Sunday, November 6, 2016

A choice of words

I'm worried . . . let me explain why.

First of all, with your agreement I'd like to carry out a short experiment.
Below, I'm going to type a series of words.  Please read them aloud, one after the other, and feel the effect they have on your body as you do so.  Take it slowly, and see what happens.

Off we go:

'Anger' . . . 'Fear' . . .  'Hate' . . . 'Anxiety' . . . 'Deceit' . . . 'Aggression' . . . 'Duplicity'

How did that feel?  Did you find your body tensing, particularly around the chest?  Did your breathing become more shallow and rapid?
Did you become rigid in your seat?

Now, let's repeat that with a different set of words.

Once again:

'Compassion' . . . 'Generosity'. . . 'Decency' . . . 'Respect' . . . 'Trust' . . . 'Understanding' . . . 'Compromise'

Did you feel any difference?
Was there an expansion of the body?  Did your breathing deepen?  And was there a feeling of warmth, a renewal of energy?

I said that I was worried, and I am.
I'm worried because language is important, vitally important.  The words we choose to express our thoughts affect us physically and colour our world.
I'm sure we've all experienced how words that are negative and destructive not only enfeeble, they can even paralyse.

At the current time the all-pervasive language of fear and criticism is overwhelming.
And it isn't just found in the Press, and used by politicians . . . it's the common currency for all of us.  We're all contributing to the explosive atmosphere in the world.

Wouldn't you agree that, if we're to unite in recognition of our shared humanity, we need the healing energy of a compassionate vocabulary?

It could also be said that we'd benefit from putting words aside and absorbing the gifts of nature . . . the gifts of a spectacular autumn.

Now, there's a word to warm the heart . . . 'Gratitude'!