Having a language as flexible, complex and wide as English does us no good if we don’t use it.
The point of language is to convey what’s going on in my head to your head. The common protocol, to steal a computing term, is the words, syntax and grammar of our chosen medium; English. If we both understand the rules, our limit then becomes the number of words we know, the variation of description. Vocabulary is everything.
Given than mind-melding does not yet exist, language is the best tool for the moment. So let’s unleash its power.
The best example of ideas and language restriction that I know of is the word “love”. We throw this thing around like it’s a favorite paperback book, a story that everyone knows. Difficulties – and miscommunication – occur because we use “love” too widely. We use it as a catch-all emotional descriptor, intentionally disregarding the fact that feelings are infinitely more nuanced than one word can convey.
A New Love Vocabulary is my plan for us to begin to tease apart our emotions. There are many words we can use to more completely and accurately describe the machinations of our brains and minds. My hope is that clarity will make us all live more in the light.
Instead of saying I love her, how about:
* she makes me smile when she laughs at my jokes
* she makes me think of her first
* I admire the way she never condescends
* when she gets up to go to work, I am proud of her determination
* I respect her faith
* I am calmed by her equanimity
All of these might indeed add up to love, but look at the more complete picture you have.
That’s the goal: Remove the fuzz, create cleaner edges.