Lance Scranton: Too bad…

Lance Scranton
Lance Scranton

We used to call it humor and it was common for people to tell stories and jokes that would ease tension and bring a light to a dark and dreary day. Now people are so concerned about who might see their story or hear their joke, that most have simply stopped sharing. Too bad… the world used to be a fun place before we all started taking ourselves so seriously.

We used to call it socializing but now it’s all too common for most people to say they are too busy or have too much to do to stop and talk or get involved. People used to ask how the kids were, how the wife was and actually knew something about your life. Now we wait for an invitation, email, text, share it on social media or just keep to ourselves. Too bad… the world used to carry on even when we slowed down a bit to get to know each other.

Kids used to call it playing outside, but it’s more than common for most kids to be inside where they can be protected, or at organized “play dates” where they can be supervised. Kids might learn the value of making mistakes and figuring out boundaries if they ever had the chance. Too bad… the world used to be a dangerous place, and it still is, but what might happen never overwhelmed the freedom children enjoyed.

We used to call them by their name before people started insisting that everyone be labeled. I was one of the many kids growing up with Jamaican, Greek, Chinese and Irish friends. We never thought that we should be putting our nationality or skin color before the fact that we had common interests or played on the same team. Too bad… the world is still filled with all kinds of different people, but they are still just people — and we should be treated according to our actions, not how we’re labeled.

Maybe the world has become a better place because it’s common not to share jokes and stories for fear of offending, or socialize for fear of becoming involved (or caring), or play outside for fear of something happening, or categorize people so we can determine how to treat them for fear of being misunderstood.

Maybe the world is a better place because it’s common to avoid any appearance of mistakes and just keep to ourselves. But I don’t think so. Next time you get the chance, take a few minutes to consider what should be common in our society. Gertrude Stein said it best: “Everybody gets so much information all day long that they lose their common sense.”

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