Words are manipulated, that’s true. We think via words. Therefore the words waffling around in our brain matter. Words have power. And therefore words are manipulated to change behavior.
Where do words come from?
At first, that seems like a simple question; but it’s not. The answer is complex, especially in today’s media driven world. In the world we now live in, we are bombarded with images, words, and sounds. All that rattles around in our brains wherein we try and make sense of it. That’s called interpretation – which is shaped by words, which are manipulated.
The words used to describe what you see and hear, touch and taste, influence how you think and feel about that which is happening. Exposure, as well as frequency are important factors, too.
Look at the picture above. What do you see?
The unconscious mind
First there is color and contrast, and then begins interpretation. There is a psychological test call the Thematic Apperception Test, or TAT. It’s used by Psychologists to get inside your head, bypassing even your conscious mind. Put that aside. I’m writing here about words, manipulated to shape our thoughts and feelings.
If I tell you what you’re looking at, does that matter?
The power of words
This is Westminster, nestled up against the front range of Colorado, wild lands, and Rocky Mountain National Park, barely fifteen miles north of Denver. In the foreground is Big Dry Creek Open Space. Which despite its name runs year round. On either side of the creek, scattered amidst trees, are homes and businesses. All of which is backdropped by a unique geological rock formation, the Flatirons. Rising above the Flatirons are the Indian Peaks, just south of the Wild Basin, which forms the southeast corner of the park. The dark ridge-line is the continental divide. To get over the divide, you navigate through and over Boulder/Grand pass. Spectacular.
Words are manipulated to change behavior. In other words, does my description influence your thoughts?
Writing is thinking
Riiight. I know that. I learned that some years back. As I write this I’m beginning to organize my thoughts in a coherent manner to present them to you. I’m not trying to manipulate you, (not true) but regardless, the words will.
My point is words matter, and are manipulated to shape thoughts, which impact feelings and emotions, which in turn influence behavior.
The meaning of anxiety
Psychologist Rollo May said it like this:
- First there is something that attracts attention
- Second is interpretation
- Third is an attitude
- Fourth is an emotion
- Fifth is behavior
If true, everything depends on interpretation shaped by words which are being redefined and relabeled.
Such as: ‘I’m living my truth’. True, or has the truth become relative?
Is your truth different than mine? Are there any universal truths? Stand up comedian Dave Chappelle nailed that question with his recent Netflix special. Which, by the way, offended a lot of people.
And but so furthers the great divide, or is it farther? Is it distance or a continuation? By ‘talking’ about the power of words am I adding to the confusion?
The great divide
Me, with my dog, Shadow, at the great divide, pretty high up on planet earth. I’m not at the Grand/Boulder pass (12,061 feet); but south in the Indian Peaks wilderness.
Do words matter? Of course they do. To me and everyone.