The word has a very specific meaning, which is why it’s so powerful.
If we accept behavior that’s unacceptable, we’re compromising on something that we thought was too important to compromise on.
And that’s how we end up with the unacceptable becoming commonplace.
Good morning, friends, and welcome back! Or welcome back to me, at least. Last week was a Godsend for me and now I’m back in the groove. Let’s get to it!
One of the major arcs of my life in the past ten years or so has been to turn words and ideas I once considered only relevant to other people back towards myself. One simple example is judgement. My old pattern was to let judgement run rampant at the end of my eyes, like a wild dog on the end of a long leash. I was, as many people are, easy to judge anyone and anything based on my own biases, understandings, ignorances, fears, etc. But a little self-reflection turned that dog onto me, where it belonged in the first place.
Another word equally misplaced is “unacceptable”. (I’ll save the puns for another day…) So often in my life I’ve applied “unacceptable” to the behaviors and ideas of other people. Perhaps you have, too. Isn’t it so easy to examine “them” instead of “self”? But what if we turn “unacceptable” to ourselves? It isn’t so comfortable, is it?
I’m not suggesting that we do unacceptable things, although we likely do. I’m suggesting, as Grodin does, that we participate in the “unacceptable” business. For example, you may have at one time or another considered some weight to be unacceptable. But bit by bit and bite by bite you got there (as did I), compromising to the point of commonplace. Or maybe you titled certain personal behaviors unacceptable, or connections, or anything else.
One point to remember is that we have to be careful what we title “unacceptable”; too much can wear you out. But take a look at what in your own life is or was unacceptable and ask yourself if you are true to your word. And be careful what you label going forward, all the while upholding your standards. And have a great week!