Are you peripheral?

"As much as I would have done, but the clouds came along." From Both Sides Now by Joni Mitchell

Like the clouds of the song Joni Mitchell, it's getting on the road all the time. Have you ever stopped thinking about the power of the words? Especially the words you use all the time.

The words to share ideas and experiences can also mean that we limit our understanding of people and things in our lives. After all, words are just a shortcut we've found to describe something in our reality. Words are not the things they describe.

You may think of words that surface the water. The fact lies beneath the surface. We do not often see what's under the surface. We are happy to shine across the surface.

Think of some words you use to describe people you know. Have you ever called someone stupid or ugly? Once you've marked them as such, that's not how you tend to view each time you see them. The words you use have actually blunted you. It will be almost impossible to see them differently, right?

Or check the words used to describe people in the news. The media use well-chosen words and names to create the images they want in their heads. Perhaps you read the discussion about what to call unfavorable people in Katrina's energy. Are they refugees or what?

Here is a list of seven words. Take a moment to think about what each word in the list means to you. Your meaning will be personal and unique. You may be surprised by what you discover.








Here are some questions to ask yourself as you think about each word.

Is my definition of the word exact?
Where did my tags come?
Gives me a better understanding or prevents me from seeing a larger image?

As you do this little self-awareness, you must begin to see how the words you use every day have the power to control and limit your life. Awareness is the way out of this trap.

Ask someone to define the words from this list. How close is their meaning to you? Listen and compare. Have you started to see how easy it is for a misunderstanding to happen?

Now, one question you can ask yourself whenever you find yourself using appropriate tags.

What's more about this man, this place or what I miss?


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