The Appearance of Words – By Yvonne Sam

The Appearance of Words

By Yvonne Sam

Words carry a significant amount of hidden power, so that users especially in political circles need to be extremely cautious during usage.

At times an apparent inability to speak to each other about anything sensitive is evident, because we do not speak the same language. Granted, we use the same words, but they mean entirely different things to people on different sides of the same argument. If we are truly interested in settling problems and arriving at solutions that everyone is comfortable with, rather than letting the issues remain and suppurate then at minimum we need to understand the positions taken by the folks on the other side.      

Plainly put, or speaking from a politically correct angle, there are some who have a vested interest in keeping issues unresolved, with controversy on either side as to what is being said, and each side cannot understand what the other side wants or is upset by. These are the people who try to redefine words.

A prime example is the repeated reminder that we must be “tolerant” of the different lifestyles of others. According to the lexicon, “tolerant” means a willingness to accept behavior and beliefs that are different from your own, although you might not agree with or approve of them. Now the word tolerant is used by one side to mean – completely approving and promoting of something. Consequently, that side accuses those who do not approve or promote that thing of being “intolerant,” and those being accused feel greatlyaggrieved about behavior they accept but do not approve of.

The word “discrimination” is another example. By the dictionary, it means “the ability to see the difference between two things or people”. Discrimination, being able to distinguish between two things, is not in itself immoral. However, it is when that discrimination is used to divide groups in such a way that one group can be disadvantaged that it becomes bigotry, a “stubborn and complete intolerance of any creed, belief, or opinion that differs from one’s own.” So when we witness or become involved in a situation involving a major doctrine, there are a few deeply searching questions that must be asked and answered, among them being :

Will the side or sides using incensing language be willing to alter the way they talk about the issue and about the other side, for the purpose of better understanding and potential resolution?”

Only if the questions are answered positively is there a real possibility of resolving the problem. Otherwise, we will all just continue to shout past each other, constantly insulting and irritating those we need to work with to remedy what is wrong.

Words have meanings. But unless we can all agree on what those meaning are we are not communicating with each other, but just “virtue-signaling” instead, to those who already agree with us. That may feel good for a little while, but it does not make anything better in the long run.

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