Find the right words

May 10, 2010 - One Response

What is the point of words if you can use them to convince anyone of anything? The somewhat slippery personality of language was discovered long ago. Rhetoric was considered one of the three ancient arts of discourse and is one of the elemental factors of democracy. You must convince the crowd. Move them, inspire them, rally them. The artists of persuasion, the virtuosos of vernacular understand how the perfect word for the perfect moment can mean the difference between indifference and engagement. They understand how the words you read can break you open and reach inside. They understand how rhyme and rhythm can tickle you with delight.

In a court of law the practitioners of persuasion come armed with their word fueled weapons.  They take direct and deadly aim at the believing heart of justice and morality. Persuasion is also a currency. In the economies of selling, advertising and public relations the power of persuasion has significant value. The value is dollar-high and ethic-low. The art of persuasion and rhetoric is however, not always consciously deployed or as dramatically effective.

Whether we know it or not, persuasion is something we all practice every day. Each time we communicate with friends, family, businesses and institutions we wield the power of language. For most, however, it is not an art from, rather a blind foraging of clumsy fingers, struggling on a good day to find the right words and often unable to find any at all. Language is weapon and a tool, a comfort and a lover. We can abuse or command it, we can hone or neglect it or we can respond and yield to it.

find the right words

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Uncertainty and Hope; the pain and the pleasure

April 27, 2010 - One Response

No matter how bad the answer is, uncertainty is always worse.

Uncertainty where hope is like an unwanted child.

A cruel compulsion that delivers us unwillingly from resignation and acceptance.

However.

Uncertainty can also bring joy.

Tennessee Williams said that ‘Security is a kind of death‘.

Security is something we strive for. Success is desired by all.

But the security of marriage, mortgage, success or any other permanence is like an ending.

Where assurance is the destroyer of hope. Hope for potential unreached, change and the pleasure uncertainty can bring.

Failure, though not something we seek, brings with it an uncertainty like no other.

Where the bitterness of loss, loneliness or poverty is exquisitely laced with hope. Fantasies of what could be and secret anticipations of the future.

Where our dreams may be wildly improbable and yet they bring the sweetness of possibility to the sting of our perceived failures.

How the space on the kitchen table is directly related to the instinct of survival.

April 24, 2010 - One Response

A kitchen table, a bench top. A house.

It doesn’t matter.

It’s a space you use, you put things on or in.

Imagine it is a kitchen table. Always full of clutter. Bags, pens, left overs, magazines, coffee cups and food stains.

Always full of clutter.

It’s not your fault, it’s just the way it is.  It’s your humanity and you can’t change it.

So you get a bigger table, ‘if I get a bigger table, then I will have more space, more room to move.’

However, it doesn’t work out this way. It just becomes cluttered with more things. You have more room so you use it up.

Like a house, you buy a bigger house and you simply fill it up. It’s not a criticism, just a fact.

Or your mortgage. You can borrow X amount, but you would be more comfortable only borrowing Y amount. But you still borrow X amount.

Why?

Because you can.

And you will.

No matter how big the kitchen table gets, it will always be full of clutter.

But why?

Perhaps because as human beings we are hard wired to take advantage of a situation.

We would like to think we are not opportunists but we are.

All of us.

We can try to rise above this base element of our flawed humanity but the fact remains, it is what keeps us alive.

You always fill up the spaces because you will always take what you can get.

You’ll put it away another time because right now you need to do something else. Anything else.

You take more than your fair share because you don’t know when ‘it’ will run out.

Take it, it might not be there tomorrow.