Bombast: (n) high-sounding language with little meaning, used to impress people.

What impresses people today will be the object of ridicule tomorrow.Dictionary B

Yet throughout the history of the United States, ideas that were assumed to be bombastic later proved to be life-giving, essential and invaluable to the progress of our nation.

For instance, John Brown.

If you study the story of this abolitionist, he was basically pretty loony. Crazy, if you will. But he had one idea that was the backbone of his existence: there should not be slaves.

This notion was a controversial piece of bombast in his time.

So when he attacked the arsenal at Harper’s Ferry, Virginia, was captured and executed, the general consensus was that a madman had been stopped from destroying the social norm.

Today, arguably, he is deemed a hero.

It’s not because he was certifiably sane, but rather, because what he chose to bombastically proclaim ended up being the truth.

If you’re struggling in this day and age with trying to determine what is foolish bombast and what might be the prophetic voice crying in the wilderness, put the ideologies to two simple tests:

  1. Does it include more people instead of alienating them?
  2. Is it trying to create a greater sense of good cheer among human beings?

If you consider this pair of guidelines–measuring them up against the present chatter–you will find yourself more aligned with John Brown rather than the Confederate Rebel Yell…even if you are a little loony.  

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This entry was posted in B words.

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