Grandpa, you said a bad word!

My new grandson, 11 day-old Elijah, was asking Grandpa questions again after screaming all night.

“Grandpa, why was Mom crying all night? She doesn’t seem very happy.”

“Well, Elijah, it’s complicated.”

“That’s a big word! What’s ‘complicated’?”

“Well, ‘complicated’ is sort of like ‘complex‘ but a little different. I know it’s confusing at your age, but lots of people my age also find ‘complicated’ and ‘complex’ confusing. We prefer ‘simple’ answers.”

“What’s ‘simple‘?

“Well, ‘simple’ can be good or it can be bad. I know that’s confusing, too, Elijah, but I want you to grow up knowing the difference between ‘simple’ as ‘guileless’ and ‘simple’ as ‘stupid’.”

“Mom said “Never call anyone ‘stupid‘! You just said a bad word, Grandpa!”

“She’s right, Elijah. Grandpa was bad.”

“But why? Why would you use that word Mom says I’m not supposed to use? I’m confused and you’re confusing!”

“I’m sorry, Elijah. I’m not setting a good example. Yesterday was a rough day because of disappointing news on climate change.”

“Did you cry all night too, Grandpa?”

“I did, Elijah, I did! The reason’s pretty simple.”





This entry was posted in Family, Humor, Life, Uncategorized and tagged , , , by Gordon C. Stewart. Bookmark the permalink.

About Gordon C. Stewart

I've always liked quiet. And, like most people, I've experienced the world's madness. "Be Still! Departure from Collective Madness" (Wipf and Stock Publishers, Jan. 2017) distills 47 years of experiencing stillness and madness as a campus minister and Presbyterian pastor (IL, WI, NY, OH, and MN), poverty criminal law firm executive director, and social commentator. Our dog Barclay reminds me to calm down and be much more still than I would be without him.

6 thoughts on “Grandpa, you said a bad word!

  1. Garry and I had a conversation about stupid. I maintain there really ARE stupid people. Quite a lot of them. We — all of us — are high IQ people. Always were, even as kids. We could see from a very early age, the “big picture.” We could not only see the dots, but we could grasp how those dots could connect. But there are a lot of people who see dots with no connections — and they are not all from the other side, either. Stupid just IS.

    Ignorance is a failure to learn when education is available. Stupid is an inability to learn because that’s the way you are wired. I actually don’t hate stupidity, but I loathe ignorance.

    Stupidity is genetic. Ignorance is a choice.

    Liked by 1 person

    • That’s a great conversation worth extending, I think. What I’m calling ‘stupid’ is WILLFUL ignorance, the determination to not connect the dots when one sees the connections but refuses to do so. I think that’s a description of how DJT puts his world together. As in the internal White House debate – which is said to have been hot – different members of the cabinet and staff connected the dots out loud in his presence. If he couldn’t connect them, they could and did, and make their cases for his decision-making. He chose NOT to connect any dots that didn’t fit his “America First”, Donald First filter. That’s willful ignorance. I use ‘stupid’ – the stubborn choice to be uninformed. But, hey, the words themselves aren’t worth too much parsing, eh?

      The other definition — “stupid is an inability to learn because that’s the way you are wired” also makes a lot of sense. Does DJT fit both definitions of stupid?


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