Tuesday, April 24, 2007

"We Don't Do That."

(Picture courtesy of Crankymommy.com)

These four words, said over and over like a mantra, year after year after year. "We don't do that" - an explanation for why a person cannot accept an approach or path different from their own; an expression of the negative yet a perplexing and feeble attempt to describe exactly just what it is that they do.

What do these words mean? They are not so much words of explanation, but rather they are words of dismissal. A fellow person receives a non-answer when attempting to clarify why the person doesn't "do that". Scratching their head in wonder, the fellow person now can only speculate why this person is a prisoner to what they were taught as a child.

We would expect that such a person would come from an insular or conservative background. Yet, it is all the more perplexing when you consider that this person was raised and educated in an extremely open and liberal home.

The word "liberal" is defined as "broad-minded" or "tolerant of differing opinions", so one would expect that this person would have a better appreciation and tolerance for people who "do that". This is sadly not the case and thus they continue to remain an enigma to others. Despite claims to the contrary, they have shown me that open-mindedness is not the sole domain of the liberal secular thinker and closed-mindedness is not the sole domain of the conservative religious thinker.


At April 24, 2007 at 7:43:00 AM EDT, Anonymous Anonymous said...

The force of habit works on people in general.

At April 24, 2007 at 1:12:00 PM EDT, Blogger Neil Harris said...

It seems that even the most liberal have certain standards. There is always a line that people will not cross.

Rabbi Twerski, MD as written in several of his books that his father use to tell the kids, "Es pasht nisht, It's not becoming."
Similar to "we don't do that".
I've raised my kids with this technique and it really works.

My 4 yr old daughter will see something at a store or on TV and say, "Abba, that's Pasht Nisht. It's not appropriate for me."

At April 24, 2007 at 3:06:00 PM EDT, Blogger Soccer Dad said...

Before there was the term "Political correctness" I called it "liberal orthodoxy." I thought it made for a good oxymoron.


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