Thankful

Turkeys are cooking
Families traveling
Snow is falling
And Christmas lights a’glowing

We count our blessings
Remembering the good things
Be they large or small
And giving thanks for all

But not all enjoy this season
Some have no reason
Some huddle beneath bridges
Some hide from relatives

When you pray and give thanks
Spare a moment and give a thought
To all those who are without
To all who are hurting now

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Friday Thoughts: Word Choice

In today’s world, there are hundreds of words we can use. Take the word “color”. We could use the word “color” or “tone”. Or “hue”, or “light”, or “frequency”. Throw in phrases and the world start getting complicated. Each phrase is similar to the others but carries a different meaning. Telling someone to f-off or versus telling them to leave. Makes for an interesting study.

However, in today’s world word choice has become extremely important. From directing people to websites or being interviewed a job, how you say things is just as important as what you are saying. Especially when it comes to taking political stances.

What comes immediately to my mind is “Undocumented Immigrant” versus “Illegal Aliens”.

What do those two labels mean?” One inspires thoughts of people trying to make their way through life. Chasing the American dream. The other label shows the people as being squatters moving across the border. Sneaking in and evading the law because they don’t want to stop. Or simply knowing that they will be denied visas.

To some, the meaning is the same. But I disagree. How you label something sets the stage of how people hear or react. Consider what you call offspring still being carried in the womb. A fetus? A collection of cells? Or an unborn child?

For good or for ill, word choice is very important.

Stories

As I am sitting here with my feet aching from a long day of unloading a trailer-tractor / semi truck for work, I wonder what to post. At the same time, I am also watching Star Trek: Voyager.

My mind drifted away and I thought about all the stories I have read and watched. Some I remember seeing while others I can recall with clarity every single scene in the story.

This got me thinking: why do some stories stay with us while others wither away and become a forgotten little bit of information on some dusty shelf in your mind? Is it popular demand?

I would have to say no to popular demand simply because popular demand can change as fast as you can change the television channel. Plus, you really can’t compare Harry Potter to the Hunger Games with The Box Car Children as the standard of comparison.

I can also promise you that it isn’t because the book was written by a classical author. I say this because the Odyssey and Beowulf appear as foggy thoughts of men dying, monsters living, and avoiding fate. Great works of literature they may be but they did little to capture my imagination. Instead, Lord of the Rings fueled my mind and actually is responsible for my desire to create an original work.

Then could it be said that stories created from imagination is the reason why some stay with us while others do not?

Again the answer is no. While many days were spent tucked away in a world of imagination, the ones that really opened my mind and broaden my concept of war and the world are two autobiographies of World War Two tank commanders. One is of an American serving in the European Theatre of operations. The other is of a German serving on the Western Front.

So what is the key ingredient?

The key ingredient is you.

Did you learn something about yourself? Did you feel for the characters because you relate to them? Did they inspire you or did you become terrified of their deeds? Did you become emotionally when you read about loyal Sam being dismissed from Frodo’s side? Or did you become disgusted with pink-fluff-ball Umbridge?

At least that is what I believe. The stories that stay with us forever are the ones where we have become invested in them.