Today’s word is an extremely useful word. One that parents could easily use a hundred times a day. Grandparents could use it a lot, too, depending on whether or not their grandchildren are around them (and each other) much.
Today’s word of an-indeterminate-amount-of-time is irenic (pronounced eye-ree-nic with a long I and E sound).
Before I share its definition, let’s review our Greek mythology a wee bit, shall we?
Do you remember any from your high school or college days? Well. It doesn’t matter if you don’t because I’m going to refresh your memory.
Irene was the goddess of spring and of peace. In Greece, late spring was typically when war was most at risk in Greece. I guess it was only fair to give the peace-promoting Irene the responsibility of being the goddess of spring and of peace with the hopes that she would influence folks to be peaceful during the springtime.
In Utah where I live, winter brings snow and cold. Days are short. Cabin fever abounds. So does the seasonal affective disorder. While we enjoy the first snowfall of the winter season and enjoy having a white Christmas, our weary-winter souls rejoice when spring arrives.
Winters in Greece are similar to winters in Utah. Their mountains have heavy snowfalls like ours does. However, their lower elevations get rain. We don’t.
So, maybe the Greeks probably went to war in the springtime because they were tired of winter. And probably because the roads were drying up making it possible to travel to other areas to make war with other people outside their community.
Now to the definition.
Irenic is an adjective that means peaceful, promoting peace.
Now that you know its mythological background, it’s easy to remember what irenic means. Right?
When your grandkids get to squabbling (notice I said when and not if), you can tell them about the goddess Irene. Then, you can ask them if they are being irenic. Instead of yelling at them or scolding them (which would NOT be irenic on your part), all you would have to do is ask them if they were being irenic. That would make them stop and compare their behavior with the definition of the word.
Once your grandkids have heard the background about Irene, it will be easier for you to handle any fracas that they start.
In my experience in using the word with my kids, it was quite effective for stopping their altercations. It seemed to change their mood and disposition for fighting. Which made me happy.
Do you think that you’ll ever have the need to use the word irenic with your grandkids?