The American language is riddled with catch phrases and cliches, they’re everywhere. You hear them, read them and perhaps even use them yourself. Things like “Only time will tell,” “Old as the hills,” “Cat got your tongue?” and “The writings on the wall.” Then there’s my favorites like “Just saying,” “What goes around comes around,” “We’re not laughing at you, were laughing with you,” and “Don’t get your panties in a bunch.” I’ve used them all on more than a few occasions.
Then there are all the overused catchphrases, most born from old TV shows, commercials or movie, such as, “I’ll be back,” “What chu talkin’ bout Willis?” “Beam me up Scottie,” “Book em Danno!” and one of’ my all time favorites “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up!” I think just about everyone is guilty of using these phrases and cliches once in awhile. Call it a lack of originality, creativity or just plain laziness, or could it be that we use them because they work well in particular situation? Duh! Whatever the reason, cliches are alive and well in the USA.
But then there are some cliches that work really well. One such cliche is “It is what it is.” Five little words that are a simple statement of fact. Five words that say acceptance, “this is the way it is, so we have to accept it.” You can’t change the spots on a leopard you know. Wait isn’t that another cliche? I think “It is what it is,” is simply a reminder that no matter how we feel about a particular person’s situation or actions, what we discuss, isn’t going to change things. It kind of like K.I.S.S.(keep it simple stupid) what I mean is, because we cannot effect a change on the situation we shouldn’t over-think or over-analyze it. We should simply accept it because “It is what it is.”
I have a close friend who is fond of using the phrase, “It is what it is,” when discussing some aspects of life or situation that is unalterable and must simply be accepted as is. Although a few years younger than myself, he is a very sensible individual and has proven to be wise beyond his years time and time again. (cliche) Through the years his counsel has been invaluable in helping me see all sides of an issue before passing judgement or making firm decisions. He’s a good friend.
I do have one small problem with the phrase “It is what it is.” It seems the years have made me a much more optimistic person than I used to be and for some time now I’ve been a true believer in change. Things change, circumstances change and yes, even people change. I’m living prove of that. Therefore, I believe the phrase “It is what it is” is incomplete and needs to be added to, because no matter how unalterable or bleak a situation may seem, there is always the hope that things may change, maybe not today, next week or even next year, but perhaps someday. So I believe there are at least two possible changes, the first would be, “It is what it is –for now,” and “It is what it is – but it will be what you make it.”