The love of words.
Not being able to find the right word to describe something can be frustrating. It happens to me more than I feel … (erm).
The words we use for things are not what they really are (and the words we describe people with do not adequately describe who they are). Words are metaphors and mirrors which help us to grasp, utilise, and communicate the something or someone.
It’s hard to imagine what would happen to our thinking and consciousness if our words dissolved away, and we lost thinking and speaking language.
What we do know is how thinking and consciousness increases the more new words we have (even old words used in new contexts).
Thinking about this, I realise what I’m always trying to do is provide more words and new words to the people I work with – for who they are and what they can do. This also provides more words to describe others and what they do.
You’ll probably have noticed I like using words like humility in new ways and places. Humility is not, as often thought, having fewer words to describe oneself, rather, it is about having more. And new words open up new terrain for exploring and discovery.
The means by which we encounter and gather new words come through reading and viewing (like TED), people, and experiences (including producing things).
When you can’t find the word you need, make one up. All the words we use come from someone at sometime making them up.
‘The real struggle is not in knowing the world beyond us, but with knowing the world within us.’*
If we don’t know who we are, we’re exposed to what others think about us and suggest for us. Another word I enjoy exploring is integrity; Edward Deci offers this definition of integrity: ‘acting in accord with one’s inner self.’
If you, or your community, find the words and language you use are frustrating what you want to do, why not find some new ones?
(*From Erwin McManus’s Soul Cravings.)