Muchness

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That four letter word

swearword

There’s a dirty, four letter word that we all need to stop using. It’s everywhere. It’s insidious.

It’s just.

Literally, just.

There’s a lot of feminist dialogue lately about the word. Ellen Petry Leanse drew attention to it as a permission-seeking word that’s unconfident and apologetic. It undermines the authority of everything that’s said around it and, inherently, the one who uses it.

‘I’m just reminding you of…’
‘I just think that…’
‘if you could just do this…’

I see her point and I want to take it a step further.

We should all stop using the word just.

It’s a loaded, passive aggressive word.   It’s a sneaky little sniper. It’s a camouflaged landmine. It’s the word you use to hide the many words you don’t want to say.

‘I’ll just stay here <by myself><when you’re ready><please miss me><please notice me><I’m scared/sad>.’
‘Can you just <pay attention only to my point><seriously, for once?>
‘I was just <doing something you wouldn’t approve of, but I’m pretty sure this explanation will distract/mollify you>
‘Oh, it’s okay, I’ll just <do something that’s not as good as what you’re doing> <please invite me>

Just is a word that says I’m disappointed in the situation, but I don’t have the courage to say so. It sets up an expectation that you should be able to read between the lines and if you don’t, then clearly you aren’t paying attention.

Be wary of just. Be very, very wary. Sentences laced with just are poisonous.

Of course, just can be a beautiful word too if you use it well.

A heart can be compassionate and just by seeking to be fair.  Something can be just around the corner and set a tone of anticipation.

Overall, let’s have the courage and integrity and say what we really mean. Let’s leave just in the dust.

Don’t expect others to read your mind.
Ritu Ghatourey

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This entry was posted on July 27, 2015 by in Global citizenship and tagged , , , , .
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Department of Words

Department of Words

Thinker. Writer. Dancer. Not necessarily in that order.

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