Saturday, April 8, 2017

When Words Become Unnecessary

Ludwig Wittgenstein once said, "most of the propositions and questions of philosophers arise from our failure to understand the logic of our language and it is not surprising that the deepest problems are, in fact, not problems at all."

So I've been pondering "semantics" as many online like to call it or just the problem with the fact that words mean different things to different people. I think that my obsession with wanting to be a good writer in my youth came out of my frustration of not being able to really explain things I knew and understood intuitively. Yet unless we can express ourselves clearly, there is no respect. Plus we have the issue of people interpreting words differently depending on their education. A Freudian scholar would look at the word "ego" very differently from a Buddhist Priest, and some words just resonate differently with people emotionally. You can argue over semantics all you want but if a word is just upsetting, its best just not to use it.

I mention how some words are used as society's "hackers" in my blog:
Hacking Into Society's Code

I know I'm not the only one who has used the internet as a means to practice how to express complicated issues using the proper words but there's a point where it all gets old, all this constant communicating. Perhaps this is why I've taken a much needed break from social networking lately.

As I mature, I'm starting to not be as obsessed with explaining things with words. Subtle actions seem to make a huge difference. The writer in me still wants to put in my two cents but I'm learning that too many words can be harmful when making a point. I'm learning to understand people even if they didn't use the perfect word. I'm learning to look at the context more than the semantics. I'm learning to see the actions over the words which often lie; and I'm learning that I don't always have to explain myself to people nor do they have to explain themselves to me.

I'm learning to not get as offended if people don't understand me the way I thought they would when I carefully chose my words. I can't expect everyone to be like me. I've pretty much decided that if someone understands me enough to put up with my weirdness, that's good enough and for those who don't understand, there's no point in wasting my time trying to sway them with words.

I'm also learning that its not a competition and not everything is a debate. Its not about how brilliant I can sound to someone. Maybe I'll be a better communicator if I just shut up and listened to people's story without needing to put in my two cents. This is difficult coming from my wise ass self but I'm working on it. I'm sure it will be a constant karmic struggle in this life.

Looking back, some of the most painful times in my life came from listening to words, words like blades tearing into my soul. Some of my most peaceful moments come from silence, or from witnessing acts of affection done in silence.  ;)

To quote Depeche Mode:
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm
Vows are spoken
To be broken
Feelings are intense
Words are trivial
Pleasures remain
So does the pain
Words are meaningless
And forgettable
All I ever wanted
All I ever needed
Is here in my arms
Words are very unnecessary
They can only do harm

"Words words words" --Hamlet