It Is What It Is…

Because I have been hearing it a lot lately, I have been trying to wrap my mind around the popular phrase – “It is what it is.”  It is, clearly, a tautology, like “boys will be boys” or “a man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do,” so one can’t argue with the logic any more than one can argue with “A = A.”  That seemingly suggest that, at least in a strict sense, the phrase has no meaning.  However, as I hear it most often it seems to be said in a somewhat fatalistic tone and context – as in “it is what it is, there is nothing I/we can do about it,” or perhaps, more in the vernacular, “we are/I am screwed.”  Yet, that point is or could be a point of intense opportunity.  I am not Pollyanna.  There are, indeed, those times where the die is cast.  But, they are few and far between, and even in those instances, assuming the “it” is not fatal, there is the post-“it”  (apologies to 3M) time to deal with.  In this I am reminded of the tag line from one of my new favorite songs by Kacey Musgraves – “it is what it is, ‘til it ain’t any more.”

It occurs to me that the “’til it ain’t any more” is almost always a proper addition to the “it is what it is.”

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