Make Like a Top and Spin

Okay, I know it is a lame joke, but I like lame jokes and I made up this one when thinking about putting a spin on something.

A basketball player, a figure skater and a world champion top spinner (I don’t know if there is such a thing, but humor me) walk into a bar. They order tornadoes (it is a drink, google it). The bartender, always curious about his patrons, says, “You’re an interesting threesome, what brings you to this particular place?”

The skater smiles and says, “We’re all spinners.”

The bartender laughs, “This is a swinger bar, not a spinner bar!”

I was trying to think of things that spin and I thought of a basketball player spinning the basketball on the end of a finger. It is a really cool trick, but it is something I can’t do with quite the same flare as the Harlem Globetrotters. Figure skaters also spin on the ice, and seem to do it with such ease that it really is astonishing. I love to watch both activities and I am usually in awe.

Now a top is easy to spin. I have been able to spin a top for as long as I can remember, it just takes a little twist of the thumb and forefinger while holding the top on its point and then simply letting go of it. Some people are even able to spin many tops at once and that can be quite a show.

While I’m comparing ice skates, basketballs, and tops, I can’t help but think that they are different in one important way. The ice skates and basketballs have many uses. They do many things and spinning is not the main purpose of the items. A top exists simply to spin. Sure it might look interesting laying motionless on any surface, but to truly be serving its purpose it must be spinning.

Interesting, you say, but what is the point?

Yesterday while thinking about a conversation I had over the weekend that really bothered me, I used the tag, “prejudice”  to search new-to-me blogs. I was curious to see what was available on the subject, and I learned that there are a LOT of different ways people can feel discriminated or belittled out of prejudice. Seriously, I didn’t really know some of the issues out there even existed.

Now you might say, why look for things you didn’t know existed if they are going to bother you? It would make more sense for me to stay in my protective bubble in my little, happy world. But if I am really going to write to inspire people, I kind of should open my eyes to what is out there, don’t you think? Don’t worry, I’m not traveling the world in order to submerge myself in the misery, I’m just pulling up the curtain so I may look out the window. I’m still safe in my happy world.

One of the blogs I read was worth note. https://modernblackgirlnarrative.wordpress.com/

This blogger is in South Africa. Her page had something to do with a derogatory term that I did not even know was such. I am not going to use it, if you are curious see the link. While I read the article, I kept thinking this is so strange, really, I could make that insult a compliment. So I did. I am not going to share my comment here, but I am going to give another example.

Okay, first let me explain something eye opening, at least to me. I was going to use acorn as an example, but I googled it just to be sure it wouldn’t offend anyone and it is actually an insult. It means nuts, which I think could be in jest, but I don’t want to take any chances. Next I tried at least five different words that would fit my example and all were derogatory, and some I don’t even want to know about. The urban definition of some random words made me cringe and say, REALLY?!!!

Imagine someone calling you a coffee bean. Haha, you are a coffee bean, a silly dried up coffee bean. Now, you may never have been called a coffee bean before, or you might have heard it your whole life and it might be the one thing that just makes you cringe and want to cry every time you hear it. Here is my spin…. Ok, well, a

coffee beans are actually the pit of the the fruit. They are the strong center of the plant and if they are placed in the ground, they will grow into another plant. They continue to spread.

when they get roasted, they are more fragrant, they are more prized. Coffee beans are often ground, but that doesn’t ruin them. People pour hot water over them, but that only means an alluring aroma is going to penetrate the air and make many mouths water, many eyes open. There are people all over the world who simply cannot start their day without the use of a coffee bean. So I am proud to be a coffee bean, I am proud to withstand the transformations necessary so I may bring pleasure to the masses. Smile, and just leave it at that.

It is doubtful that someone who uses prejudicial slurs would stop using them all together simply because you put a spin on it, but they would probably not use it in front of you again. I would like to think it would make them consider their words a little more carefully, but even if they don’t you will feel better because you will not fall down to their level. You are rising above the comment by being proud of who you are. Don’t feed the hate, teach the love!

So today’s challenge: Put a spin on it. Whether you have to spin something someone says to you, or something that a friend feels insulted by, put a spin on it and leave it at that!

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I am a dreamer who loves to explore the world through words. I hope to inspire others to live in peace and be their best selves. I also have an affinity for flamingos, gnomes, and all things magical. They live happily in my gardens.

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Posted in May's Challenge

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