I was researching the word storyteller the other day and found that We the Writers of Mother Earth are regarded as both raconteurs and fibbers and liars. Well, I was deeply offended! In fact, I consider each word I write to carry with it my intention to speak to the essence of its reader.
Words, in any language, can benefit or create fear or destroy. Storytellers on social media are fully engaged in a war of words that include their credentials to impart they are correct in whatever they print. Newspapers and magazines and mailings arrive in our mailboxes or on our doorsteps. These are to enlighten us on whom or what to vote for. What is best for us to eat or buy and where. Yet, not many flyers remind us to look at a cloud or stop to listen to our child’s laughter or call an elder parent or just take a breath.
HAND is a word that means give or offer or tender or dispense. This knowing caused me to wonder: “What if each time we shake a hand or hold a hand or kiss a hand or pat a hand or reach for a helping hand our LIFE would be—for the moment—unbroken?”
For those of you who know me suspect another question isn’t far behind. Here it is: “Might it be possible that the words we speak—as simple as HAND—are intended to carry out a purpose equally as vital to humankind as breathing?”
The Reader’s Digest Great Encyclopedia Dictionary provides seven possible definitions of the word: rhetoric. I picked number four: “…Affected and exaggerated display in the use of language.” I did this with intent as do those who overstate their stance on what ultimately affects We the People. Of course, I know the nature of rhetoric is to affect the minds of the listener but more than that—to sway We the People to segregate.
Rhetoric built every society on Earth and—if you eavesdropped in history class—it likewise destroyed sovereignty (independence).
Rhetoric also means the art of discourse—at home; at school; in church; laws; with neighbors; the Constitution; etc.—all seemingly in the clear. Well, until affected by an exaggerated display in the use of language that pigeonhole…We the People.
It—Album 359th Infantry 90th Division—dedicates its 264 picture pages to the men who won the war: The Doughboys of World War II.
It reads in part: “When the blood, sweat and dirt of war are but a remembrance, who will recollect the little things that GI Joe did to make war just ‘a memory?’ We will in the pictures taken by GI Joe himself on the battlefields of war. The pictures illustrate things as they were at the time we helped make history.”
THE picture words in my great uncle’s copy of this album lay dormant; well until now. Major General Herbert Earnest is the first picture then Brigadier General Tully then Colonel Bell and the Doughboys. There are pictures of training camps, submarines, couriers and assault boats as they leave their mother ships.
THE picture words of shifting sands and clutching wire; rubble; twisted metal; country folk; nameless faces and places; gliders; battle wounded; infantry; prisoners; grotesque death; crumbling buildings; front lines; wooden crosses; mortars; desolation; booby traps; Czechs & Yanks; bomb craters; The Brenner Pass, and The Town Hall in Munich.
Two-hundred and sixty-four pictures of warfare that play out in our memory or on our televisions or our smart phones or computer games or coup d’états or politics or next door or in our home. Humankind Album #359: how many more are yet to come?
Hopefulness is an interesting word. If I break it there is hope and fullness; well less one L. And, within its boundaries are ideas like optimism and expectation and trust.
Of course, there is always the other extreme: despair. This is hopelessness and if I break this word it is hope less; well ness too if you insist on correctness.
The AND/OR I refer to in the title is because being humankind we each, sometimes in a single moment, encounter the wide-ranging impact of these polar opposites.
I guess what I’m wondering is can I choose, in a single moment, which to feel? There are already so many ways I self-evaluate must I continually broaden my sensitivity compass? MY ANSWER: That depends on whether I position myself in hopefullness or despair.