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David Hegg: It is what it is

Posted: August 24, 2014 2:00 a.m.
Updated: August 24, 2014 2:00 a.m.
 

Recently I read a study on English language clichés that named “it is what it is” as the most annoying.

It started me thinking about the sentiment behind this declaration we all either use or hear regularly.

I first heard this cliché from my sister-in-law who began using it years ago. Now I hear it everywhere.

Things didn’t work out as planned? “It is what it is.”

Car repair cost was triple what we expected? “It is what it is.”

You get the picture. What once was a clever, even shocking statement of the obvious has become so common it’s now annoying for its repetition.

But there is more to it than just another annoying, overused cliché. Let’s dissect it a bit.

For some, “It is what it is” declares an understanding of reality. Bad things happen. Cars break. People disappoint. There is a certain amount of wisdom in seeing the way things are and accepting them.

Many use this phrase to mentally walk away from the anxiety they feel facing problems with impossible solutions.

It becomes a mechanism for emotional restraint and mental stability.

When they say it, they mean “the situation can’t be changed, and getting mad or worrying won’t help, so I’m just going to admit the reality I am facing and get on with life.”

But for many more, “It is what it is” has become more than acceptance. It masks a deep resignation combined with a passionate reluctance to admit accountability, either for the situation or for any responsibility to make it better.

What we need to be saying is this: “It is what it is, but should it be? It is what it is, but should we let it stay that way?”

I am increasingly appalled at the lack of personal accountability in our nation today. We are becoming much too comfortable with realities we have created ourselves through laziness, selfishness, or ineptitude.

Further, we find ourselves resigned to these realities and lack the fortitude to admit our faults and get to work on real solutions.

More kids are having sex in their teens. “It is what it is.”

Poverty is overtaking more and more people. “It is what it is.”

We’re running short on water, are dependent on foreign oil, and health care costs are spiraling. “It is what it is.”

Racism is rampant, honor and integrity are old fashioned, and God has been almost completely banished from the public square. “Oh, well, it is what it is.”

There are times when recognizing reality and refusing to get embroiled in it can be the better part of wisdom. But there are also times to shove convenience and complacency aside and get after changing things that damage us and will seriously hurt our children.

So let’s resign ourselves never to be resigned in the face of challenges needing to be met, problems needing to be solved, wrongs needing to be righted, and ideas needing to be opposed and corrected.

What is may not be what needs to be. And we must fight the good fight, lest one day we wake up and find that those creating our nation’s reality have decided to no longer include us.

At that point we may find ourselves admitting that “what is” can no longer be changed to “what should be.”

David Hegg is senior pastory of Grace Baptist Church and a Santa Clarita resident. “Ethically Speaking” runs Sundays in The Signal.

Comments

ricketzz: Posted: August 24, 2014 9:27 a.m.

"I am what I am and that's all that I am" -Popeye

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tetragrammaton


newsreader1965: Posted: August 24, 2014 12:14 p.m.

The Statement "God has been almost completely banished from the public square" is wrong. God will be wherever we as humans keep him in our hearts. So keep him in your heart and treat people the way he would expect and this world will be better off.


projalice11: Posted: August 24, 2014 11:41 p.m.

"It is what it is"

"What we need to be saying is this: “It is what it is, but should it be? It is what it is, but should we let it stay that way?” BINGO MR.HEGG


ricketzz: Posted: August 25, 2014 9:40 a.m.

"..grant me the power to..accept what I cannot change." -AA Pledge


CaptGene: Posted: August 25, 2014 11:54 a.m.

"I know. right?"


17trillion: Posted: August 25, 2014 12:23 p.m.

"just sayin"

I know, you just said it.....


ricketzz: Posted: August 26, 2014 9:47 a.m.

"Word".


Indy: Posted: August 26, 2014 8:09 p.m.

Hegg wrote: Racism is rampant, honor and integrity are old fashioned, and God has been almost completely banished from the public square. “Oh, well, it is what it is.”

Indy: This is the problem with deeply religious people that can’t see beyond their religion.

Here Hegg asserts that the ‘Godless’ among are creating the problems.

When in fact, many of the ancient beliefs propagated on the public no longer work in the modern world.

I find it fascinating that a religious leader here seems to ignore the wisdom of the Founding Fathers that ‘separated church and state’ knowing full well the dangers of theocratic governments where the civil rights and liberty of the governed are threatened and removed.

Saudi Arabia and Iran are two good examples.


stevehw: Posted: August 28, 2014 1:32 a.m.

'"I am what I am and that's all that I am" -Popeye'

"I am that I am." - Some supposed deity sometime.


ricketzz: Posted: August 28, 2014 10:04 a.m.

I put up a link to the Tetragrammaton, which is the symbol that some pronounce as yah-weh. It was also the name of Bill Cosby's record company, which released Deep Purple's first two USA LPs.

[toot toot]



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