Time--2017 A to Z Theme

My theme for the 2017 Blogging from A to Z April Challenge is "Time". The posts will be more philosophical, contemplative, and even autobiographical than instructional. No time management tips planned, but you never know with A to Z.

Always a work in progress--welcome to my blog...

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Monday, April 17, 2017

Never (#AtoZChallenge)


Never is a harsh word.
Never is much harsher than never again.  Adding the "again" sounds possibly hopeful.
Never is definitive, unyielding, uncompromising, and perhaps limiting and shortsighted.




Never

        "Never" sounds non-negotiable.   And yet it is often used in a frivolous way in the same way we hear "always" and "everybody" being used.    When someone says "never" and they absolutely mean it it can mean an ending as well as a beginning.  

          If someone close says they are never going to see you again and it actually happens, the loss can be devastating.  A total separation from someone you care deeply about also means you have new options that must be considered and eventually addressed in order to move on.  Never doesn't have to be an end of hope or happiness.  Quite the contrary, the permanent separation from another might be a release to a freedom that had been previously unrecognized.  No matter what the case though, we must always make the best of the negative never.

         But, although never is classified as a negative word, it can have very positive implications.  When a smoker declares that they will never use tobacco again or an alcoholic promises that they will never drink again then that's usually a good thing.  Maybe bad for the suppliers of those products, but usually I think we can say that with all bad there can be some good just as with all good there can be some bad.

           Never can cover a lot of time.  As much time as forever.  The old adage "Never say never" makes a lot of sense in many ways.  If we're going to say "Never" then let it be a promise or at least intend it that way until the time comes to change our mind--if that time ever comes.

          When do you usually use the word 'never'?   Do you prefer to use 'never' as a promise or a threat?  When is a time when the declaration of 'never' proved true in your life?

         

50 comments:

  1. Like you wrote the word "Never" can mean different things in different situations.
    I hope when my kids said they never wanted to speak to me they didn't mean it, although two of my grand kids phone and text me.
    Never is like the word "IF" a small word with a mulitiude of meanings.
    Enjoy your week/
    Yvonne.

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    1. Yvonne, there are some nevers that never should be.

      Lee

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  2. Great use of never - both its positive and negative aspects. Thanks Arlee!

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    1. Susan S, I think we can find positives and negative aspects to everything.

      Lee

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  3. Lee,

    I never thought of never as a positive but clearly it is when making a pledge. I guess I use never more as a promise than a threat these days but when the kids were at home I'm sure it was often used as a threat. lol Great post! Thanks for hosting the A2Z fun and for visiting my recent post, Art Sketching Through the Alphabet "N" (Nightingale). Have a good day, my friend!

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    1. Cathy, I think we all use the "never" admonition to our kids and even our spouses.

      Lee

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  4. Never can also be an acceptance - I never knew that or never heard of that.
    I tend to just say once was enough.

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    1. Alex, those are responses I guess we all use at some time or another.

      Lee

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  5. I've had it come back to bite me in the arse a few times. I mostly say it now as "never knew that" or the like. Unless it is something I know I'd never do, like eating food that could kill me due to allergies. That is a never ever. Rather starve or eat dirt lol

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    1. Pat, we probably shouldn't say "never" unless we really mean it. After all, we're entitled to change our minds. Fortunately I don't seem to have food allergies although as I get older there are more and more foods that don't agree with me too well.

      Lee

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  6. Good point about the positives and negatives of the word 'never'. For me, it's been mostly positive. I vowed to never smoke again back in 2003. Quit the carton a week habit that year, but fell off the wagon a few times after that (a pack here and there). Fortunately, it stuck for good in 2007.

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    1. Debbie D, I quit smoking cigarettes in about 1996 I believe it was--haven't touched them since though sometimes I'd kind of like to have one, but it's not really a craving. I didn't make an official vow, but I just decided to quit and didn't buy anymore after I finished my last pack.

      Lee

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  7. When I moved to the west coast in 1989 I vowed never to move back east. Hell would have to freeze over first. Never say never. haha Been back here for almost 6 years now.

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    1. JoJo, I've never said I'd stay one place or another--I'm always open to leaving where I am. Right now I'd like to move back east.

      Lee

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  8. I have used that word for the positive and negative but even when it sounds negative, it's positive. For example, I vowed I will never wish to see a certain family members ever again and I am successful...so far:) They were extremely hurtful, negative. And just nasty to my mom and to my brother and me so who needs that negativity in ones life?

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    1. Birgit, there are some people that I don't care about seeing again, but if they apologized for hurtful things they have said I'd accept them back. I'd likely not feel the same way about them though, but I'd tolerate time with them. I agree though that we don't need negativity if we can avoid dealing with it.

      Lee

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    2. Generally I agree with this assessment but with this case I'm talking about, my mom trusted my Uncle( my dad already passed away) which was the wrong thing to do. There are other circumstances obviously but suffice to say, we owned a sawmill business and, on his advice, my mom separated the house from the business. She asked my uncle to buy the business but he stated he couldn't. Our home was valued at $285K...due to the times he sold it to friends of his for $118K and then turned around and bought the business for $40K(it was worth$185k). The people sued my mother for a doorknob, glass shelving and a light. My ncle sided with them and it was only dropped when we found photographic proof that the doorknob was already changed before they saw the place. In the meantime, my Aunt said my mom killed my dad( my dad had brain cancer). My Uncle was telling my mom it wasn't her house any more so get the hell out...this was the last day of being in her home and my dad in law witnessed this. My Uncle set up his son and daughter in the business and we heard from people that they were bad mouthing my mom, my brother and me calling us lazy and stupid. So...I don't want to see that side.

