What would Mrs. Lincoln say?

July 2, 2005 in It is what it is - opinion column | Comments (0)


Other than that … other than that … I’m getting so sick and tired of people exploiting this phrase – one that is quite near and dear to my heart, as you might imagine based on the name of this site.
It’s not that I feel this phrase is mine or anything. Actually it’s quite the contrary of that. This is the most democratic of phrases, one that should be used far and wide.
Except by idiots.

Okay. Maybe I’m being a bit harsh. After all, one shouldn’t mock the intellectually challenged. (You know the ones I mean. The people who are living proof that Darwin was wrong, because if it was survival of the fittest, their bloodline would be long dead by now.)
But I digress … I guess my knickers are all in a twist because I seem to keep running into people who use this phrase as an evasion tactic, as a means of making like of the situation and then dodging the need to address it.
It’s true that this phrase, which so often is uttered in relation to poor Mrs. Lincoln’s opinion of the play when it’s more likely she was focused on getting the brain bits off of her hoop skirt, provides a tongue-welded-firmly-in-cheek way of shifting attention from the matter at hand. Unfortunately I often find that it is used beyond its intended sarcastic humor boundaries and panders to one of the greatest problems we have in society today – people’s seeming inability to address uncomfortable issues directly.
Here’s a novel idea. How about being direct? How about instead of trying to change the subject, even if it’s uncomfortable, you sit still and acknowledge the 800 pound gorilla sitting in the middle of the room?
Here’s an example – someone spends 20 minutes telling you all of the shitty things going on in their life, and rather than tossing out “Well, that sounds rotten, but other than that, how are you?” How about taking the proverbial bull by the horns and acknowledging what’s just been said?
Maybe the situation calls for your being sympathetic and so you let the person know you feel badly for them and then maybe even offer some words of encouragement or perhaps draw their attention to something within their miserable litany that’s not so bad after all.
Maybe, just maybe if we start acting this way, it will catch on.
That certainly would be something other …


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