By Jim "Gymbeaux" Brown, December 12, 2015
Lake Chargoggagoggmanchoggagogg is a 17-mile-around lake in Webster. (Some sources offer this spelling: Chargoggagoggmanchauggagoggchaubunagungamaugg). The original name of the lake as it appears in ancient deeds was Chabanakongkomom, with fewer letters and easier to pronounce. The Nipmuks gave the body of water this name because it was neutral territory and a favored site for powwows among their tribe and the Narraganssett, Pequot and Mohegan tribes. Residents of Webster have shortened the name, understandably, to Lake Manchaug.
Another name for this lake if it were to be named in 2015 could be, Lake Political Correctness. We could all take a lesson from the Nipmuk Indian Tribe. A translation for the name of the lake in Webster is, "you fish your side of the lake, I fish my side of the lake and nobody fishes the middle!" That is how the Nipmuks made peace with other tribes in the area; the middle of the lake was considered neutral and it was as stated, oftentimes used for powpows between the various tribes.
The Nimuks could have been like America in 2015 and simply buried their heads in the sand thinking that if they can't see what was happening, it would eventually go away. This graphic is a perfect representation of the Political Correctness that has become the curse of America for many years.
Consider this. Our universities want "safe zones" where students can go without hearing words that may offend them. Universities also want "trigger" words that are prohibited in classroom discussion for fear of offending one or more of the students. Every year people try to remove Christ from Christmas. The President of the United States refuses to name our enemy for who they really are, Radical Islamic Terrorists. Our mothers were right - sticks and stones may break our bones but names will never hurt us. At some point in time, someone has made the determination that names CAN hurt us and that is the road we have collectively decided to take - Political Correctness Avenue!
Growing up if someone did not like me because of who I was or who they thought I was, we either worked out our differences or we just ignored each other. Today, people have passed up discussing issues and even fighting over the trivial and have gone directly to shooting each other. In case you did not hear it on the news and my guess is that most of you who read this did not, a group of at least 9 thugs in New Orleans fired upon a peaceful gathering at a public park wounding 17 people in the process. Thankfully no one was murdered. Why did this happen? It is and remains my opinion that people are now growing up not just in foreign lands but here at home with a total disrespect for human life and respect for the diversity of opinions. If you don't agree with EVERYTHING that someone believes in, your life is worthless. That seems to be the prevailing attitude of today's youth or at least a large portion of today's youth.
If you think I am incorrect, when was the last time you stopped to help someone stranded alongside the road? You may have called in to help the distressed driver but I seriously doubt you stopped to help. With so many people being attacked, why would you put yourself and your family in jeopardy by stopping? The Good Samaritan died a long time ago. That is not the way is has always been in America but it is now. We had a city councilman in Slidell, Louisiana who did stop to help and he was murdered for doing so. Lesson: Don't stop to help someone apparently in distress.
It gets worse. It seems people are more interested in catching someone in distress on their cell phone videos than stopping to help them. You know I am right on this. One only need to look at the numerous videos posted on Facebook. The most disturbing videos to me are the ones that involve teenagers fighting and someone catching it all on video and no one stepping in to stop the mayhem!
I pray for but hold out very little hope that we will return to the day when people took care of their own business (fished their side of the lake) and I took care of my business (fished my side of the lake) and when the two of us had a conflict, we knew we could find middle ground, (the center of the lake) where disputes could be resolved without fights, the threat of fights, or someone pulling a gun.
Common sense in America has gone the way of the Unicorn - it no longer exists!