Say What You Want

It's funny how differently people react to words and what is said. Some words effect people very emotionally, and some people pride themselves in their stoicism and hard-heartedness. Either way, you can't stop the associations in your head. The thoughts are often disjointed and leap from topic to topic, but that's half the fun.

Are you ready? Read the words below and see how you react to them.

Exercise, flexibility, and for some a spiritual practice. India and ancient wisdom. Crow pose.

This is what I think of:

I had a video of the old commercial with the American Indian standing on the side of the road looking at litter, but youtube took it down for some reason.

And some people don't. People start pollution, and people can stop it.

Every time I see someone flicking their cigarettes out of their giant 8-passenger gas guzzlers:

And some people don't.

Potential energy. Capacity. The future.

I never really understood potential energy in school. I could do the math and recite the definition, but I really didn't get it. Kinetic energy, no problem. Things are in motion, but potential energy? The whole idea seems so uncertain.

Remember that great 'All In The Family' episode where Edith finds a lump in her breast, and they spend the whole show trying to keep the information from Archie? (Edith's Christmas Story) Edith is worried about what it could mean to her and Archie, the potential her situation has to possibly destroy their marriage. Margaret Atwood summed it up pretty good:

Time is another element
you never think about
until it's gone.
Things like ceilings, or air.

Selflessness is a challenging word. I've asked several people over the years to give me their definition of selflessness. I was surprised that some folks actually see a negative side to selflessness. It never occurred to me, but from a raw, single definition, being without self, I can see how that could mean a loss to some folks. A selfless person could be someone that is empty.

selflessness: altruism: the quality of unselfish concern for the welfare of others.

If you Google selflessness, you'll actually find folks writing that being selfless is a bad thing. Baffling. What could be more human than an unselfish concern for others? The flickr tag for selfless shows lots of images of soldiers. I get what people are trying to say, and there is certainly an aspect of sacrifice associated with military duty, but selflessness? How is killing selfless? Don't sweat to much about that, it's just my opinion. Don't let my use of words effect you emotionally.

The Wikipedia article for selflessness breaks the ideas down to scientific, religious and philosophical views. And it introduces a new word that I hadn't thought of, 'Sacrifice'. I'm not sure I agree. Sacrifice implies a loss to the individual, an egoism that I don't find in selflessness. To be selfless, ego plays no part. Take the great quote from Absolutely Fabulous:

What's the point of grieving if there's no one there to see you do it?

Boy--this is a word that has been really watered down thanks to facebook and other social networks.

I always think of the wonderful Rudyard Kipling poem, "The Thousandth Man"

Nine hundred and ninety-nine can't bide
The shame or mocking or laughter,
But the Thousandth Man will stand by your side
To the gallows-foot - and after!

That's friendship, and it's worth a lot more than some electronic sheep, or the number of twitter followers.

It's something I need to work on. I need to take the time to appreciate those around me, and also be the aspects of friend to others that I hold dear.

I wonder what other words stir interesting images and contradictions? Maybe I'll start a list for another post.


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