Whatever is the most annoying word of the year just ending?
It’s both a question and a statement to which ‘whatever’ is the answer.
Whatever – whether verbalized or accompanied by a shrug of the shoulders – is a most often offered word or gesture by which to end a discussion, argument or debate that – truth be told – really is just a get-out-of-jail card.
Whatever is intellectually dishonest.
Whatever is an admission that the light is on but nobody is home.
Whatever is everything and anything.
Whatever suggests the result doesn’t matter; that though something right or wrong might be at stake; something just or unjust, true or false – as long as it doesn’t affect me, then, well, whatever.
Whatever describes a great majority of mankind. They can’t be bothered. Trying to engage them in discussion that requires more than a picture of their cat; what they are planning for dinner, or a posting of something, anything – like a paragraph or two that might, hopefully, hold-your-breath-here – suggestive that just a moment of thought, even in passing, was given to whatever is not unlike nailing Jell-O to the wall.
It’s like, you know, whatever.
Especially exasperating – after rendering what you thought was a most erudite explanation of a rather complex problem to which you offered a simplistic, yet, at least to your mind, profound solution, one perhaps saving time and money – is the response: ‘yah, ok, whatever.’
Whatever is like, totally up there with ‘you know, right?’
Makes you wonder whatever could they have been thinking to respond with ‘whatever’ suggesting in fact that, as to thinking, they weren’t?
And yet, according to INC.com, the biggest secret to success is to spend at least 10 hours a week just thinking.
Think about it.
For a New Year’s resolution that’s very do-able, and integral to what makes people successful whether the issue needing to be addressed is politics, or education, or rocket-science, here are some thoughtful words of wisdom belonging to Sydney Harris, an excerpt from his article “Learning Cannot Come Easy”, dated December 31, 1980:
“The common notion, particularly in our country, that education ought to be painless, does not apply to any other area. The athlete sweats and strains, exercises and conditions himself, to obtain mastery over his chosen field; the auto mechanic goes back to technical school to acquaint himself with the new electronic gadgetry. Whatever else educating ourselves may be, it cannot be easy. It cannot be painless. It cannot be spoon-fed. But it can be a delight, as any difficult challenge can be if we look upon it as an adventure. Why is education the only activity we are willing to spend so much on, and resigned to getting so little in return? No farmer would be stupid enough to make such a bad bargain.”
Along the same line, source unknown:
“You have to drill through mud and water to get oil, you have to sift through sand and silt to get gold, and you have to chop and hack through stone to get diamonds – so why do so many people feel that the treasure of ideas should come to them with little or no effort? We recognize that in the physical world you get nothing for nothing, no labor, no fruits; no sawing, no wood pile. Yet in the world of ideas, we expect it all to be laid out on a platter, cut up, pre-chewed, and even pre-digested if that were possible.”
In other words, it’s like, you know, whatever.