V is for Vibrant: Ronald Reagan and Indira Gandhi

Vibrant: having or showing great life, activity, and energy; very bright and strong; of a sound: loud and powerful.

You can probably guess it didn’t always mean this. The Online Etymology Dictionary tells us that it originally comes from ‘vibrantem’ (swaying), which is from the present participle of the Latin verb vibrare ‘to  move to and fro’ (or in other words, vibrate).

In the 1550s it meant ‘agitated’; by the 1610s, ‘vibrating’ (especially “vibrating so as to produce sound” from a string, etc.) The first record of it being used to mean ‘vigorous, full of life’ is recorded in 1860.

On www.finedictionary.com I found two quotes containing the word vibrant:

“Freedom prospers when religion is vibrant and the rule of law under God is acknowledged.”


Ronald Reagan

File:Official Portrait of President Reagan 1981.jpg

But whose religion should be vibrant, Mr Reagan? Yours? Someone else’s? What about those people who don’t follow an organised religion and, shock horror, have their own moral code -without having to be told what’s right and wrong? You really think freedom prospers when we’re ruled under ‘the law of God’? I think that if you start insisting on ruling under God’s law (by which I presume you mean the God referred to in Christian and Jewish texts), you’re actually taking away the freedom of many people.

I’m not too keen on that God’s law, if I’m honest. Recorded by a succession of people with varying degrees of literacy and a variety of agendas, those laws were written over a long time period by people relying mainly on hearsay and accounts of events that happened decades and often centuries before. Written in several languages and dialects, not to mention being expanded, abridged, lost, found, translated and re-translated, then manipulated to the whims of various religious groups, state leaders and monarchs… it’s no surprise that what we’ve ended up with is wildly inconsistent, vague, bigoted and anachronistic advice, some of which turns my stomach.

As a female panellist said ON TV this week (sorry – her name escapes me!), while she respected the desire of homosexuals to get married in a Christian church, she couldn’t personally understand it; the bible clearly says that homosexuality is wrong and homosexuals should be stoned, so why would a homosexual couple want to get married in, and condone, a faith whose teachings said that? She had a point.

I far prefer the quote below.

File:Mohandas K. Gandhi, portrait.jpg


“You must learn to be still in the midst of activity and to be vibrantly alive in repose.”
Indira Gandhi

Yep. That’ll do.

2 thoughts on “V is for Vibrant: Ronald Reagan and Indira Gandhi”

  1. When I saw Ronald Reagan in the title of your post, I began to worry a bit. Sigh of relief. On my TBR list for the summer is “Capital in the Twenty-first Century” by Thomas Piketty. I’ve heard the book takes issue w/ Reagan’s trickle-down economics. I remember Reagan’s presidency well and actually campaigned against him. As you can tell, I’m no Reagan fan on economic or social issues.

    • 😀 I did have a grin to myself at the title – I kept it in the style of my other A to Z posts but I did wonder if people would say ‘Ronald Reagan – VIBRANT??’ to themselves. I have to confess my knowledge of American politics isn’t nearly in-depth enough to comment on any leaders or would be leaders – except that I find everything Mitt Romney says incredibly ignorant and downright scary. He’s one of a certain type of people that seem to be drawn towards politics or community leadership and taking on that stance as a ‘man (or woman) of the people’, yet not actually interested in representing real people – just a favoured few they approve of. I think like most people in the UK I’m very aware of the power of any potential USA president, and how they affect us here; so I just keep my fingers crossed that anyone elected will have at least a rough idea where countries are in the world, and not make embarrassing revelations about their ignorance when their mike is still on, LOL!


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