Thursday, January 26, 2017

Words & Opinions

Words are freaking amazing. Really, they are. Punctuation, grammar, all the stuff that goes along in order to make the words mean one thing instead of something else. Absolutely awesome.Spelling is important to, although I personally am pretty terrible at proper spelling, thank god for spell check.
What has brought on my current amazement with words is a few things.
1. I am trying to write a book. Actually I am trying to write 2 books (you know me, if im gonna do something I jump in with both feet!). One of them is a biography of my life. That one is going to take me a long time to write though. I started writing it and realized how emotionally taxing it was, so now I am pacing myself...well actually I am kind of avoiding it. Like, I have one hand out touching it and my eyes turned away and covered, but I really want to write it so I keep peeking; that kind of avoiding. The other book is a sci-fi fantasy type book with dragons and magical beasts and tough-as-nails female heroes. That one I am having a grand time with and hopefully will be done in a few months. Its so much more fun to write then I ever expected and I am often amazed at the times I am writing and i use the same words or phases over and over, but every time they mean something totally different and give a totally different visual. Its just so neat how one word, like "him" can be used so many times in so many different contexts and yet be the exact right word every time. Words are great.
2.Opinions. There is the times when words don't seem so great. When they are wielded by someone who has hateful or unkind opinions and feels the need to spout those opinions as fact, despite any proof or stance against their belief. These people that refuse to see beyond their own viewpoint (see how I used all those synonyms there of the word opinion, words, so cool) Now lets do my favorite thing here and define the word opinion:
Aren't definitions fun! This guy, Samuel Johnson, decided that the average person back in the 18th century really needed a way to look up definitions of words used in daily language. Books were becoming a regular thing and not everyone knew what every word meant. So he spent 9 years making an English dictionary (France took 40 years and 40 guys to make theirs, so there 18th century France.) 
Super Cute me in my Fox sweater!
Not 120pd 21 year old. 
But anyway, back to opinions. Lately we are bombard with opinions from every angle, at work, at home, with your friends, with people you love, with people you don't love, from trolls, from fake news, from real news, from news you watch but sort of hate, from internet phone and TV, everywhere! It makes you really want to dig your heels in and stick to your own opinion on things, but that's a really bad road to go down. Knowledge cannot grow when we refuse to hear out what another person has to say. If you remember in my past post about  Living life to make you happy, my mom said "Live your life to make you happy, believe what you want to believe." In that post I focused on Living life to make you happy, which is great, but now I want to mention why I disagree with the second part of that statement, "believe what you want to believe". NO. You cant just believe shit just cause it fits into your opinion. Just because a statement is made that resonates with you doesn't make it true. Seriously. No matter how much I want to believe I am a 120 pound 21 year old women, I ain't. No matter how much people tell themselves there is no such thing as climate change, sea levels are rising and the weather is getting warmer and more extreme every year. Those are facts I can prove with a quick link to an article, and with a picture of myself that anyone can look at and see i clearly am not 120 pounds and my ID is probably not being checked at bars anymore. But there are the people who really matter in the world that are using their words and opinions to change everything. Some of them are great people, like Stephen Hawking, who challenged everyone with his theory on black holes. He gave his opinion, challenged anyone who dared to prove him wrong, and when they did he was like, "oh awesome, alright well how about this", that man is using his words and opinions and changing everything! Its amazing and its making us more knowledgeable, which is what we should be striving for. There are other people, like Tomi Lahren, who spouts her hateful opinions to anyone willing to listen. She wont listen to challenges of her opinion and instead talks loudly over those who would ask for her fact checks or ask her what we should do instead and she has no answer, she talks her talk but can't come up with a solution. Her words and opinions are important, people listen to her and she isn't helping people learn and gain more knowledge, she is encouraging them to keep yelling their opinion right along with her and to believe what they want to believe instead of listening and learning. 
Words are amazing. Language, conversations, debates, lectures,  books, blogs, we have so many ways of expressing ourselves and all of them revolve around words. You don't have to spell that well or understand the structure of sentences to use them, you don't have to be anything besides loud anymore to have people hear your words. But we all have a responsibility to listen and not use your words as a weapon. Anyone can have an opinion, can string together a thought or idea that resonates with you and probably someone else too, but it takes a special person to share your words and then listen to someone else and maybe think "oh wow, they have a point, maybe they are right". 
It is everyone's responsibility to encourage others to gain knowledge, not just whip up a crowd and yell bullshit together. 

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