And even though they’re pretty much the same thing, one sounds pretty old fashioned and second tier and one sounds good enough for a restaurant to put on a pricey menu.
Sometimes using the right terminology will change things from boring to interesting.
Sometimes it will change things from hopeless to grand.
That thought was reinforced as I was listening to a presentation on the changing demographics in our country and how they affect education.
The presenter, with impressive credentials and statistics to back up all her major points, said one thing in passing that stuck.
Something about us being a wealthy, wealthy nation and that we could address the issues at hand and things would work out.
Wealthy, wealthy nation.
That was different from what I’d been hearing, but somehow credible. Our ears are full of debt and debate and division. Maybe we are eating seafood fettucini but calling it tuna casserole.
Certainly there hasn’t been a better time to be alive than today, now that the Revolutionary War is over, and the Civil War and World War II and all. Not to mention that feudal societies and Norman invasions and various and changing empires happened long ago or far away and there is electricity and toilets flush and you can buy grapes in December.
And certainly there isn’t a better place to be living, what with freedom and democracy and protections and opportunities, not to mention information and entertainment, diversity and space and beauty.
And just as certainly there probably isn’t anything easier to do than to complain about all that’s wrong with everything and call it a terrible time and think our lives are hard.
The conversations in passing have, of late, been about how suddenly cold it has gotten, how early the snow and such. But when I started up the familiar refrain while engaging in a short visit in transit recently, I got an unexpected answer: “I love the cold. I love winter. This is my favorite time of year.”
It made me think.
And so it goes:
Christmas is the most stressful time of the year. It’s the most wonderful.
His habits are so annoying. They’re so endearing.
Why did this have to happen to me? I know I can meet the challenge.
America has lost its edge. Americans have new opportunities ahead and will meet them.
Life is hard. Life is daring adventure (Helen Keller).
I’ll never get everything done today. I’ll prioritize all the fun stuff I’m so glad I’m involved in (OK, now you’re getting queasy).
The holiday swirled around Scrooge in Dicken’s classic Christmas tale, with everyone having a grand time but him. But when his view of the season changed, when he embraced it rather than shunned it, honored it rather than abhored it, laughed with it rather than loathed it, felt it a blessing rather than a burden, his improved take improved the holiday not only for him but for those around him.
That’s the way to do it.