Sunday, June 17, 2012

A Riddle

Life is just a bowl of cherries. Don't take it serious, life's too mysterious.
-Buddy DeSylva and Lew Brown, songwriters.

Someone commented on this blog the other day that being more childlike can be good and bad. I thought they were talking about the difference between childlike, an adjective for temperament, and childish, an adjective for behavior. 

For the record, the definition of childlike is: innocent; naive. The definition of childish is: belonging to a child; foolish or petty; indicating a lack of maturity.The definitions add to the confusion. For instance, being innocent is very different than being naive in my book. Why would foolish or petty be put exclusively in the same category as belonging to a child?  

Even the synonyms for childlike are contradictory or as the comment suggested "good and bad". It doesn't seem logical that simple, natural, spontaneous, unaffected and trusting could be used synonymously with artless and immature?

I do not want to be the antonyms of childlike: untrusting and complicated. But I do want to be the antonyms of childish: adult, mature, sensible and wise

Is it just semantics; the study of meaning? Or is it actually a matter of connotation; the secondary meaning of a word or expression? 

Reminds me of the idiom Bed of Roses. It also reminds me of the song, Life is Just a Bowl of Cherries, written in 1931. Some people interpret the song to mean cherries are sweet even though they have pits. Like life, the fruit can be good and bad. If the the songwriters were simply trying to convey optimism and pleasantry during the great depression, why do so many use the phrase sarcastically to mean life is tough? 

In the end, the answer to all these questions and contradictions is what you believe them to be.

I leave you with this question. Are there other things you can think of that can be both bad and good?

Life is just a bowl of cherries
Don't take it serious,
Life's too mysterious
You work,
You save,
You worry so
But you can't take your dough
When you go, go, go

So keep repeating "It's the berries."
The strongest oak must fall
The sweet things in life
To you were just loaned
So how can you lose
What you've never owned

Life is just a bowl of cherries
So live and laugh, aha!
Laugh and love
Live and laugh,
Laugh and love,
Live and laugh at it all!

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