This I Believe

Hilli - West Linn, Oregon
Entered on January 31, 2008

I swear it’s true

I believe in swearing. That may sound absurd, hey, I might even be absurd—but I still believe in swearing. Not that angry, profane, and unnecessary junk that people say when they lose themselves to the moment, but that humor-filled stuff that comes with self-deprecation or the right situation. This may be a belief soundly my own, it probably is a belief soundly my own, but I believe that the right swear word at the right moment can make a friend smile, a stranger giggle, or something unbearable be bearable.

I thought maybe it was that temptation thing. You know, told so many times not to do it, all you want to do is do it. And once you have all you can think to yourself is “what’s the big deal?” But I know now it’s not and that it’s more than that to me.

Believe it or not, my belief in swearing comes from my dad. I know that this would be the last thing he’d want me to learn from him, but I also know its one of the most important things I have. The ability to take a situation that seems absolutely unbearable and translate it into something bearable by way of humor, I hope to learn how to do.

My dad was diagnosed with terminal cancer. The fact that he was told that his life was coming to an end was obviously hard to grasp. I can tell you right now what he said, the look on his face, and the exact placement of his hands when he told me, but that’s not important. What’s important is the how he lived his life while knowing.

He taught me to never take myself seriously, to know yourself enough to speak your mind. And he did just that. The colorful mouth that he had was never negative, I never saw him confronted because of disrespect towards others or an ill-timed swear word. I think people understood him to be very comical, I never saw him swear without a smile—which made everyone else smile.

Granted, I haven’t fully grown up yet—my swearing isn’t always timely or appropriate, but I like to think of myself as learning. I know it seems ridiculous but swearing goes hand in hand with humor for me giving me an opportunity to make someone smile, to make life a little easier, and to not hold back. I hope that as long as I am respectful, I can also be a little bit crude and that maybe I can make someone laugh.