What’s in a word ?

2012-09-04 05:28

As 2012 continues to race past and local and world events are nothing less than astonishing, it got me thinking about the power of one word and what it can do to sum up a situation. This led to further thoughts about the words we use on a day to day basis and how they shape our reality and perception about what is or is not possible.

In the beginning (we are told) was ‘the word’ – heralding the advent of creation and as mankind loped its way through generations, evolving and developing, so too did the words they used to describe their processes and history.

When the printing press was invented access to words was forever changed and those in control started to get rather anxious about how the great spectrum of new thoughts powered by new words could threaten their power. Governments and organised religion began censoring some of the ideas the words created and yet the words continued circulating, changing people’s perceptions and their understanding of the world around them.

Fast forward to our current reality and the words relating to the ‘green’ era, to sustainablility, to energy efficiency, to global climate issues, to dwindling resources, the collapse of economies and we have a language of fear, crises, finality.

So what if we started to use words in a new way? What if the media that controls so much of the mass thinking considered playing with words in a way that inspired a generation to want to participate in and innovate its way out of the problems in order to embrace a changing world?

How about beginning a new game where the lexicon begins to reveal the deeply complex connectivity that we all share and does so in a way that encourages excitement and hope?

How about words that encourage and embrace adaptation and motivate a generation of doomsday proponents into inspired participators?

What language can guide us to do better in our place in the world and make us better tenants of planet earth?

What words would inspire you to adapt, what words would inspire you to reclaim your responsibility to everything that you encounter? ‘Life, like ‘love’ is a doing word; so too is ‘custodianship’. We are custodians of the families we are born into and create and we are custodians of the planet we rely on for everything that is astonishing; the birds, the bees, the sunrise, the life giving water that enables the creation of every life form on this planet, the outstretched hand of a child in joy and in pain, the outstretched hand of an old person, of you on your journey through your life...the chance for astonishment is endless.

And astonishment works in the reverse too. Since when did it become ‘ok’ for energy giants and huge multi-nationals to commit ‘ecocide’? This is a new word that been tabled and born of this generation. Ecocide is the only word that can describe the heinous, deeply criminal actions that are being committed daily in the quest for unsustainable energy resources and in order to continue with agricultural practises that leads to mass deforestation and the intrinsic destruction of the lungs of our planet and the biodiversity that nourishes our entire biosphere.

Ecocide is not at all ‘ok’ – neither is the language of mendacity surrounding the truth of what is going on. All in all most astonishing!

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