ontemporary: (adj) living or occurring at the same time.

“What is the opposite of contemporary?”

This question was posed to me once in an interview. I think the person conducting the inquiry was a bit upset because during the conversation I referred to “contemporary matters” as often being insufficient to human need.

I turned it around on my questioner. “What do YOU think the opposite is of contemporary?”

He didn’t miss a beat. “Old-fashioned.”

There is an instinct in this nation of the free and the home of the brave to try to turn every subject into a conflict in order to fill the space on a talk show which funny wisdom on words that begin with a Calready has too much chatter.

Old-fashioned is not the opposite of contemporary. There are many emotions and actions which might be considered old-fashioned, which if faithfully applied, would come across as very contemporary in our modern-day stand-offs.

  • Kindness
  • Consideration
  • Humor
  • Wit
  • Cleverness
  • Poetry
  • Satire

All of these are relics of the past which survive quite well when they’re given a new suit of clothes and paraded on the catwalk.

The opposite of contemporary is actually “untried”—ideas that have sprouted from nowhere, short-sighted and including only a part of humanity while promoting the preferences of a chosen few.

It will never be old-fashioned to be inclusive. It is a contemporary position.

It will never be old-fashioned to be considerate. It is a contemporary profile.

And it will never be old-fashioned to question power—especially when it seems the domination is being used to hurt other human beings.

That is merely contemporary action.

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Published by Jonathan Cring