I don’t want answers when I haven’t figured out the questions.
I don’t want answers when I haven’t figured out the questions.
Humankind has spent its collective existence in fomenting revolutions. From the first tool in the hand of early man 2.6 million years ago to Bluetooth peaking out from the ears of our children, we have evolved.
We have rid the world of some diseases and created others. We have learned how to feed everyone and how to kill without being nearby. We have woken the beasts of hatred and avarice and we feed them well.
We had the Agriculture Revolution, the Scientific Revolution, the Industrial Revolution, the Sexual Revolution and the Computer Revolution. I am sure there is more to come in the not too distant future.
We crow about how much better our lives are and shiver in fear at what we have created. People all over the world go hungry and die of diseases we have cured simply because it costs too much to get current medicines and food to those in need and those in greed want more.
We have gone from living hand to mouth and growing what we needed to a society that is a gluttonous example of excess. So much of the world is hungry but there’re those who have more than enough to eat but do seem able to share. And that New World? It is controlled by a chip. Ironic isn’t it?
In the first world countries we are surrounded by computers. There are computers in our toasters, our cars, our prosthesis. We are not alone, ever. That chip is listening and watching everything. And the language that chip, that computer speaks? It’s the ones and zeros. It’s a language that very few of us can speak fluently. That should frighten us.
Laughter has the power to breach language barriers!
In order to hear we must first know how to listen.
Now that sounds like a mighty provocative statement don’t you think? But what does it mean? Am I going to end someone’s existence? Murder? Or am I going to end the existence of that hamburger on that plate?
Context. It’s all about context. And quite frankly ‘Kill’ could mean any number of things: ruin something, overpower, block, hurt, make time pass, laugh . . . . the list is pretty extensive. Confused yet?
I speak one language well (well, pretty well) and I will acknowledge it is a rather confusing language. “Stay where you’re at, and I’ll come where you’re to”. Drive on a parkway and park on a driveway. To anyone to whom English is a second language: Kudos! Even some of us born to it have issues.
I am finding more and more that it is not how well I speak that is important, it is how well I am understood. And the onus is not on the person to whom I am speaking, rather it is on me. I love words. I have a university degree in English. I often use words that are multiple syllables long and sometimes archaic. To my ear I am speaking appropriately. Unfortunately it is not my ear that I am speaking to. I was in a grocery store the other day and looking for a particular item. I was looking for aubergines. For the life of me I could not remember it’s common name. When I asked I was told that they didn’t sell exotic items. I was looking for eggplants.
I love the fact that I live in a multicultural nation. I love the fact that people from all over the world choose to come to my beautiful country. I believe we are stronger for that. But it also presents difficulties that I’m quite sure 30 years ago we never thought about: everyday conversations. And then of course you have the generation that speaks in symbols, short forms and acronyms. The flavour of the word is lost when you LOL. The first person that ever used that acronym for me was a dear, dear friend. I thought it meant Lots of Love. You can imagine my chagrin when an acquaintance used it. Context my friends, context.
There is a marvellous scene in an episode of Star Trek the Next Generation where one character holds up a hot cup of tea and asks another how he would explain what she is holding in her hand, to an alien race. For those of you in the know it was counsellor Troy and Capt. Picard. Was she holding hot, liquid, glass, cup of tea, beverage? And if the alien race had no concept of drinking a cup of tea how do you explain it to them? And that is our problem here in present-day Earth. Context.
All over the world things are done differently in different countries. They refer to things by different names. When we come together there’s a great deal of miscommunication. Our job is to keep trying to communicate until we’re all on the same page. When I write that down it seems like such an easy thing to do. And yet you know as well as I do easy is harder then it looks. We will never, ever fail as long as we keep trying. I’ll keep trying and I’ll stop looking for aubergines!
Life can be a wonder and a blessing and it can be Hell on earth! At the moment I am blessed with so many wondrous things that it is interfering with some aspects of my life. So instead of an original post I offer you a Blast from my Past. This was originally posted in September 2013. I hope you enjoy it.
When you look up at the stars at night do you feel homesick? Okay, okay, bad joke. Do you know once upon a time I laughed uproariously at that joke. I ran around and told all my preteen friends. Yes, it’s that old. And so am I.
As we age our funny bone seems to migrate. For some people it ends up around the gluteus maximus. For others humour becomes more cerebral. I don’t know the equation to what’s funny. I don’t even know what makes me laugh until I am actually laughing. When was the last time you laughed so hard there were tears running down your face? Do you remember the knee slapping, rib tickling, gut wrenching guffaws you used to hear when a group of people got together to watch a comedy film? I don’t, at least not recently. The last time I had one of those all-encompassing, falling on the floor cackles was watching an old movie.
The movie was ‘Buffy the Vampire Slayer’. I don’t remember the movie. I don’t even know if it was actually a comedy. What I do remember is my boyfriend and I beating on the furniture. We were laughing so hard we were crying. I remember him falling on the floor and not able to catch his breath. But I don’t remember the movie. I remember that there was a series but it appeared to be about teenage angst (and vampire slaying) I wasn’t interested. I had enough of that when I was a teenager! (The angst not the slaying!) Don’t get me wrong I enjoy comedy. I’ve been known to crack a smile and even show teeth. I just haven’t had a really good belly laugh in a very long time.
Laughter is a universal language. It crosses borders and brings people together. It can also alienate people and cause others to commit various forms of harm. Of course that in itself can be funny! But I digress. I don’t know of any culture that doesn’t have some form of laughter. Wouldn’t it be nice if we could laugh more and shoot less? We spend so much of our time behaving according to the dictates of society that when we let loose it can be epic! Find the time to laugh. A really good guffaw exercises the whole body!
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