Helping Professionals To Use Story to Transform Communities


John L. Williams, an itinerant professor and lover of all things Albany, Georia, is to thank for this week’s #wordblog inspiration: “curmudgeon”.



It turns out that most people have a reason to be surly. At the time of this writing, unarmed people are being killed in the street, large numbers of the middle class are unable to take tax breaks of their wealthy counterparts, and healthy food is more expensive than food that has been proven to cause illness.

And all of it is sanctioned by well-meaning people we’ve elected as our representatives.

Keeping those things in mind, you can’t blame someone for becoming a curmudgeon. The root of the word is both thought to be Gaelic and Old English, and has a supposed connected to cour mechant (“evil heart”). Curmudgeons are said to be professional pessimists– and approach the world with a sense of cynicism.

But no. You can’t do that.

It’s one thing to have a world and conditions around that are frustrating and unfair.

It’s another thing to let those conditions change your heart. At your core, you are a powerful force. Things that aggravate you are meant to be transformed by you. But you lose that power if you let those things darken your heart.

It’s not easy. But it’s simple. Feel annoyed. Feel angry. Even feel despondent and upset. But don’t be changed by those feelings. Be moved into resolve and action.

Had your own curmudgeon moment? Did it change your perspective– or did it shift you? Comment below and subscribe to get the blog delivered straight to your inbox.