I was born during the Eisenhower Administration.
Back then, there were certain phrases that you uttered in order to change the climate of whatever condition you currently found yourself in.
Just as a "for instance", say that you were about to take a drive in the family sedan (better known as the station wagon) with your 13 brothers and one sister. In order to get the best possible seating for this outing you would say "SHOTGUN"! This one word would immediately ensure that you got to ride in the front seat, passenger side. This was Prime Real Estate because you now had access to the radio.
Or say that you had just manuevered a great business deal with one of your siblings like trading him his bicycle for your Carl Yazstremski Bazooka Joe Bubblegum card. Before the transaction was completed you HAD to say, "NO BACKSIES". This guarenteed that posssession of the bicycle was now iron clad.
When I saw the subject of this weeks article I immediately remembered the most famous of all phrases.
This was a phase that could get you out of all KINDS of situations.
Say you got into a fight on the playground at Winslow Field. Your opponent was beating you to death. He had you in a half nelson and was turning your spine into something that would make a pretszel maker green with envy. You'd just say "UNCLE" and he'd be required to let you go! It was like magic. I don't know where the phrase got started but over the years I have seen a dozen variations. In Vietnam, the phrase is "CHOO HOI". I think that it's kind of a gentleman's agreement that allows honor on both sides. It's sort of a "Look, I don't want to get beat up any more, and you already know that I'll fight to the death if I have to, but can't we talk this over"?
So I started to think about it and I've come up with what I think is a pretty plausible explanation.
Think about your uncles. Most of them are pretty cool individuals. They don't nag you to get good grades in school. They're there to talk to and they don't make judgements. They like you and you like them and they seem to understand when you are having difficulty. They're also easy to talk to because they don't have parental power to ground you but they do have the power of adulthood which gives them access to intercede for you if need be.
Did you know that you have an uncle Peter? Also uncles Paul, Phillip, Matthew, James and Jude? You have Aunts named Mary, Simone and great aunts Ruth, Esther and a dozen others?
You can get advice from them anytime. Just open your Scriptures and read about their lives and times. They left you an example.
Next time you're in a tough spot go to them.
Just say Uncle.
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