Posts Tagged ‘low’

Cease Fire, Caring, and Giving + On Language

December 25, 2009

This year for Christmas, there is no cease fire.  There has been in the past.  I was wondering if they can call cease fire for one day, why can’t it be all the time?  Also, during this time of year there is so much caring and giving to help those in need.  Instead of it being a yearly event, why can’t it be this way every day?  Something to think about.

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Language is the tool which enables us to communicate with our fellow beings. It is a limiting tool. It controls how we think and process things according to the rules of the languages we speak. Also, it does not accurately define the human experience even if you have words to describe it because your listener’s definition and experience with the words you use may be different from yours.

There are also things that there are not words for that you may experience. It’s hard to process these things because without the words to describe it – it’s a thought without a definition. It’s something felt but not understand or mastered as when you have words for it. For example, there is no word that exist or can exist that accurately describes my gender. It’s not male or female – it is something else entirely but the best our language can offer for such a state is “genderqueer.” Using the word “genderqueer” to describe myself is like describing the shadows on the wall of an unseen figure. It’s a mere abstraction of what is really there but there is no place in our binary world for my existence but against all odds, I exist.

We create new words to define new experiences but there are some things words do an injustice to. For example, the word “Love” is so overused in society. The definition has been so water down by so many uses that people can no longer distinguish “love” from “like”. “Love” has become a synonym for “like” when both words are two different feelings, they now blend into one.

I think a problem with our society is that we quickly establish things into binaries. When people see some things as beautiful, other things become ugly. When people see some things as good, other things become bad. Being and non-being create each other. Difficult and easy support each other. Long and short define each other. High and low depend on each other. Before and after follow each other. We should stop fragmenting our existence by breaking it down into binaries. We should recognize when we are being a slave of our language and having a ground of common experiences is assumed.

Language when used correctly can be a great tool. But as with any tools, it’s a means to the ends and not the ends itself. Don’t be afraid to ask for definitions if you don’t understand how a person is defining a word to avoid miscommunication.

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