Tuesday, June 30, 2009

One Word Philosophy

In the Beginning is the Word!

If a concept is succinctly expressible, then its power is increased manifold. Once you are able to freely think in terms of a concept, you can harness its meaning in what you do more easily. As the song from The Sound Of Music goes: when you know the words to sing, you can sing most anything. Similarly, for thought: only if you know the word for it, can you use it any way! ( Sing it! :)

I once read somewhere that in Japanese, they have a single word to describe a person who promises to be a great looker when seen from behind, but turns out to be quite the opposite when they turn around. How many times has that happened to you? And thinking of the effort involved, not chosen to share it. For want of a word, bonding and shared chuckles were lost! :) See, what power of expression means! :) (Sorry, cannot quite recall the Japanese word, dementia excuse: it was a few years ago in The Hindu, I think)

The Holy Books state that the name of God is equivalent to God itself. Christians and Jews even have a Commandment based on this: Thou shalt not take My Name in vain! Words enable us to recall the associated concept efficiently - to create an image in our minds. Indeed, this is what mantras and mnemonics are all about.

Here are some words which by themselves, I believe, are powerful enough to considered philosophies. These are often expressed as interjections and ejaculations by the speaker unknowingly, so deeply are they embedded in the mind. They embody a way of life and sometimes, in my humble ignorant opinion, typify the users themselves!

(Have desisted from citing examples of profane word philosophies. Everybody knows! )

Maqtub (Arabic, It's written)
We have tried our best, the rest is in God's hands. Or, Life is all about following the rules which have been written?

Ashte (Kannada, That's all)
It's no big deal (for me/us implied). Or, actually not much work involved?

Chumma (Malayalam, Just for kicks)
Not everything we do is for a reason, you know? We just do things for the heck of it.

Please add to the list if you know any more.

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