with this short and funny voting video.

Hugs,
Kathryn

7 Tips for Christians on Halloween (rerun)

This post was first published in 1999 and has been reprinted many times on various websites (with permission only, please). This seems like a good time to bring it up again.

halloween-by Larisa Koshkina publicdomainpicturesdotnet
Artwork by Larisa Koshkina

Whether you consider Halloween pure evil or harmless fun, keep the following tips in mind:

  1. Don’t get bent out of shape. The kid dressed as a bunny—or a vampire—knocking on your door isn’t actualizing centuries of Pagan ritual. He’s just having fun, with the permission of his parents, and encouragement from the culture in which he lives. If you don’t participate, there’s no reason to post a sign declaring your righteous stand against the child. Just turn off the light and don’t answer the door.
  2. Children Trick-or-Treat. Trick-or-treat is not the venue for abortion photos, political pamphlets, or descriptions of hell. If you pass out gospel tracts, make sure they’re child-friendly. Attach candy or toy (no choking hazards, please) to tracts with tape. A tract without a treat disappoints and gives parents cause to complain about Christians.
  3. Be nice.  It is never God’s will for us to be unloving. Wiccans know that Christians demonize them the most on Halloween. Yes, the Bible teaches against witchcraft and all occult activity. It also teaches that God is not willing that any should perish. I’ve listened with revulsion to some Christians who can’t quite mask their glee at the idea of witches going to hell. God’s love and mercy is infinite. He desires the Wiccan, the dabbler, even the Satanist, to come to him for forgiveness and abundant, eternal life. Many do. But never because of unkind treatment.
  4. Keep it clean. Some things are best left unsaid. I like a good pretend monster story, but don’t take this opportunity to recount the details of a real gruesome Halloween murder. “It is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret.” (Ephesians 5:12). I don’t want to know.
  5. Be a light in the darkness. “Be very careful then, how you live–not as unwise, but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil.” (Ephesians 5:15-16, NIV). Some Christians hand out Halloween gospel tracts. Some gather with fellow believers for alternative celebrations, sharing love with the community. Some mix it up, shining as a light in the world. Others quietly continue in the ordinary, noting their separateness before God as an act of worship.
  6. Do the right thing.  You alone will answer for your choices. If someone else does Halloween a different way, so what? God knows your heart. “Speak and act as those who are going to be judged by the law that gives freedom.” (James 2:12, NIV)
  7. Be good. You can’t overcome evil by talking about the Pagan origins of Halloween, or by preaching against séances or refined sugar. There is a place for teaching, but knowledge doesn’t heal. Only good overcomes evil.  “Overcome evil with good” (Romans 12:21).

Copyright 1999, 2009, 2018  Kathryn A. Frazier. All rights reserved.  Contact author for reprint information. http://www.kathrynafrazier.com

Create and Share for Inktober

Copyrighted 2018 Kathryn A. Frazier

Welcome, Creative Peeps!

Copyrighted 2018 Kathryn A. FrazierToday is the first day of October! The leaves are golden and red, the birds are flying south, and there’s that lovely nip in the air that hints of the coming frost. Haha! Just kidding. Here in Tampa, it’s a cool 92 degrees, the leaves stay green all year, and the only frost is in my freezer. We get a nice variety of birds from up north, though. That’s my favorite part of Fall in Florida.

You might not have need of sweaters, but wherever you live and whatever the climate, you can still get in on Inktober! I just found out about this cool thing and I knew you all would appreciate it. The gist is this: Every day in October (or every other day, or every fifth day), you draw something in ink. It can be simple or elaborate. You can take a long time or a short time. The point is to draw something. Create. Have fun with art, and then share your art with someone. You can post it online and tag it #inktober and #inktober2018, or you can just show it to someone in your life. Make art, share art, have fun.

dammit jim

I’m not an artist; I’m a writer and copyeditor. Like all human beings, however, I am creative. I started #inktober2018 with this three-minute doodle. It’s amateurish, which is perfect because I’m an amateur. I like that it captured my melancholy mood and gave me a little creative break in the day. I drew a little girl because drawing reminds me of when I was little and drew all the time. In those days, I didn’t see any imperfections. I delighted in being able to create with nothing but a pen and a paper. I hope my simple drawing encourages you to dedicate a few minutes of your day to get in touch with your own creative inner child.

To find out more about Inktober, visit https://inktober.com.

Are you participating in #Inktober this year? Please share a picture or two (or 31!) in the comment section! What else do you do to bring creative breaks into your everyday life? How are you encouraging others to express their own creativity? Let me know in the comments.

Hugs,
Kathy

Please help support this blog.

One is the number of unity, so I set up donations to take one dollar at a time. Of course, the more unity, the better. 🙂

$1.00

Sticks and Stones

girl in classroom Joanna Jablo public domain picturesPicture by Joanna Jablo

Hello, darlings!

Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words shall never harm me! Remember that old saying? We sang it in the schoolyard as we skipped away from meanies, heads held high. It was the definitive answer to every bullying insult.

Sometime around 1990, child-rights activists in the U.S. denounced this once popular adage as a flat-out lie. Of course words can harm people, they insisted. And they were right. They encouraged parents and teachers to rethink the way we speak to and about children. Instead of telling our kids they are “bad” when they disobey, as perhaps our grandparents once did, we now know to pinpoint specific behaviors as choices that do not yield desired results. Words do count. They not only express thought, but they change thought.

But now I think it’s time we bring back Sticks and Stones. These days, grown-up people fall apart when they hear a word they don’t like. Leaders in our society publicly demand apologies nearly every week. Going to court–or worse, to violence–over insults and name-calling is common. As adults, we know that much of this nonsense is showboating for attention or politics or money or whatever, but little eyes are watching. The most vulnerable among us don’t know the difference. We are teaching our children to fear words.

As young children, we old-timers were taught the Sticks and Stones saying as a self-defense mechanism. When it slipped our minds, when we felt most vulnerable, our parents, our teachers, and our friends all reminded us: “Those kids at school called you ugly and stupid? They called you a bad name? So what? Sticks and stones may break your bones, but words shall never harm you.”

And we felt better. We learned not to crumble in humiliation and not to retaliate. Rather, we could let hurtful words roll off of us without consequence. The proverb empowered us, reminding us that insults and name-calling are non-issues. No, it didn’t protect us from out-and-out emotional abuse, but it cushioned us from the barbs of everyday spats and squabbles. We learned that there are levels of wrongdoing and that an insult is not a life-or-death issue. We learned that some people will always say mean things and we can choose to ignore them. We learned to be strong without being tough.

Of course, when lines are crossed, when violence, threating behavior, or discrimination is involved, or when even name-calling becomes inescapable bullying, we must pull in the reins with whatever legal means are necessary to protect the innocent. That’s often not the case, though. Often, someone just doesn’t like what someone else says and so demands that the words must be labeled and censored. Children pick up on adult attitudes. Remember the big picture. In a country where we want to keep the right to say what we think and believe, we need to demonstrate that we are strong enough to allow others that same freedom. Even if others are meanies.

If Sticks and Stones doesn’t work for you, try this one: “I’m rubber and you’re glue. Anything you say bounces off of me and sticks to you.” It’s a little harsher, but it’s still a classic.

How were you taught to handle insults, name-calling, and differing opinions when you were a child? Have your responses changed now that you are an adult? What do you think about public apologies for ignorant or profane language?

Hugs,
Kathy

P.S. Chag Samaech Sukkot to those celebrating the Festival of Tabernacles this week!

Please help support this blog.

One is the number of unity, so I set up donations to take one dollar at a time. Of course, the more unity, the better. 🙂

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