There is a communication theory that is called “the arbitrary nature of words.” The fundamental premise of this wonderful human communication phenomenon is that meanings are in people; not in words. For example, the curved symbol adjacent to the sticks and that circular thing in the stick with the circular thing on it would/could mean nothing to us without interactions with others.One of your first communication teachers (or in some cases your driver’s education instructor), told you that STOP meant to cease activity. Outside of that interaction and probably several subsequent reminder interactions, you would have no meaning assigned to those four letters.
STOP is a symbol whose meaning lives in us. People also have meanings that live in us. Those meanings or definitions are created through our interactions with each other. When we think about our lives and how we are understood, we must be about creating definitions as opposed to confining to them. There is great power in being able to be a part of the creative process of redefinition. What does it mean to be kind? What about patient? Who and what rises in us when we see or hear the word ‘leader?”
You and I have the power everyday to define and redefine what it means to be _______. Are you leaving definitions in people that provoke growth and wholeness? Or have people defined you as a force toward destruction? Are you the definition of reliability? Have you taken the opportunity to redefine service?
Take a moment or two today to think through the arbitrary nature of you. What meanings have you put in people by the way you’ve lived.
Peace, Blessings, and New Definitions,