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  9. Just dropping by to tell you that we got back the results of the CT-Scan... not so "good"... they even found a new Tumor... so rather "depressed"... hoping that you and yours had a great Holiday weekend... Hello from Marshville... Stacey.

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    1. Stacey, well crap, that's bad news. Sorry to hear it. Hang in there. All is well here.

      Lee

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    2. Thank you, good Sir Arlee...
      just not really sure "How" to take things... for now just trying to Not think about things... have a pleasant mid-week..

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  10. Early on in our marriage my husband asked me to not use the words never and always when we were arguing. I think over the last couple of decades together that has been a good decision. Both need to be used sparingly and cautiously.

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    1. Nancy, I think this is a good plan. My first wife (bless her heart) used to say "always" and "never" often when she wanted to exaggerate a point. It would annoy me and I asked her to stop, but I guess it was a deeply ingrained habit that she just unleashed without thinking.

      Lee

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  11. I do try to avoid absolutes like 'never' and 'always' but it doesn't always work. Yeah, there I go.

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    1. Jacqui, the terms seems to just slip into our speech and writing without too much thought.

      Lee

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  12. Some of my ridiculous "nevers"...

    I'll never let my kids watch cartoons.
    I'll never let my kids eat candy.
    I'd never fall for that.

    Trudy @ Reel Focus
    Food in Film: Nacho Cheese-flavored Chips

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    1. Trudy, famous last parental nevers. They never work.

      Lee

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  13. There are very few things I will say never to. One of them would be eating broccoli. Others might get me named a bigot in a PC world. And a lot of former nevers have been fudged on on occasion. But not broccoli.

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    1. CW, I've eaten plenty of broccoli in my lifetime. Not many foods that I'll say never to.

      Lee

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  14. I told my ex I'd never leave him, during one of his numerous dark spells, but that turned out to be untrue. I meant it at the time, but I came to realize ours was a dysfunctional, dead-end relationship, and he didn't want to work on any of his 1,001 issues. It is what it is.

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    1. Carrie-Anne, when we are blinded by love and believing that it is forever we often say those sorts of things. I've said marriage vows three times now and two were broken--wasn't supposed to happen but it did.

      Lee

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  15. An interesting and though provoking post. I am trying to think if I use the word much and if so in what context and I can't think of any instances where I do use it a lot. With my kids - both as a former teacher and mother of 4 I was always conscious of the mantra "Never use a threat or promise that you aren't prepared to carry out" and I truly tried to stick to that. I do remember another mantra that I didn't stick to "Never wake a sleeping baby". When I had 4 kids and it was time to go somewhere - to drop a kid at a lesson or pick kids up from school. The baby had to come too usually so... baby got hauled along where ever we went and we all coped

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    1. Ozzy, I think we often say "never" things without thinking so we don't notice. I too recall the days of dragging kids to all sorts of places because I had no other viable choice.

      Lee

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  16. I did N is for Never, too. But a different kind of never.

    Sometimes never can be ironic or self-mocking. I'm thinking of the Taylor Swift song "We Are Never Ever Getting Back Together." My daughter loves to stick the word um in front of never for emphasis. Me: When are you going to...?" Her: "Um, never."

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    1. Deb, the addition of "um" makes it a qualifying never which I guess is akin to adding "unless".

      Lee

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  17. It's the uncompromising tone to 'never' that gives it the feel of a door slamming. I have found that I've had to eat my words when I say 'never.' Like "I will never go out with him again." Or "I'll never go to that web site again."

    I will never eat Brussels sprouts again.

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    1. Pop Tart, sometimes it can be hard to stand by never so it's better to avoid saying it.

      Lee

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  18. Sometimes I use never, but more in situations like "I never want to go through that again" or I never want to have to lose this weight again. Good posts making us think about time, Arlee.
    Janet
    <a href="https://asmile4ufromjanet.blogspot.com/2017/04/april-2017-atozchallenge-now-to-n.html”>N is for Stevie Nicks</a>

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    1. I'll never figure out why my linky thing works on other blogs and not yours :)

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    2. Janet, I'm not sure why your linky code doesn't work either. Let me try it:
      <a href="https://asmile4ufromjanet.blogspot.com/2017/04/april-2017-atozchallenge-now-to-n.html”>N is for Stevie Nicks</a>

      Lee

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    3. Let me try without the copy and paste:

      Janet's Smiles

      Lee

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    4. It's a mystery. Worked for me that way.

      Lee

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    5. Thanks Lee! I'll do it the long way next time and see what happens. I've used different computers too!

      Delete
  19. That's an interesting look at the word NEVER. And you are right in all aspects. "Never" is a big word, if I may say so.

    Anyway, I'm done with my N, too, and it's about the nom de plume: What's in a Nom?

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    1. JGIF, never can have a lot of implications both good or bad.

      Lee

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  20. Daddy told me when I was an adolescent and looking down my nose at a cousin who had gotten in serious trouble, "Never say never little girl. You have know idea what life will deal you or where life will take you." So I do not say never lightly nor often...whether for a positive nor a negative.
    Perspectives at Life & Faith in Caneyhead

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    1. Barbara, sounds like there was no arguing with Daddy. After all, Daddy knows best!

      Lee

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  21. One of the few words I remember in Spanish is the one for never. Nunca....I loved the sound of it. LOL!

    Theme: Oh, the places we will go!
    Oregon & Oahu
    DB McNicol , author & traveler

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    1. Donna, I never say "nunca", but my wife probably does now and then since she's Spanish speaking. So far I've never heard her say nunca to me.

      Lee

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Lee