First of all, though I rarely use the F word in regular conversation myself, I am not shocked when it is used in people's stories, writing, in film, etc. It's such a common word in our languages now. I do think, however, that it is often overused. I'll admit that when I am really angry, I have used it--and sometimes imprudently. When our young children and grandchildren are acting out I often hear the term, "Use your words," to explain how they are really feeling. The F word seems a substitute for anger, but when a woman of a certain age, like me, uses it, it probably is a little shocking. To me it's so darned vulgar.
Sometimes its use can be downright funny, I'll admit. I love to read the Facebook page for "I Fucking Love Science." Paired with science, it always makes me smile.
But, I was deeply disturbed to see it used visually recently. In fact, I can't get the incident out of my mind; it has struck the very core of me. I was waiting in Little Company of Mary's diagnostic center recently to be checked in for an echocardiagram and a young man was checking in with his back to me. I was so taken aback to see the word in bright, bold, red letters against his black shirt, that I got out my iPhone and silently took a photo so I could muse later on why it disturbed me so.
Another young man was sitting nearby and he grinned at me when I snapped the photo. This is some of what flashed through my mind. Life is so extremely precious to me and his shirt seemed so irreverant given we were sitting inside a hospital where life and death issues were going on all around us. When I was in my early 30s, I battled a severe depression and at that time I began to question whether life was worth living--only I didn't wear a shirt expressing my despair, I simply went inward and kept it hidden. Fortunately, I was treated for that depression and it lifted although I have carried mild depression my entire life. The older I get, the more precious life becomes. Not only have I fought death down more than a few times, I have seen life wind down for so many of my family and friends. Even in the worst of times, they wanted to LIVE.
I'm making too much of this. The man was obviously there for some diagnostic testing himself and maybe his life had turned to shit. Maybe he was expressing his anger through that shirt. Being a writer/journalist, I wrote all kinds of scenarios in my head. I tend to overanalyze things. But, you know what? Probably someone gave the shirt to him as a gift and that was the one that he put on that morning because it was the top one in his drawer--nothing more.
But, with all this "stuff" going around in my head then--and since--I have repeatedly whispered gratitude to God for my precious life and whoever he is, I have prayed for him to realize what a precious life he has, too. Seeing him was a mini-wake up call, perhaps just for me.
How does all this strike you?