Monday, May 12, 2014

What Are Words For?


Ive been involved in numerous discussions with people regarding words.

There are people that make their living using words, such as authors, bloggers, writers for different types of media, politicians, marketing and public relations people, spiritual leaders.  Words are how everyone communicates, some by spoken word, some by written word, and of course some by Sign Language, but all of these people and situations rely on words.  The great thing about words and sentences is that they can be the most beautiful things that enrich our lives every day.   I cant imagine a world without words.  As a kid that spent so much time alone books were my best friend.  Marriage proposals, the announcement of Its a boy or Its a girl!, "I love you."  What would life be like without these words?  Just think about Hallmark Cards, you think they don't believe in the power of words?


Then there are those that say words mean have no meaning, or they mean nothing.  I THINK what these people are trying to say is that they wont let certain words have power over them.  But in some of the conversations I have had with people it really appears that words have no meaning to them at all.  "words are words"   Think for a minute of every derogatory word you have been called, or heard others called.  Those words can either roll off your back or make you feel exactly how they were intended to make you feel.  That is when the "words are words" term makes a little more sense to me.  But next you have to think about language.  Words themselves can more easily be dismissed, but when words are placed together in a sentence they definitely hold more power, whether its good or bad.  I can say one thing to a group of 100 people and offend only 1 person.  Does that make that word offensive?  I guess the answer would be yes.

When I was in elementary through high school words were my weapon when I was being bullied.  I had no way to physically defend myself other than find the bullies "weak spot" and pummel it with my words, it wasn't nice by any means but it was my defense to their physical or mental torment directed at me.  I find myself still using that defense at times today, especially since the advent of social media.  There are words that if directed at me turn me into a Incredible Hulk type creature.  If you're a stranger and you call me faggot, you better start running, because I will and HAVE come for you. Unfortunately this has happened more on public transportation than anywhere else.



I guess I should explain why I wanted to write this post.  Yesterday on Mother's Day I went to a Padres game.  When we went into the bar we had some casual chit chat with an employee about how sparse the crowd was and how most people must be celebrating mothers day elsewhere.  As we were walking away she said "awww see you should have brought your mom's to the game to celebrate."  It got to me a little bit, and it stuck with me through this morning.  She had no way of knowing I am still grieving the loss of my mother from over a year and a half ago.  It reminded me of when my friend Bruce Abrams (who is Jewish) and I would go shopping during the holidays and when we would check out cashiers would say "Merry Christmas" and he would reply with a cheerful "Happy Holidays"   By the way a mother and son sat next to us at the game and I wished her a Happy Mothers Day and told her son how lucky he was to be able to spend the day with her.

Most people have no intentions of offending anyone, but our world is becoming more and more sensitive to the use of words.  The acceptance of words have most definitely changed over the years, there are words that we used when I was a child that were completely acceptable but today they are taboo.  Heck even words I used in the 80's and early 90's are no longer acceptable.  You need to be ahead of the curve if you don't want to be labeled as offensive.  Just as people don't want others to use "newly" offensive words these same people can be just as offensive in their "reprimand" of you for using such words.

At times I try to be careful with my words, but out of 100 people Im sure to offend someone.  It happens.
For some reason this song got stuck in my head all morning.



Do you hear me?
Do you care?
Do you hear me?
Do you care?
My lips are moving and the sound's coming out
The words are audible but I have my doubts
That you realize what has been said
You look at me as if you're in a daze
It's like the feeling at the end of the page
When you realize you don't know what you just read
What are words for
When no one listens anymore
What are words for
When no one listens
What are words for
When no one listens
There's no use talking at all
I might as well go up and talk to a wall
'Cause all the words are having no effect at all
It's a funny thing, I say to myself
Something has to happen to change the direction
What little filters though is giving you the wrong impression
It's a sorry state, am I all alone?
What are words for
When no one listens anymore
What are words for
When no one listens
What are words for
When no one listens
There's no use talking at all
Do you hear me?
Do you care?
Do you hear me?
Do you care?
Let me get by over your dead body
Hope to see you soon, when will I know?
Doors three feet wide with no locks open
Walking always backwards in the faces of strangers
Time could be my friend
But it's less than nowhere now, it's less than nowhere now
It's less than nowhere now, nowhere now
Pursue it any further and another thing you'll find
Not only are they deaf and dumb they could be going blind
No one notices, I think I'll dye my hair blue
Media overload bombarding you with action
It's getting near impossible to cause distraction
Someone answer me before I pull the plug
What are words for
When no one listens anymore
What are words for
When no one listens
What are words for
When no one listens
There's no use talking at all
What are words for
When no one listens anymore
What are words for
When no one listens
What are words for
When no one listens
There's no use talking at all
Do you hear me?
Do you care?
Do you hear me?
Do you care?
(Tell me what are words for)
Do you hear me?
(Tell me what are words for)
Do you care?
(Tell me what are words for)
Do you hear me?
(Tell me what are words for)
Do you care?
(Tell me what are words for)
Do you hear me?
(Tell me what are words for)
Do you care?
(Tell me what are words for)
Do you hear me?
(Tell me what are words for)
Do you care?
(Tell me what are words for)































When no one listens there's no use in talking at all
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