Longanimity and not banality.

Today’s words describe different types of people and the different types of personalities they might have.  Those words are banal, torpor, and longanimity.  While I occasionally feel torpor at the end of a long day, the real quality that I would like to develop is longanimity.

Have you ever talked with someone who seemed to talk about the same old things all of the time (and didn’t have Alzheimer’s)?   If their conversation is the same trite, petty, commonplace topics, you could say that their conversation is banal.  Banal (beyn nal) is an adjective that describes something that is trite, drearily commonplace, devoid of freshness or originality, trivial, or petty.  This could refer to conversation or phrases or actions – trite things that make a person BORING.  If you don’t want to be perceived as banal, make sure that you have fresh and original conversations, that you don’t make petty comments.

Sometimes after eating a huge meal (like Thanksgiving), you might feel sluggish, that you don’t want to do anything too strenuous or do something that makes you think too much.  That kind of situation is called torpor.  Torpor (tawr-per) is a noun that describes a state of mental or physical inactivity, listlessness, or lethargy.  It could also describe a state of sleepiness, slumber, or drowsiness.  Sometimes a person who does nothing but sit on the couch watching TV is in a state of torpor.  If you don’t get enough sleep for several days in a row, you might be in a torpor.

Longanimity (long-guh-nim-i-tee) is a noun that means calmness in the face of suffering and adversity. Someone with longanimity patiently endures hardship, injuries, without taking offense.  Forbearance is another synonym that comes to mind.  Mother Teresa is a perfect example of longanimity.  She definitely saw much suffering and adversity and yet was calm, held her composure, and had a quiet sense of dignity.  She patiently endured hardship without pointing a finger of blame.  The opposite would be a person that would get a paper cut and couldn’t go to work for a week.

By improving your vocabulary, you will not have banal conversations.  And, if you worked at not having torpor or worked at having longanimity, you would be a much better person!

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