George Orwell penned a great essay in April of 1946, called The Politics of the English Language. Its meaning and message should not be ignored but instead taken to heart.
We live in an era where the rapid binary speed of our thoughts and words travel the globe in mere milliseconds, which is why it is more important than ever, to be aware of what we say and what we think.
What we say, the words we choose, reveals what we think.
We may not always intend to reveal what is buried deep inside our sub-conscious mind, but then again, we are not in charge and were not consulted as to the make-up of our intricate genetic structure.
Often, when we communicate, we don’t even realize what we are really saying. We don’t select our words, we just grasp at ready-made, predetermined phrases, which spares us the odorous task of meaning and responsibility.
I think if we were a little more self-conscious, taking the time and carefully examine our word usage, we would be surprised what we would learn about ourselves. The tough question is, do we want to know? Would we care to know, since we are so happy swimming in our feeble sea of ignorance?
Truth calls us to action. Ignorance extends us a blanket of comfort.
If we had the courage, would we examine our own language, and give ourselves a fighting chance to adjust the meaning of our life?
Take the phrase, how are you, for example.
Here in Canada, and in other parts of the world, we great each other with this supeficial worn our phrase.
Hi, how are you?
In Poland, people great each other by saying ‘Dzien Dobry’. They do not pose any questions. ‘Dzien Dobry’ is a statement of fact. Strangers and friends alike simply tell each other that today is going to be a good day. The exact translation if you care to ask is – the day is good.
Today is a day that is good. Which basically implores you, to live and act accordingly.
Ponder this for a brief moment.
Imagine, every person you meet today will dutifully and warmly inform you that today is going to be a good day. I know you may not believe it, but just try to miss a single day in your life, and see what happens.
Imagine if we were told again and again, every day, how good this day was. Imagine if despite ourselves, we began to believe it?
When we ask people how they are throughout the day, we inevitably receive a myriad of answers. A predictable bouquet of words, hiding the stench of the truth.
Good. Not bad. Thank God it’s Friday. One more day. I’ve been better. I’m alive. I’m tired.
I can feel your objection.
But Polish people are just as miserable as we are, you say.
I should admit that this thought has crossed my mind and I have not done any research to comfort your scepticism, except for the fact that pretending and hiding our miserable existence cannot be helping our fragile psyches, in any conceivable way. It just can’t be good for us.
We are better off, just stating a fact; today is a good day.
Maybe if we told each other and imagined what a great day we are going to experience today, some of us, with enough repetition, would begin to act accordingly. Maybe having a great day would go viral, have its own hashtag, and the miserable faces or sarcastic remarks would become the exception, instead of the norm.
So, have a great day.
Forget how you feel.