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While running to the store earlier today, I saw a man hanging around with an interesting T-shirt that I happened to catch in my mad dash to get the one item I forgot on my last trip. I couldn’t read the entire thing because his beard, which was grey and white and flowing at least a foot under his lower lip, was partially covering it. The word emphasized, though, was SARCASM, and something about it being lost on others.

That got me thinking…

  • I know SARCASM. My family embodies it. Sarcasm, in my home, comes with score cards and tiny yellow pencils. In fact, it has been a note of contention on many occasions in the past; normally during holidays when there is just too much sarcasm in one room at any given time. Depending on the hormonal influx and the positioning of the moon, it could either leave you in stitches, or leave you crying until the next red mark on the calendar.

Most of the time, when someone says something sarcastic, they may not mean anything by it and are so accustomed to being that way, they lose sight of how others might respond.  My father had a good word for it. Smart-ass. If my father called you a smart-ass, he was, more or less, complimenting you.

Sometimes, though, sarcasm is used to try and inflict emotional pain on a person; usually by embarrassment. I guess his tee was supposed to be double indemnity if you were a person who, for some reason, didn’t get that. The double whammy! I embarrassed you and you’re too stupid to realize it. I’m so clever. Let me celebrate that by putting it on a T-shirt.

But, what of this missing the point?

Lately, I’ve noticed that I do miss a lot of the sarcasm that gets tossed around like the spuds at a Thanksgiving dinner. I read many sarcastic remarks on social networking sites that may, or may not be directed at me and that may or may not be meant to inflict pain.

The question is: Should I care? Should any of us?

I imagine we could take it personally and react in some way…probably with more sarcasm, or we can ignore it and pretend it doesn’t bother us. However, there is a third option. We can stay focused on our goals and our line of vision and remain true to that purpose. When we can accomplish that, we are truly missing the point.

And, despite what a T-shirt might have you believe, that my friend, is a good thing.