Words matter. In fact they matter so far beyond what we know, because by them in many ways they come to shape our reality. They don’t alter reality and what is real, but rather they shape it.
Words shape how we think, how we feel, how we perceive the world and how we live our lives. Therefore when there is a new hot topic in the world, how it is worded is the essential first step.
For those on the abortion issue, the wording is “pro-life” or “pro-choice.” This is very deliberate because of those words, “life” and “choice” are powerful and lead to strongly felt emotions. And emotions eventually lead to motion.
When those on the southern border started pouring into the country without permission, it was “illegal immigrants” or on the other side of the debate they are considered the “dreamers.” Both of these have implications and can be emotively latched onto.
In these unknown times, we all have various situations. But the words we use to describe our personal situations will tend to shape our reality of them as well as our emotions and actions. For example if we say during this quarantine we are “trapped,” or if someone is in a difficult marital situation at home and they say they are “trapped,” it naturally is going to lead to anxiety, desperation and a lashing out.
Even to say we are “locked down” is a way of wording our situation that defines how we will eventually feel about it. Words matter.
There are a lot of situations that are unknown throughout the world. But the words you use to think about your personal situation will define how you will be feeling and acting upon them later. Our words about our situations have emotional hooks, and those emotions shape our thoughts and out thoughts become our actions and words.
It isn’t personal political correctness. That is something that brings death to the soul. But it is choosing appropriate words that define the reality of our situation and that lead to life and hope, not despair. Despair kills.
So whatever situation you find yourself in, ask yourself, “How am I choosing to word this situation in my thoughts?”
Because your words are often like a compass. Once pointed in a particular way, you will begin to follow down that path. And if it’s a good path, you will be safe. But if it’s a misguided path, your troubles will be many.