"To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment" -Ralph Waldo Emerson
28 September 2008
"In love silence is of more avail than speech…there is an eloquence in silence that penetrates more deeply than language can." Blaise Pascal
This post has been mulling around in my head for quite some time - I am finally deciding to just put it out there and see what you all think...
Some part of me wishes that we only called those who are very close to us - like family - by their first names. Using titles, creating what at least appears to be a respectable distance with everyone else. Then again I wish men still wore hats and women, gloves. I think there was an implied genteel politeness. And I think these things once acted as visual reminders of our need to be courteous. And no, I realize the good old days weren't always good - I know this didn't always work and that people don't like to be told what to do - but this is all part of the American tradition of "throwing the baby out with the bathwater". Of not understanding subtlety. The whole "You're not the boss of me" mentality we are so good at. Sounds a lot like toddlers and teens if you ask me - we are an entire society lacking self-restraint and good manners - but hey! No one tells US what to do. Or what to wear. Or how to behave... right?
Anyone who has ever read Jane Austen for instance realizes that there have always been ways to buck the system. But they were quiet and subdued. Double entendre and silent glances ruled and there was plenty of blushing to go around - even without the ass-slapping vulgarity that we are plagued with today. Look at the french for example... The french word séduction CAN mean persuading someone to go to bed with you, but it is typically used in a more general way to reflect the idea of trying to charm someone. The french seduce everyone - men - women - doesn't matter but in the second more general way... without the sexual proposition behind it... Think about it - this kind of attention is, well, nice... who doesn't like to be on the receiving end of kind words, compliments, warm feelings. Why do Americans always have to assume everything to be sexual? (back to the teen thing I think, no?)