From our birth, we face others with the view of being understood and being heard, particularly regarding our primary needs. Rapidly and instinctively, we develop our own gesture. Then comes the learning of words. Words are the first articulated vehicle that enables us to interact with others and to discover them.
Throughout our life, words will ever be this sacred bound between us and our inner self, us and others.
When a child learns to speak, he naturally structures his sentences focusing on three categories of words: nouns that distinguish him from objects, verbs that express his willingness, and adjectives that reflects his emotions and impressions. The rapport with words allows a child to position himself in relation to everything that is not him (person, object), as well as expressing himself. This rapport will be enriched by association of ideas that each of us build and nurture with sensorial, olfactory, visual and emotional memories. Later, as adults, the meanings will be enriched by a specific vocabulary related to our profession and/or areas of interest. It will also be structured by a specific reasoning, which will also be declined differently according to our profession and our culture.
Thus, beyond the meaning, each word has a specific meaning and memory for each of us. They are the constant bound between us and reality, and also between us and our illusions, us and our certainties, us and our doubts, us and our beliefs, us and our values…
In addition, I also face others with my words. And therefore, when we communicate, it is two life journeys that meet. To understand others, I have to pay attention to words and see beyond the meaning I attach to them to meet others and understand the meaning it gives to words, and what it actually says.
Understanding each other thus requires active listening, openness to others, the willingness to meet others but also to express myself clearly and take responsibility in relation to what is said and how I position myself. This might requires courage, and always authenticity and integrity.
According to Marshall Rosenberg “words are the windows or they are the walls”.
Sometimes, it is easy for us to open a window of communication. Sometimes asking the assistance of a third party is necessary. Sometimes, despite the openness of people, the language is so different, it takes creativity and commitment to build a relationship based on the belief that what unites us is the human, and as such everything is always possible if I give myself the means and / or I am assisted.
Words transform us as they transform our relationship to others. They are relentlessly with us, even in silence. They are a constant invitation to discover ourselves and others. Through them, we become more tolerant and more compassionate. In this way, they hold a share of sacredness.
© Virginie MARTINS de NOBREGA
Photography : Sculptur of Jaume PENSA