Onions - Lois Greene Stone

            Why can’t people form Friendship Circles as the ones done in sleep-away summer camps? We all think, feel, love, need, want. We all bleed when cut, cry when sadness overwhelms, attempt to accept that life is finite. No matter what deity we worship, or language we speak, or complexion, our DNA is passed, we are human.
            Why are we so sensitive to being politically correct as regards that humanity? Might that current catch-phrase be doing more harm than good? Should we get rid of Black Friday, White Sales, the song Yellow Submarine, Red onions, and dessert Brownies? Have I left out any skin tones? Should we consider what is represented on flags; change both the Red/ White in the United States as that is inconsiderate of the population who are neither Caucasian nor American Indian?
            Weren’t libraries told to put Little House on the Prairie where few could find it because a common-then-word for a minority is offensive circa 21st century? Would any high school promote the play Our Hearts were Young and Gay as gay no longer means carefree?
            Maybe the phrase ‘open your hearts’, when fundraising, ought to go since cardio-surgeons really do open-heart procedures. Sounds rather ghoulish to pressure people for money when many might have either undergone or have family who’ve had such. And ‘I love you heart and soul’ also has the wrong reference re heart, and soul is definitely a religious concept and discriminatory. Professing deep feeling ought to be available to atheists.
            Down with Greek olives, Spanish onions, Roma tomatoes, Thousand Islands/ French/ Italian/ Russian salad dressing, German Potato salad, English breakfast tea, Brazil nuts, Mexican jumping beans. Not socially acceptable. Unless every country can have equal representation, these, and others, should be just ‘olives’, ‘onions’, and so forth.
            Interesting that a Jewish composer wrote I’m dreaming of a white Christmas but this popular seasonal song might need to be changed to I’m dreaming of a snowy Christmas; oh, not right, Christmas is not a universal holy day.
            Language has changed. They or their is now acceptable with a singular subject. No longer does a writer have to type he/she or state the use of the universal him. A sentence can now read “Anyone can do their thing” and be okay. When I taught college English, I’d mark that grammatically incorrect. But, then, I grew up when gender was identified on a birth certificate, college dorms were only male or only female, women didn’t fight fires nor box in a ring, and many universities would not accept women.
            As I’ve watched changes, some, personally, good and some seemingly far out, I’ve thought about the old-fashioned mechanism of a clock with a swinging pendulum. It would be difficult to return to the weight that governed the movement, and not many would even want to wind a wristwatch anymore; but, maybe, maybe, we can agree that a White Sale or Black Friday are not meant to offend.
            The summer-camp circle’s song began with “Friends, friends, friends, we will always be.” Couldn’t that be our entire planet’s politically correct statement!

Lois Greene Stone, writer and poet, has been syndicated worldwide. Poetry and personal essays have been included in hard and softcover anthologies. Collections of her personal items/ photos/ memorabilia are in major museums including twelve different divisions of The Smithsonian.