By: Hettie Basil Lighttower
Welcome to the first column of Pull Up A Chair! Remember when we used to have time to sit on the back porch with a grandparent or a wise ol’ neighbor? And not only did we have the time to do it, but we even enjoyed it and looked forward to it on a Sunday afternoon after church or at the end of a long work day. We would have discussions of life, problems, the weather, neighborhood issues, news, family, new ideas, the garden, the next holiday dinner, who’s sick, who’s well and everything else under the sun. But the first thing the conversations started with was, “Pull up a chair,” or “Git ye a sit down,” or “Tell me something I don’t know,” and then a “Whatchya know the most of?” or a “What’s on your mind today?” or a “What’ve you been up to?”. Well, this new weekly column is intended to somewhat resemble those good ol’ days. It is a vision I had about 14 years ago to start up, but it never came to fruition due to circumstances that were obvious at the time and other circumstances not so obvious. But here I am now; ready, willing and able to get started. I look forward to this journey with you and for YOUR INPUT as well. After every column I will include my e-mail address so that you can write to me to express your feedback or make suggestions for next topics. I hope you enjoy this column and are refreshed with learning something new each week.
So let’s start out with PROs and CONs….. If you look up (and 99.99% of the time every topic that we will discuss is researchable and you can check these things out for yourself) the prefixes of pro and con here is what you will find… PRO is a word forming element that precedes the root word or goes before it. It has been recorded to mean “for” or “in favor of” or “on behalf of” or “favoring” or “forth” and a few other “positive” reverberations. And you would find that CON is a word forming element that precedes the root word or goes before it as well. CON is recognized to mean the opposite of PRO, in fact to be “negative” in its vibration. It means “to guide” or “to lead” or “to swindle” or “to negate” or “to study”.
So, when we add these prefixes to a word or a root word, it creates a new meaning or application. By the way, the study of words and their historical origins is called etymology, and you can find an etymology dictionary online. You have heard the saying “weigh the pros and cons”.
When making an important decision there are consequences more significant than when making a decision of lesser importance which also has consequences of respective magnitude. It is so important to make a choice with less loss or less danger in a situation and weighing pros and cons is vital.
We clearly know that one means GOOD and one means BAD. They are opposites. One is going to create good things that happen down the road if we decide in that choice’s favor. And the other is going to create bad things or undesirable outcomes if we choose in its favor.
Most of us have sense enough to weigh the pros and cons and figure out which path of choices are in our best interest or our ‘highest good’ or the one that will create the most positive outcome. We don’t really have to have all this explained because we know the difference of pros and cons. But for my discussion herein, it is good to have the building blocks laid out for a solid reminder of their definitions.
Let’s look at some words. Proclaim= pro+claim. Pro= favoring or in favor of; claim=to cry out or declare. To proceed….. proceed= pro+ceed. Pro=on behalf of; ceed=to go or yield. Convoy=con+voy. Con=to lead; voy=movement or travel. Conflict=con+flict. Con=to guide/swindle; flict=a fight or to strike.
You get the idea. Now that we have our wheels turning, what are some words in our everyday language that you can think of that come to mind? Is progress the opposite of congress? Profession…. confession? Profit…. confetti? These are just a few that come to my mind.
Feel free to send in your recollections to [email protected]. It will be fun to see what you come up with. I will include them as a follow up in the next column as per their arrival relative to the publication deadline of Tuesday by noon of the same week. Pay someone a compliment today!