A Is for Attitude

5 years ago

Some of us have been discussing what it takes to make us actually WRITE—a time limit? a set day? a “frame” or pre-set form to fill in with words? And that we accomplish this best when some agreed-on guidelines (at least with ourselves) prod us to just DO IT!

So I have decided to try the scheme of an “alphabetarium”: a series of blogs based on consecutive letters of the alphabet!

I’ve spent some waking hours and sleepless moments working on a probable list of topics that the alphabet can provide me with. How great to be able to choose one word that suggests itself to me—out of all the potential topics that begin with that letter!

And I just finished reading A Monk’s Alphabet by Jeremy Driscoll, O.S.B., who writes: “No matter what the scheme, the main point is that there is no scheme: Each thought [read: blog] must first stand on its own” and “be allowed to work its own effect.”

So I’m beginning with the word “Attitude,” surely an uncomplicated word that in my growing-up years back in the Mesozoic Era nearly required the word “good” in front of it. If we didn’t have a good attitude—well, then we had already failed at the task before us. It was part and parcel of doing anything RIGHT, a rule any obedient and properly mannered young girl aimed to follow!

It wasn’t until years later that I discovered—the benign, seemingly neutral word Attitude could also mean: “An arrogant or hostile state of mind or disposition.” Whoa! Where did that come from?

I’m quite sure when the subject of Attitude came up, in the genteel circles I lived in, that choosing THAT Attitude wasn’t an option! Today if someone has “Attitude,” it now seems to mean: “Don’t mess with me, or you might end up with more than you bargained for!”

“Attitude” in its newer meaning is epitomized by the Hallmark cartoon character Maxine, a woman of a certain age who declares, “I’ve got a mind of my own—and I’m not opposed to giving people a piece of it now and then!” ... And (with her bored stare): “Let me know if you suddenly become interesting!”

It amounts to what we used to call “having a chip on your shoulder.” A far cry from checking one’s Attitude as one walks out the door—or maybe it’s become the NEW armor that IS checked to see if there is sufficient cover to enter the Brave New World (of cyber-insults, bullying, and identity theft).

Or as Maxine boldly proclaims on her coffee mug:  I “Heart” My Attitude Problem!

http://lynnejohnston.com/maxine.aspx  

Did I get this right? Is Attitude the new black? :-) 

 

http://www.google.com/search?q=Maxine+cartoons&hl=en&client=safari&rls=…

 

 

 

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