Contemporary

Contemporary: (adj) living or occurring at the same time.

“What is the opposite of contemporary?”

This question was posed to me once in an interview. I think the person conducting the inquiry was a bit upset because during the conversation I referred to “contemporary matters” as often being insufficient to human need.

I turned it around on my questioner. “What do YOU think the opposite is of contemporary?”

He didn’t miss a beat. “Old-fashioned.”

There is an instinct in this nation of the free and the home of the brave to try to turn every subject into a conflict in order to fill the space on a talk show which funny wisdom on words that begin with a Calready has too much chatter.

Old-fashioned is not the opposite of contemporary. There are many emotions and actions which might be considered old-fashioned, which if faithfully applied, would come across as very contemporary in our modern-day stand-offs.

  • Kindness
  • Consideration
  • Humor
  • Wit
  • Cleverness
  • Poetry
  • Satire

All of these are relics of the past which survive quite well when they’re given a new suit of clothes and paraded on the catwalk.

The opposite of contemporary is actually “untried”—ideas that have sprouted from nowhere, short-sighted and including only a part of humanity while promoting the preferences of a chosen few.

It will never be old-fashioned to be inclusive. It is a contemporary position.

It will never be old-fashioned to be considerate. It is a contemporary profile.

And it will never be old-fashioned to question power—especially when it seems the domination is being used to hurt other human beings.

That is merely contemporary action.

 

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Comity

Comity: (n) courtesy and considerate behavior toward others.

In the pursuit of peace on Earth, goodwill toward men–certainly an angelic venture–we must never contend that stereotypes about race,
nationality and culture are false.

They are not.

Matter of fact, many folks who would launch into pursuing tolerance become weary in well-doing by hanging around the folks they’re trying to love, but realizing that many of the prejudices spoken end up being true.

It doesn’t make any difference whether it’s about color, culture, gender or sexual orientation–too much time spent with any one category can turn you into a cynic and a bomb-shelter-bigot.

Open-mindedness is not about facts–it is about mercy.

For instance, using the term “terrible twos” is not prejudicial against human beings who have only lived for twenty-four months. It’s actually a rather astute, but negative, assessment of children of that age. Why? Because we have to work real hard to find one who isn’t–two and terrible, that is.

Equality is not about proving that there is no foolishness within the human race. Equality is blinding yourself to the stupidities in order to elevate your brothers and sisters to the position they were granted by their Creator.

Comity is that moment when we turn our heads away when we see the village idiot sprawled on the ground, so that we can give him a moment to get to his feet…and then view him again as an equal.

 

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