Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Thoughts on a Few Words

Today I was reading about some of the words that came into the English language during the first decade of the 20th Century, the decade preceding Abdu'l-Baha's trip to the United States.
One word on the list that stood out in my mind was the word "pussyfoot."

Did some people "pussyfoot" around the issue in the early part of the 20th Century? If so, Abdu'l-Baha certainly did not follow their example. When reporters asked him why he had come to the United States, he made it clear that he saw his trip as a way to encourage movement of society, and indeed the whole world towards a more united, a more peaceful civilization.

The word "muckracker" also come into use during the first decade of the 20th Century. While muckrackers focused on the horrible aspects of the situation that they wanted to change, Abdu'l-Baha would only touch on the "evil" associated with any given practice. He would then introduce his vision for the future, one in which the objectionable behavior or system had no place.

Abdu'l-Baha took no sides in the argument between those that opposed to a state religion and those who objected to such opposition. Instead he spoke about the unity of all religions. Reporters who covered Abdu'l-Baha never had to struggle with including the words disestablishmentarianism or antidisestablishmentarianism in any of their articles.

Sue Chehrenegar