A Mediation on Life: Language-R-Us

Experience teaches me again and again that, if we really want to evolve beyond our current state of moral development, we need to take the words we use far more seriously than we currently do.

Experience teaches me again and again…

… that words have far more power to mold our thoughts than we dare to admit.

… that our worldviews are largely defined by the language we inherit.

… that we are so easily rendered blind and deaf by the mind-numbing slogans and clichés that engulf us.

… that words have the power to open or close so many doors to reality… the prophetic power to create or destroy, to inspire or disillusion, to ennoble or corrupt… and thus to spread either joy or misery.

… that language is a quite fallible human invention… with the power to transmit every truth, but also every falsehood… every lie, misconception, distortion, preconception, suspicion, prejudice, fantasy, and superstition.

… that words are often nothing more than the unexamined projections of our arrogance, ignorance, anxiety, cynicism, and dishonesty.

… that our capacity for language, so enamored with categorizing things, is vulnerable to reifying and ossifying things that simple do not exist. As such, words really do have the power to create fear where no danger exists… and that fear creates danger that is quite real.

So what language do I speak? What language do I want to speak?

Is it the language of victimhood or responsibility? Contention or collaboration? Judgment or curiosity? Suspicion or trust? Resentment or forgiveness? Vengeance or reconciliation? Empowerment or resignation? Celebration or condemnation? Do my words build bridges or walls?

That said, I need to put the spirit and veracity of every word I read, write, hear, and speak (or not) on trial… in order to purify my thoughts and feelings of all deceit, conceit, and cowardice… ridding my verbal life of the evils of gossip, finger-pointing, labeling, presumption, supposition, hearsay, uninformed opinion, caustic humor, and self-serving rationalization.

So, are the words I use the expression of the person I truly am… or at least aspire to be?

Next Meditation: The Eloquence of Action

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