Not Just Words

      18 Comments on Not Just Words

Have you noticed how language- centric we’ve become?

There is such an endless stream of words in our lives. There is increasingly less personal, face- to- face time we have for each other. We ‘communicate’ more than we ever did because we have a myriad ways to touch base with those who matter to us. All of these ways- emails, chats, comments, blogs, status updates, tweets, text messages- even phone calls- rely on words. The words are a deluge.

Which is why words are losing their meaning, like coins lose their shine when used for too long.

We use words carelessly, flinging them out at a world too busy throwing out its own steady stream. There is a frenzy about throwing out words into the universe. We never stop to think, “If every one is throwing out, who is catching them, gathering them in?” We wish to give words, not receive them. That is bad enough, yet this is not what I wanted to say.

I wanted to talk about words losing their meaning. I want to lament the death of meaning as it gets trapped into words. The more words we use, the less they convey. Is it a malady of the times that words manage to convey so little? Why is there is so little integrity in the words we speak? Who bled away the sincerity of words and allowed them to turn faded and trite? How did words turn into shallow puddles from the deep pools they once were? When did this happen?

Perhaps it is because words have become very easy to use. With so many of us throwing out words, who will remember what anyone said? With so many means of mass communication, who can expect us to remember what we said to whom? We can’t be held accountable for the words we throw out on a tweet! And my dear, if you took it seriously or were childish enough to think that I ought to have meant what I said, the more fool you!

We can just shoot off a “I’ll always be there for you” casually, without meaning it even an iota. The honesty that made us say what we meant is no longer the default status. It is safely defunct, peace be to it’s soul. This is a natural consequence when face- to- face interaction breaks down into occasional, even rare, events. When you betray someone’s trust, there is no one to look into your eyes and show you the utterly degrading spectacle of their misery and pain. This is how it becomes easy.

We blast through our days scattering away our silly streams of words. We are too busy to notice the broken hearts we leave in our wake. ‘If they believed us, they deserved it’- about sums it up for us.

But there are those who use words with all the contentiousness of a person on oath. They say what they mean and mean what they say. Their words are not the glittering, flighty, tinsel words of the insincere. They don’t attract attention since they are not pretty. They are homely, ordinary and dull; they have a backbone to prove them.

For such people, words aren’t just words.

Picture from Google Images

Picture from Google Images

18 thoughts on “Not Just Words

  1. phoenixritu

    One of the first things I learnt when I was rebuilding my self and my life was that words are things. They are tangible. And if the person is to be respected and considered worthy, he/she better know the value of words.

    Reply
    1. Dagny Post author

      Ritu, now when I find people for whom their word is their bond, I am so grateful. Yet, a part of me feels sad because something that should be normal and the given default, has become so precious in its rarity. What is the world coming to? I feel very afraid for my children. How will they deal with it? And the thing that makes me very mad is- I don’t want them to have to deal with this. It kills me, that thought. Perhaps I am being unreasonable, but I feel as if I failed them somehow by bringing them into a world that is so bereft of integrity.

      Reply
  2. Sriram

    I am reminded of these lines from V for Vendetta “Words will always retain their power. Words offer the means to meaning, and for those who will listen, the enunciation of truth.”

    Reply
    1. Dagny Post author

      And for those who listen‘… Perhaps I should add- ‘for those who feel and understand the nature of their soul‘…. they are the very breath of life in all her beauty.

      It is good to see you here, very good. 🙂

      Reply
  3. AlkaGurha

    “Come over sometime, I was thinking about you only, I was about to call you, You have lost weight, ‘ are some gems which have become meaningless for me. Often the look in the eyes or a warm hug says more than meaningless words.

    Reply
    1. Dagny Post author

      Alka, you are so right. People say things in such an obviously false way. More than their silly attempts at subterfuge, I get angry with their assumption that I wouldn’t see it sticking out a mile. I mean, come ON..! Just because I am not throwing it in your face doesn’t mean I can’t see!

      Thanks for coming by… 😀

      Reply
  4. janaki nagaraj

    Just yesterday I was thinking how the phrase “I will be there for you” is so misused; mostly by men. And it is they who run away at the first opportunity. We use words for our convenience.

    Reply
    1. Dagny Post author

      Men think this is a phrase that will please women… like saying “you are so gorgeous”. A pick up line. Almost.

      Reply
  5. Rachna

    Yes, yes and yes! You know when I read your posts, often I feel that my thoughts have found vent in your words. It dismays me the love, hugs and muahs that float around. At one time, love was something not thrown at every Tom, Dick and Harry. Indeed, since people blog and are on social media, there is an excess of words. And we use them so loosely, the praise not real, the love not intense enough, the friendship not deep enough! Great post again, Dagny!

    Reply
    1. Dagny Post author

      You have a talent for putting a finger on the nub of an issue. One of the things that annoy me is the phrase “Give me some love”. I feel like telling the speaker that the word s/he is looking for is acceptance or even acknowledgement; not love. Don’t people know that no two words in English mean exactly the same thing?

      I loved your comment. And while on that, have you noticed how many times people comment in a way that makes it obvious that they haven’t even read the post but are commenting based on what they imagine the writer to have said on that particular title? Freak me out, those ones..!

      Reply
      1. Rachna

        Thank you Dagny! Yes, I have noticed that part about the comments. Once I wrote a post about how my younger son was painfully shy of stage and because his teacher forced him, he was made the sun and stood in a corner for the entire duration. And the deluge of comments congratulated my son’s performance. I painstakingly explained in the comments that there was no performance. How blatant is the non reading while commenting, I realized! Oh yes, on most posts, you will find such comments. They don’t even rankle anymore. I just smile and move on. And then there are some who stun you with their insight and perspective and make your post worthwhile! Those gems are worth waiting for.

        Reply
        1. Dagny Post author

          Oh dear yes! But you know, I wonder why people comment when they can’t be bothered to read. I have to conclude, though reluctantly, that they belong to the mutual back-scratching club. They hope you’ll feel obliged to visit their blog- and comment- since they visited yours. Who do they think they are fooling?

          I unabashedly confess that I wait for your comment. I do, so sue me..! 😀

          Reply
          1. Rachna

            And, it is pointless at least on my blog because I always visit every person’s blog that leaves a comment on mine. Whether I comment or continue to visit completely depends upon how much I connect with their writing. And thank you for saying that you look forward to my comments, Dagny :). I do enjoy your writing, but you already know that :).

          2. Dagny Post author

            Rachnaji, aapke aur mere khayalat kitne milte- julte hain! I visit the blogs of all commentors, but unless they manage to hook me in that visit, I don’t go back. And I don’t comment on the blogs of those who dont bother to reply to comments. Somehow it seems very rude to me.

  6. Sriram

    I have promised somethings and had to break the very same promise because that would only hurt them more but yes every word I read in the comments is true. A man’s word is no longer as trustworthy as it once was. There has to be sense of pride in living up to ones words and bet hold ones silence and live in that manner than mouth empty words.

    Reply
    1. Dagny Post author

      Breaking your promise because the circumstances changed or because it was no longer possible, is a different thing. I am not condoning it, far from it. But there are times when despite all your efforts, there is nothing you can do to change a situation- perhaps because the time isn’t right for it. However, there are people who make promises knowing full well that they wouldn’t be keeping them. That’s the kind I stay away from. They are the kind of people who will never know what it means to have a sense of pride in living up to their words. Their words are all empty and hollow. They were never backed by action.

      Reply

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