What do you think of when you hear the word…..
Words are what make the world’s languages understandable. Gestures add to that understanding when possible, but we all have preconceived notions of basic words that may or may not be the same as others.
Skipping various degrees of emotion, we all know what someone means when they say the word LOVE. We understand the word HOT and SLEEPY and HUNGRY. We all pretty much picture love as a good feeling between two (or more) people; hot means high temperature; sleepy means a need for rest; hungry means… well… breakfast, lunch or dinner time.
But what about more nebulous words like EVIL or BUSY?
Nebulous, you ask? What’s “in the form of a cloud or haze; hazy” about being busy? Or being evil?
We all have different ideas when it comes to certain words.
EVIL may mean murderers, psychos, or oppressors. It’s a negative word that conjures up monsters, dictators, and torturers.
What about BUSY? Like “Sorry, I’m busy tonight.”
Busy can be maddingly over your head in schoolwork or job work. It can be too many steps in the instructions or too many thoughts in your head. It can be a sign of importance, organization or overscheduling.
Then there’s words like STUPID and NICE.
STUPID is a word that conjures up visions of forgetfulness and worse. It can be as light as forgetting to close the door behind you to forgetting your name or where you live. Stupid connotates a negative image of not knowing or not caring. It can be used to describe the mentally challenged, the old, animals and those prone to act before they think.
NICE is one of those generic words that can be interchanged with many other words like pleasant, bland, and okay. Nice, with it’s positive notation, can be used to describe flavors, personalities, the weather, interactions, and views. There is no threat behind that word; no highs or lows in the complement, no color. Just a positive wave of feel good.
So what’s the point of all this nonsense today?
Mostly it’s that words, simple as they are in our minds, can dictate the world. Can be misunderstood by those who have a different interpretation or experience of life. And your meaning can be misconstrued with one utterance.
BUSY can also be interpreted as I don’t want to, I’m too important to be bothered, or find someone else.
EVIL can be extended to people taking a stand, a different point of view, or those who make life difficult.
HUNGRY can slip into wanting more, the need to dominate, or starvation instead of sustaining.
To some, NICE is not caring enough to do more, not challenging enough, being bland, lazy, and safe.
STUPID has been interchanged with retarded, foolish, low class, and lazy. It easily slips off the tongue as condescending, bullish and dismissive.
Just sayin’ … be aware of the words you use to describe not only your life but the lives of others. How you put certain words in sentences, both in person and online, can be taken differently by those on the other end.
Change your vernacular. Choose your words, your tone, carefully. Chill on the negative words like STUPID and EVIL. People are indeed evil, hungry, and stupid. But they are also complicated. Emotional. Not grounded.
People evoke the worst emotions from people. And the best.
Do what you can with those you label negatively: help where you can, let go where you have to. You cannot change the world — you can only influence it now and then by your own attitude.
You only get one chance to attitude it through life. Make it a positive word. Not a negative one.