Call Me Hope

Call Me Hope
Call Me Hope By Gretchen Olson; Read: November 2011

I grew up in an environment of jokes and sarcasm and puns. I talk that way, so I write that way. – Allan Sloan

Am I sarcastic?

For quite some time now, I have been asking friends. And you know how friends are. Some would shield you or soften the blow for you. I would be told that I am but they’d quickly add that it’s all still okay or it’s in a tolerable level. Others would outright deny it, telling me to perish the thought. And there were a couple who flat out said that I really am. The funny part of this is one claimed he helped develop this personal skill while the other has become my favorite target.

With that realization, sarcasm isn’t something I could be—or should be—proud of.

But I guess, for every circle of friends, there’s bound to be one. And in my circle, that would be me. Some weeks ago, a friend asked me to translate a thought of hers into something sinisterly sarcastic. And it took no more than 10 seconds to have two answers (read: not just one answer). That says mighty about my ability.

Is sarcasm a good thing or a bad thing? I leave it to you to judge.

Call Me Hope reinforces my personal realization of this dark gift I have. I bought this book during the days when my sarcasm was in full swing and I read it only after the irreversible damage was done.

No matter how good (or even great) this book is, I didn’t enjoy it. Could you ever enjoy a hike with a pebble in your shoe? Because that’s how it was with me reading this book: a reminder of how I have spoken to certain friends. Plus the frustration that it refers to two World War II-related works that I have yet to experience for myself; I haven’t read The Diary of Anne Frank and I haven’t seen “Life is Beautiful.”

More than that, I have to yet tame my own tongue. More so, filter my (sarcastic) thoughts. My journey with Call Me Hope has taken me to a place where I could survey the destruction that I have caused.

How could I deny this gift or how I am so at ease with it and how easily I wield it? But I also couldn’t deny what I have done—both good and bad—and all the consequences that came with all my words and actions.

The Powers That Be cannot take back a gift, be it dark or light. Nor undo an action or un-speak a word. So before you let loose a careless word, be mindful and remember that you may just lose a friend.

Sometimes what hurts a person more is not what you do to them but what you say to them.

Sarcasm I now see to be, in general, the language of the devil; for which reason I have long since as good as renounced it. – Thomas Carlyle

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