I believe in the power of words. Every word can be defined. However, the denotation of a word is incapable of expressing a thought or feeling alone. Whether a word is written neatly across a page, whispered into the air, or screamed, it carries with it a sensation. Like everything else, words are complicated. There are multiple words to fit one meaning, and one meaning can belong to multiple words. It is important to remember, though, that words must not be thrown around, rearranged, recycled, or substituted without careful thinking. While a word may hold the correct meaning in a sentence, it may not be the best word to express a certain emotion. Choosing the wrong word can kill an entire sentence, or worse, a whole conversation.
Let’s say a teenage boy plays basketball and is aspiring to play at the college level. A recruiter calls him and asks him to describe his attraction to basketball. The boy replies, “I like it.” The recruiter will probably think twice about persuading the head coach to take a second look at the boy. What the boy should say is, “I am extremely passionate about basketball.” His diction should be selective and precise. A person can like something without putting forth any effort. As a result, the recruiter is left with the wrong impression and the teenage boy is left with only his potential and lack of communication skills.
Words are crucial in relationships. Whether it is an argument or reciting wedding vows, words have the strength to make or break a heart. The word “love” is misused an unacceptable amount of times in our world today. It is abused because people do not understand its entire meaning, including myself. What all does it entail? Can love be isolated from other emotions or does it encompass feelings like care, trust, faith, priority, consideration, etc.? I can say I love absolutely anything. I love my friends, but I lie to them. If I do not feel up to hanging out with them I create excuses. Sometimes I fail to listen to their stories about their boyfriends, families, or college. Most times, I tune them out because I am consumed in my own thoughts. Selfish, I know, but it’s the truth. Yes, I care about their lives but not as much as my own. Does this mean I truly love them?
I love books. I have not read a book in the past month. I do not always have a book in my hand. I do not constantly think about books or consistently seek for good books to read. They are always there for me, easily accessible. But their existence is taken for granted I must admit.
I love God. But sin is my best friend and the majority of the time, the devil comes before God. I go to church every Sunday but I forget to pray most nights. My bible stays closed during the week as if I’m hiding my secrets in it. If only I would scan the pages at least, I could find peace and lay my sins to rest. But I don’t. I just say “someday, someday.”
I can say I love these things. I can say it until my teeth bleed, but love is not the right word. Until I can truly learn to love them, I must settle instead for “I conveniently care for them.”
How well do you pay attention to the words you choose?