Common Sense Math
I just love the word incongruent. I first learned the word in grade school math. Two lines are not the same length. Two angles are not the same. Or in Sesame Street language: One of these things is not like the other. Perhaps it is because I am getting older and my kids are moving on or perhaps it is because our world seems to have gone haywire, but I find that many things in our world today are incongruent.
Very loosely defined it means that things are incompatible with the accepted version, lacking harmony or agreement. Incompatible, inconsistent, unsuitable, inappropriate. In other words things are topsy- turvey. Last week I got a call from the school – if you are thinking I actually got a call you would be wrong – maybe I should begin this sentence again. Last week I got a recorded message from one of the schools. The call informed me that the school was pleased to announce that once again we (parents) were going to be given the opportunity to eat with our children on Tuesdays. I was flabbergasted. My first thought was, “What are they hiding?”
This is incongruent with my expectations of school, especially elementary school. I have to ask: Why can’t parents eat with their youngsters? I remember it always being such a treat if my mother could come to school and sit at the table with me. I was on my best behavior and so were the friends around us. It seems to me that if the schools needed help with lunch times, they would ASK more parents and grandparents to come eat with their children. According to my own children, they are often screamed at and yelled at all during lunch and sometimes they are pulled off their chairs and made to stand against the wall while the others eat. Something is incongruent here. Perhaps our newest media blitz should be “Don’t take God AND Parents out of the schools!”
Inconsistencies occur year round. I hate to see, in the middle of a cold winter, a momma, or daddy, walking into the grocery store all bundled up with hat and gloves clutching a small child with a thin pair of pajamas on. No socks. No shoes. No coat. No hat. No blanket. Nothing. The wind blowing right through them (of course, a crusted nose). I don’t want to hear about how expensive it is. Count the cost before hopping in bed with the next available person.
I walked into the restroom of an eatery the other day and I heard a momma saying, “Now, wash your hands real good. You don’t want to catch any germs.” When I got around the corner I saw one of the filthiest little girls I have ever seen. Her legs were covered in dirt and snot was dripping out of her nose. Her shorts were ragged and her hair looked like it hadn’t been washed in a few weeks. I am glad she was washing her hands but why go crazy over the germs in a bathroom stall that has certainly been cleaned more recently than either of the occupants. Isn’t that silly?
My daughter had a friend who refused to microwave her food while pregnant because she read a report that it could possibly have radiation or cause cancer or something foolish that was a “maybe.” However, she didn’t blink twice before smoking all day and drinking a “reasonable” amount of alcohol each night. I might have shifted from incongruent to idiocy with this example but we will leave it for now.
People won’t eat homegrown/local foods because they think the grocery store is safer. Really? With all of the HUGE modified foods on display I can’t see why they think this. The fruit that is five times the size of naturally grown and totally tasteless. Yes, yes, I am sure it is safer. You go ahead. I will stick with my juicy peaches, apples and grape-sized grapes.
I could go on and on and not even mention Global Warming, the government, or the fact that we now place more importance on the treatment of animals than we do of small children. As I mentioned earlier, perhaps it is because I am getting older, but for some reason our world does not always make sense to me. It is out of harmony, inconsistent and downright incongruent some days.
I think we should put God, common sense, and kindness back into everything we do. Then we could shift the equation back to congruent.