Sunday, May 23, 2010

Painting a Better World

Have you ever paid close attention to what words you typically employ when describing something or when describing how you feel? I notice I often use words like ‘ok’ or ‘fine’ when asked about something. How boring and nondescript is that? I would never do that in writing so why do I paint a rather ho hum world with the words I use in speaking?

A lot of the time we use ‘ok’ or ‘fine’ because it’s easy. People just ask how you are or how your day is out of common courtesy, but often are too busy to really want a full description. Sometimes I’m too tired or busy myself to want to say more. Maybe the person who asked is someone I don’t know well enough anyway.

But what are we doing when we toss off these meaningless words? If words have power, are we draining our energy by doing this? I know energy is drained if we constantly use negative words to describe things, but what is happening when we use these boring, nondescript words? I think we are distancing ourselves from each other and from our own lives and feelings. At least a negative description would offer some color and we’d be expressing how we really feel. Describing our true feelings would be engaging, well, not if we are too negative or always using negative words, but if we’re real about it, others will feel like we’re truly trying to communicate with them.

This use of drab language can cause us to stop paying attention or maybe we haven’t paid attention in a long time, (see my blog post of April 25 called “Pay Attention”). We don’t really see the thing we’re trying to describe or we’re not in touch with how we feel. If we would take the time to see and feel we’d be much better at painting our world. It could also be that our vocabulary is lacking. Pick up a thesaurus once in awhile and browse. There are so many colorful words that can be used to paint your canvas, your reality.

We can all learn to be master painters of life using descriptive words to color our experience. Practice this. Next time someone asks how you are say: “I feel alive; the sunrise over the skyscrapers this morning washed the city in gold.” Watch that person’s face light up envisioning the beautiful picture of life you just created.

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