When we speak, how far away do our words stand from reality? Are they a faithful reflection of “how it is” or do they cast everything in the light of how we feel, how we’re interpreting things, or what we think matters? As if our words might wrap our more objective observations within cloaks of despair, hope, criticism, distrust or freedom. Placing spin on reality as we reframe it with all the complex contents of our minds.
Isn’t it a powerful force? The commentary with which we accompany life. The thoughts we’re allowing ourselves to voice, expectations we have, and assumptions we mightn’t question seem to carry such weight as they travel out into the world. All these ideas which we, as humans, have thought and decided to send forth as an example or affirmation for others. (Notes One)
Once out there, don’t they stand to impact, influence or injure almost anyone around us? Becoming this humanly-voiced statement of how others see things – or, you. The ways we frame things in our minds becoming the way we present our thoughts to others as we offer up our conclusions around the value of everything that’s crossing our path.
Knowing how others see things seems significant. This sense in which, through communication, we’re letting others know what we think: revealing our perspectives, our values, our criticisms through all the subtle nuance of our words. Doesn’t it give others an idea of what matters to us? A fairly clear picture of how we, as a human, are looking at life and directing our concern or attention within it (Notes Two).
In that, aren’t we always “adding” something to reality? Not just stating a fact, but loading it up with the implication of all it means for us. As if, in everything we say, our words speak the relative significance of the world in our eyes: the seriousness with which we approach any topic, emotion accompanying our language and its delivery, and deliberation or haste with which we’re treating our subjects all carrying discernible meaning.
Almost as if we’re each these transmitters of “value” as we reflect reality through the “lens” of the human being – coating everything with the meaning we’ve assigned it and relaying that to anyone within earshot. And that doesn’t seem neutral (Notes Three). It must serve to confirm what we feel is acceptable, appropriate or admirable. It must impact others’ judgements of people, situations or themselves.
Maybe words are cloaking reality with our view of it? Some, perhaps, bearing the burden of words spoken by anyone not truly understanding where they’re coming from; haunted by any misconceptions with which others might’ve labelled them. Situations in nature or society perhaps being weighed down by all the many ways we’re not valuing things rightly or acting well.
As much as our words might uplift and bring good things to life, can’t they also become oppressive prisons? Flawed reflections of reality that trap us until we can somehow break free of their power.
Notes and References:
Note 1: Frameworks of how we relate
Note 1: The thought surrounding us
Note 1: These ideas we have of one another
Note 1: Powerful responsibility of a media voice
Note 2: Attention as a resource
Note 2: All we concern ourselves with & encourage
Note 2: Understanding what we’re all part of
Note 2: Seeing, knowing and loving
Note 3: All that we add to neutrality
Note 3: What we create by our presence
Note 3: Ways thought adds spin to life
Note 3: Conversation as revelation