Wednesday, February 29, 2012

On Language

Words matter.

They're thoughts made real.

They're bricks. With them we build structures to collect knowledge and wisdom—poetry, prose.

They're bridges. They connect us to ideas and things...and one another.

They're weapons. With them we attack and wound—far more deeply than with blades. Flesh heals. But what of the soul?

They're medicine. "I'm sorry." And "I love you." Words can heal tongue-lashed wounds.

Consider the power of words. From everyday life:
"To" versus "with"
"I want to talk to you about this."
"I want to talk with you about this."
One is imposing. The other is inviting. It's subtle.

"I", "you" and "we"
"I need you to stop it!"
"We need to stop."
One assigns blame outward. The other is inclusive, taking responsibility while calling for action. It's powerful.

Myriad examples abound. We hear or read them every day—and we're completely unconscious of it. We're affected by the subtle power of words. And the slightest shift can re-define a thought and re-set a mind.


"Join me in the fight against cancer."


"Join me in the fight to end cancer."

See it? It's subtle. It's powerful.

In the first I'm asking you to join me in a battle, yet there is no clear goal. And to me, fighting cancer is a private thing.

I fought cancer when I had it. Folks in chemo, taking radiation treatments, and recovering from surgeries are fighting cancer.

I raise money to end cancer. To eliminate it from our reality.

End. Eliminate. Not fight.

End cancer.