"I've always dreamed of being an old philosopher. So far I've achieved one out of two!"

Gerry Reid's Perception on Political Correctness

I've noticed the tendency of people to change words that have "men" or "man" in them to more politically correct terminology, such as "chairman" to "chairperson," "mankind" to "humankind" and "manhole" to "personhole" and fireman to fireperson. (I know, I know - - - it should be "Firefighter," but just bear with me a minute, please - - - I've got a point to make!) At least we got smart and changed policeman to police officer.

What I can't understand is why those changes would make women (oops, wopersons) content when the word "son" (in "person") is still a male oriented term. I believe chariman really should be "Chairperchild" - which, unfortunately, is still biased toward "chairs" and ignores the equality of couches and tables. "Furniture" would be a much more neutral term (showing respect for the equality of couches and tables). The end result of this logic is that anyone could be the leader of a committee as the "furnitureperchild" or access the sewers through a "perchildhole cover."

However, in the case of "fireman" becoming "fireperchild," we again have a bias - this time the word "fire" ignores wind, earth, and water, so the term "fireman" would more properly be "elementperchild" - - - BUT, the "men" within "element" is again ignoring women, so we best use persons, buit that has "sons" in it ignoring daughters, so we are forced to substitute "children" for "men" thus giving us the politically correct term "eleperchilderntperchild" instead of the outdated "fireman."

I must note however, that as a male, I am a bit offended by the term "eleperchildrentperchild" since "ele" sounds like a female name. Perhaps "Pat" (a neutral name) would work . . . "patperchildrentperchild" Hmmm - that seems to imply touching the child ("pat") and we don't want to be accused of molesting or abusing children, so lets try "Chris," another genderless name.

"Chrisperchildrentperchild" Now that's better! Except now it could be pronounced as it sounds like the beginning of "Christ" and that shows religious bias. Maybe "God-head" would work: "God-headperchildrentperchild" -oops, that offends the atheists (which in my mind are offensive anyway, but equal representation prevails) so maybe we should try "universeperchildrentperchild"

YEAH! That's it! When I grow up I want to be a "universeperchildrentperchild!"

Does anyone smell smoke?

Gerry Reid.

P.S. The smoke is coming out of my spell checker!

(Note: "That's one small step for [a] man, one giant leap for huperchildkind.")









(It's easy once you get the hang of it!)

Here is another PC perspective, directly from my first book, Attitudes, Skills and Knowledge for Success! page 20 . . .

None of us are perfect. Hmmm . . .

None of us is perfect. Hmmm . . .

(Since I can’t figure out which way to say it, I guess that proves the point about me and so I just start this way . . .)

We all have flaws.

If a person denies a flaw, they cannot get rid of it, since through the denial, it does not exist. If one can accept their flaws and admit the flaws exist, then, and only then, can one work on getting rid of or correcting the flaws.

The things we do accept about ourselves, those things we are most proud of, are the very things we become most sensitive about. For example:

My name is Gerald Edwin Reid. I am a white (Caucasian), male (heterosexual), 50 year old (AARP member), Lutheran (ELCA), and basically a Republican (very liberal). My hair is thinning and graying. I was born in Detroit and grew up in Berkley, Michigan. I am a descendant of German (Janusch) and Scottish (clan Donnachaidh, family Robertson) immigrants to the United States. I am a U.S. citizen by birth. I am confused why I can call myself a native Michigander, but not a native American.

One of my more extreme opinions is I think we have a global society in need of major change. We need to be shaken up a bit and "get humble" in our relationship to the earth and the universe. A natural, dramatic global event (asteroid impact, solar flare, extraterrestrial invasion) might be enough to wake us up.

Now, I could take the position of being greatly offended if you assume "Gerry" is female only, or white means "Archie Bunker," or male means "chauvinist," or 50 means "over the hill." I could easily be put off if you think I am too opinionated. (I am, but that is irrelevant. ;-)

If we take offense at every perspective not exactly matching our own, we spend most our lives focusing on what we think is wrong about the viewpoint of other people. It would be far healthier and more productive for us to increase our level of acceptance of other people and their perspectives. If we were not different, we could not be individually unique. Through our uniqueness we find the beautiful diversity needed for synergy, teamwork and corporate success.

A short diversion.

"Are you a PC person? In this day and age there are people who will tell you that you must be a PC person to have any chance of being respected, acknowledged and accepted. Authors especially must be PC people to have any hope of being published and successful. Certainly, it is guaranteed, without PC competence one is extremely vulnerable to the anger of those who are PC people. PC people are most definitely on the lookout for those who are not PC people."

If you are a bit confused by the previous quotation, that’s OK. The letters PC can mean more than Personal Computer (or Pocket Change, Presidential Candidate, Professional Crap-shooter or Professor of Chemistry). In the quotation above, PC means "Politically Correct." Re-read the paragraph, and this time substitute "Politically Correct" for each occurrence of PC.

My personal definition of Politically Correct is: being reasonably sensitive to those things making up our personal identity. Based on that definition I will say . . .

"This author, whose intent is to be PC, wrote this book on a PC. He suggests another PC person should write PC checking software for PCs. The author of this fantastic new software could be male or female, straight or gay, black, brown, red, white, yellow, old, young, urban, rural, white-collar or blue-collar, Christian, Jew, Moslem, atheist, Native-, Anglo-, African-, or whatever-American, abled, disabled, rich, poor, or any other personally sensitive issue that comes to mind."

By the way, this person, the author of PCPCPC (Personal Computer Politically Correct Pronoun Checker), is Attiskilkno (at-uh-skill’-no), the most diverse person on earth, who, having a very complex family tree, has all of the characteristics mentioned.

End of diversion.

Personally, this concept of self-acceptance and non-judgmental acceptance of other people is one of the greatest challenges in my own life. The more research I do and the more writing I accomplish, the more I realize this is the greatest challenge you and I will ever face.

Many people would say the ultimate dream of humankind is peace in the universe, peace on earth and peace of mind. It is a cliché, I know, but everything starts with the individual: First me, then you, then everybody else.

If you adopt the principle that accepting yourself and the perspective of others are fundamental to personal growth, you are well on your way to getting the most value from this book. As for me, I continue to work on this issue in my life. I will most definitely have it mastered before my 200th birthday, how about you?

When people "lighten-up" on each other and begin a sincere effort to embrace the wonderful diversity of others, they instantly recognize the uniqueness of their own potential. These people quickly come to understand that only they can contribute the distinctive set of experiences and learning which built their perspective.

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