Monday, August 4, 2008

That's What She Said

Words. Where would we be without words? I'm not talking poetry here today - just, plain and simple, we would not be the advanced species that we think we are without being able to communicate in print, speech, and sign. We're all clamoring for our 5 minutes to say what we want to say, to express ourselves, define ourselves, share ideas with one another, connect with each other. Of course, today - anything goes. The way we communicate with each other has changed, and I don't think for the better (and I'm not referring to the constant barrage of text messages, social networking sites, IMs, and so on.) What are we saying to each other, and subsequently, what are we saying about ourselves?

I don't want to get on my soap box today...but there is just one thing irking me at the moment about language and communication. I was in Steve and Barry's the other day (and for the record, it's a great store, trendy yet inexpensive clothes - my beef is not with the store). My beef is with a girl's T-shirt I saw there that read "Buy Me Things." Seriously? I know, it's just a flirty fun shirt. It doesn't mean anything. It's a shirt. With a stupid phrase. That would make the wearer appear to be, well...a stupid princess with disregard for the people around her. She's the center of attention and everyone needs to bow down and evaluate her worth by how much she has and how much people are willing to spend on her. That's a good message to be sending out, don't you agree?

Well, I don't. No doubt, the shirt manufacturer wasn't thinking about the social or psychological repercussions this simple T would have. They were thinking of the bottom line. The girl who buys the shirt...I'm not sure what she would be thinking. Probably that she's cute and funny. "Oh, no - I don't really believe that you should buy me things." Right. I just think it's sad that girls today think they still have to feed into the stereotype of needy, whiny girls interested only in material things. They should have been able to move beyond that by now. I know - I'm blowing this out of proportion.

Just goes back to my original point. Words are important. Choose yours carefully.
"The human being who lives only for himself finally reaps nothing but unhappiness. Selfishness corrodes. Unselfishness ennobles, satisfies. Don't put off the joy derivable from doing helpful, kindly things for others. " (B. C. Forbes)

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