It’s to Protect What’s Really Important; I Swear

If you haven’t got your health, you haven’t got anything. So, with my busy life, I’ve been turning to meal shakes.

I have a big plastic cup and a fork to mix the powder and the water. I take this with me all over the place, because I have to go all over the place for my job.

I have a few plastic cups, but I have one fork I try to use.

Chris and I took special care to select and purchase our silverware set, and we love the feel of our soup spoons and the heavy butter knife handle.

My travel fork is one that I’ve stolen from a cafeteria. It is a crappy little fork, and that is how it should be. I am super careful to protect this fork so that it will stand in gaurding against the *real* loss of the precious household fork.

I want to hold on to the bad fork so I don’t even risk losing the fork I really care about losing.

This reminds me of another societal crappy thing we work very hard to protect. George Carlin famously refers to the Seven Dirty Words. Of course, there are more than seven. They are words we protect. The dirty words, the cuss words, the profane and the naughty ones.

They are held in reserve, not said on the radio or on TV. Well, they are said on cable–the kind of cable you have to pay extra for.

The dirty words are protected, even though they are expecially tough. In fact, the protected words are so very strong that they have an unbelievable array of meanings. Nearly unlimited. And they are some of the oldest words of any language, english included.

Why are we so careful to protect them?

I was raised to never ever use these words. I never ever heard my mother or my father curse. My dad, when upset, said “Good Night!”

None of my friends said swears. We were even reprimanded from the pulpit not to say “Gosh!” because it was too close to taking the Lord’s name in vain. It was decided that only an exclamation of “Man!” was acceptable.

They wuz crazy.

At my current job, when I started, I noticed immediately that I worked entirely with men.

Men who cussed.

Here’s the thing about cussing: Cussing is a form of escalation. It is a yellow alert. It’s intimidating. It’s threatening.

I made a very quick decision; to fit in I would bring it. If the boys were going to cuss, I was going to cuss more.

It’s not that hard.

But I felt I needed their respect and to be seen as an equal.

On the  threat spectrum, where zero is no threat, cussing is a step down the continuum that ends in somebody getting killed.

I don’t want to get killed. I dont’ want to get beat up or even punched once.

So. In the same way that my crappy fork stands in protection of my good silverware, cussing stands in the place of bodily harm.

It makes sense that we are careful, and that I should be careful with the bad language. It is incredibly powerful and does it’s job very well.

There was a study done recently that talks about these powerful words even having a painkilling affect. Many of us instinctively yell one out when we hammer our finger or stub our toe. It turns out, it works.

Except. We start to build a tolerance if we over use the words too much. We have to protect them, and ourselves.

They are that special.




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