The idea for this poem came from a discussion among friends living (and practicing as doctors) in different countries, struggling ￼with being politically correct while talking about sensitive issues such as gender, race, size etc.
Traditional terminology has now been obsolete made
So can I still call a spade a spade?
I am asking, because it’s not my intent
To hurt unknowingly, anyone’s sentiments
I grew up in a world with labels countless
But since then the world has made progress
Such that the adjectives traditionally used
May be (mis)construed as abuse..
Freedom of expression is necessary
Nothing’s black and white or binary
Free speech has to be filtered through
A sieve of politically correct voodoo
Anything other than the most liberal point of view
Is subject to not just ridicule but cancellation too
It has become necessary to be hyperaware
To discrimination, to tread with utmost care
Lest a forbidden word make its way
Into your speech some fateful day
Your words that come from thoughts innocuous
Could be interpreted as representing a bias unconscious..
Then I remind myself that in a changing world
We are continuously changing words
The rigidity of the past has to be discarded
For the erstwhile “outliers” to be “normal” regarded
Change is hard, and seems imposed on me
But that is how we grow collectively..
So, in a nutshell, this conclusion I have reached
I shall incorporate the new term for “spade” in my speech