A local museum’s ad reminded me of a family vacation we took years ago. I told our kids that, during the trip, we visited a museum that focused on wildlife and conservation. On an outdoor exhibit walk around the building, we saw animals living in the grasses, bushes, and in the river. Signs along the elevated walkway displayed pictures of the animals’ “output.”
One of our kids wondered why our local museum advertised an exhibit on “output.” I explained that you can identify an animal by it, and added that the museum thought the topic would attract kids who giggled at that sort of thing. I thought the conversation was over until one of our kids asked, “Are we kids or barbarians?” Barbarians—like the ones from the Roman Empire? Someone paid attention in history class. Maybe this helps explain the museum’s topic choice:
The scoop on poop: Is it entertainment or education? Who knew output deserved so much scientific attention? It can be helpful to discuss the scoop on poop, or any other topic. How we say things and why we’re mentioning them will show whether we’re speaking like decent people or barbarians.
Political correctness shouldn’t force us to bury controversial topics, but it should encourage us to speak on them without using pie-in-the-face words. What national conversation do you want to defend without it turning into a big stink?