I have been thinking about the word stupid today. I don't really like that word...do you? It is usually used as a criticism and I don't think it is usually constructive criticism. I dislike that word so very much that it was considered a "bad" word when my children were growing up and was on the list of bad words that are banned from use. I will tell you a funny story about that later.
Today, I was reminded of one of my Dad's sayings (he has lots of them). "Don't do something permanently stupid because you are temporarily upset." Now that is a great and constructive use of the word, stupid that does not criticize. Wouldn't you agree? It encourages one to think about things before acting out of strong emotion. They are words of wisdom that can save one lots of grief. In fact, when you are tempted to say the phrase, "that is stupid." it might be wise to remember that saying because judging something or someone stupid can really cause damage.
I guess maybe I shouldn't have completely banned the word stupid but rather taught my children to use it right, like my dad did. (funny how we think of these things later in the game). This reminds me of the funny story I promised you...
When my children were very little (3 and 6) and they were visiting their Nana and Papa; my youngest daughter yelled out to her Nana that my nephew (age 3) was saying a bad word. Nana, wanting to stay on top of things, asked what word she was referring to. My daughter told her it was the "S" word. Nana was of course very shocked that her grandson would use such a word (he did have a shocked look on his face) and so just to be certain my daughter had heard him right she asked him if he had used the word #@%*. He shook his head and said, "No Nana!" Nana remembered that my daughter had a bit of a lisp and this caused her to be even more shocked because she thought my daughter might have actually said the "F" word. She then asked him if he had said that word. He again shook his head and said, "No Nana!" With this answer, Nana was out of ideas and so she asked my daughter what word he had said. She promptly replied, "He said stupid!". When we arrived later, Nana informed us that our children had learned 2 new words that we might want to be aware of.
The more that I remember that story, I realize it was really my fault. I was the one who banned the word in the first place. I reacted out of strong dislike towards something and paid a price for it. I really thought I knew what I was doing but life taught me a lesson. It really is true that hindsight is always 20/20 (another one of my Dad's sayings.!)