A List of Things We Should Not Talk About – because talking about them only makes them worse

racecard2How I came to discover that there is a list of things we shouldn’t talk about has a bit of a back story. It mainly begins with the infamous Race Card. Is it real? Is it an illusion? Perhaps it’s both.

However it’s defined, one thing is for certain: It’s a catchy and quickly gave way to similar phrases like the gay card, the gender car, the Muslim card and others. In fact, everyone is holding cards! Except white people, they prefer to play dominoes.

I soon learned that playing any sort of card is a derisive act because it is an easy out when someone is losing a debate. If debates are to be equal, we should all comment from the level playing field which is life. To bring in elements to a conversation which relate to an individual’s living experience based on some identifiable human trait is simply not fair play.

Furthermore, I discovered that all one needs to make it in this world is the will get over the mountain.  After all, in most developed parts of the world women can vote and join the workforce, state sanctioned segregation has been outlawed, and gays can marry.

We are all equal now.

It’s time to stop shut up, stop complaining, and go live the dream. 

hqdefaultMy advice would be to act more like Lil Wayne – Southern Hip Hop artist and bastion of wisdom – who explains how he doesn’t see racism because he has never dealt with it.

Better yet, follow the lead set by Morgan Freeman, who states unequivocally in a 60 Minutes interview that the best way to fight racism is to not talk about it. His message is powerful and rings so true that infinite memes have been created to rebut any card business that the intellectually fragile may have been preparing to use.

And it is with the playing card revelation mixed with Lil Wayne’s and Mr. Freeman’s strong words that I came to the conclusion that talking about things only does make them worse.


I quickly began to think of other issues that dissipate on their own when we cease talking about them. The result of my pondering is this nifty list I compiled. It is far from complete, but I think it touches on a few important topics that are better left to be resolved on their own time.

Cancer –  A lot of people use cancer as a metaphor, but there is nothing like the real thing. The less we talk about having cancer, and curing cancer, and getting treatment for cancer, the less it is diagnosed in people, the slower it metastasizes, and best yet, the faster it stops being a worrying disease. If we simply keep quiet it will surely end up  going the way of other deadly diseases of a bygone era like the black plague or polio. Not talking about it also does wonders for the cancer patient’s chances of survival. I am very confident that it’s much healthier to not face the truth of their condition and stay home watching reruns of Full House on cable television.

Drug Problems – If your best friend or spouse has needles hanging around the house, keeps stashing things away when you walk into a room, or skips work to go out for a “quick drink,” don’t fret! The less you bring it up, the more they will be compelled to see the error in their ways. Life is a roller coaster with highs and lows – just wait it out and I am sure that special person in your life will come out of their rut sparkling like a brand new diamond. Plus, I am sure there is some study somewhere that says that talking about substance abuse only leads to more substance abuse – because you keep bringing up the very thing the person wants to partake in! Just shut up already, and everything will turn out fine.

Child Abuse – Kids grow up and grow out of things. Why have to double the trauma of abuse by making them have to relive it every day with a therapist? Or worse yet, imagine the tragedy of having to remove a parent or relative from the household, or even the shock of the child having to see that person go to jail! Don’t be a horrible human being. Best to zip it up and let things work themselves out naturally. Kids are by their very nature resilient. I am sure they’ll grow up to be perfectly well-adjusted adults. Shhh!

Spousal Abuse – This one works both ways – men and women. But why talk about it? It’s confusing and breaks gender and social paradigms that really don’t have any business being broken. Your grandparents managed to stick together through the hard years, why can’t you? Talking about spousal abuse only helps to deteriorate the perfect image of marriage that has been a founding institution of thriving societies for as long as human-kind has been around. Suck it up and stop yapping.

Overspending – It seems so trivial, doesn’t it? That’s because it is! So why make a little problem worse? If your significant other doesn’t know how to budget or add and subtract, what gives you the right to butt in? Not everyone grew up with your Ivy League education. Let them learn as they go, and eventually they’ll figure out that they should spend less than they earn. In the meantime, enjoy those expensive dinners, useless gadgets bought on e-Bay, and the firm belief that you’ll never lose your job, car, or home anytime in the near future.

Politics – This is the biggest waste of time. Why even open your mouth? The system is how the system is and will always be. People that try to fight the system are really just suckers for punishment. I can’t figure out any other way to describe them. Also, it’s pretty much proven that even when you do decide to debate politics, the chances of you actually changing someone’s mind is nearly impossible. It’s a lost cause. So my advice would be to clam it up and keep voting for the same final choices offered to you.

Environmental Issues – This planet has been here longer than you and will be here long after you are gone. Don’t fret my pet. Keep you mouth shut and I am sure that polluters will feel your inner strife about the condition of the scummy river running through your city. Talking about environmental issues just makes you look dumb and crazy too. Do you seriously need people to think that you like to go around hugging trees and talking to mountains? You have a serious image to uphold. Speak less and save face. Like I said, planet Earth will figure itself out, and you’ll be just fine and dead when it all goes down. So why bother?

Violence – Whether it’s guns, knives, fists, or a holy book, people will find some excuse to be violent. Why talk about alternative ways to vent rage or what causes violence when you can just let humanity play itself out? On top of that, you run the risk of sounding like one of the environmental nutcases mentioned above. Do you really want all your friends thinking you are on some “Kumbaya-peacenik trip?” I believe firmly that if you don’t talk about violence it gives violent people the time to cool off. Have a beer and don’t think too much about it. Violence is just the price of admission to our happy human family circle.

Taxes – Nobody should ever talk about this. The government is there to guide you through life. The least you could do is pay your fair share. Taxes have been levied and paid since as long there’s been a greedy pocket to fill and armed forces to compel you to participate in the exchange. Why fight the wave? Surf’s up! Ride that tax swell unto the shore of happiness. The less you talk about taxes the more accustomed you will be to their ever-looming presence in your life. You may even start to love taxes – because you will know that you are working together with your government to make life better for everyone. And there is always that possibility that the less you complain about taxes the greater the chances that the government will smile down on you and give you a tax break once or twice in your lifetime.

Depression – This is a biggy! As in a big reason for you to really shut up. Everybody has down days. If you keep bringing up the issue of depression to someone who is going through it, it will only make them feel worse about not being as equilibrated as you are. Who does that to a friend or relative, or worse, a perfect stranger!?! Don’t be a jerk – keep your mouth shut – it really works! You don’t want to be responsible for furthering someone’s misery by talking about their misery, do you?


As I mentioned earlier, this list is far from complete. I am sure you can think of many more terrible things to not talk about, and I urge you to talk about not talking about them.

The point is that it is pretty clear that talking about these things only makes them worse. It adds and unnecessary level of culpability and blame to a conversation, and that is just not fair – and more importantly, it may hurt someone’s feelings.

Talking about things also creates a rift between people. It attempts to demonstrate that life is not the the dream that it really is, and that not everyone gets a fair shake. Talking about things is plainly a waste of time. And honestly, I apologize for taking up some your time talking about things I really shouldn’t talk about because in the end – things work themselves out just fine.

P. Ray

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