What's IN your Mind is not what's ON your Mind
How a difference of one letter can make a world of difference!
The common Panoramic window
The "Windows on the Words" series is about looking at words with new glasses. It is also about your power and freedom to change the stories that shape your Life, so you can change the way you shape the world.
« Every word is a prejudice ». Friedrich Nietzsche
Words don’t have the same meaning, even for the people who speak the same language. Imagine when they speak different ones! Many problems, conflicts, wars, religious schisms, family explosions, and strikes can be explained by the different interpretation of the meaning of words and the difference in emotions they generate.
Dictionaries are a collection of definitions of the Past and take a while to adapt to the latest meanings of words and expressions. Is it possible to change that and access to the latest meaning in real time?
The windows on the words we use are not all ours! They are the result of many factors: our family, our Culture, our “Exducation”, “our religious affiliation, our gender etc.
So, a first good move is to become aware of that and do the necessary window-cleaning”and “opening”!
When it comes to groups, one of the most efficient ways to get to better re-union is to create “union” from the start. We recommend to create a “Common Panoramic Window”: shared meaning of the words which leads to “common ground”, successful Communication and better Decisions.
The process exists! Inuits have over 30 words and expressions to describe Snow and Ice so that, if a hunter going out asks a hunter returning from hunting “How is the snow and the ice?” he will get a precise description of the thickness, the resistance, the strength, the temperature, the risks of stalactites breaking due to exposure to the sun etc. etc. just as if Life depended on those details. And it probably does!
Sometimes this “common panoramic window” develops from the etymology of the words.Sometimes, we may choose to “invent” or reinvent the meaning of a word to create shared meaning within a group.
This could forever eliminate questions like “What do you mean, exactly?”. Or whole strategies decided with “uncommon sense” on different meanings of the same word.
For instance, we recently worked with a group starting a new Business in GreenHydrogen. They needed to make a decision on how far they wanted to push their ambition: being sustainable or entering the regenerative Economy. But what does the word "Regenerative" mean? And what does it mean for them? They asked themselves : do we all accept to make a clear difference between Sustainability (as doing less bad, merely mitigating harm) and Regenerative approaches (as doing good, creating the conditions for life to flourish resiliently and renew infinitely.). Do we all agree that Regenerative Economy refers to business practices that restore and build rather than exploit and destroy? Do we really and authentically commit to that?
Taking time is saving time. Invite participants to signal the nuances they want to share with the others. At the end of the process, the meanings are authentically shared by all, and precious time- usually lost in individual “translations” - is gained and used for Parallel Thinking and Dialoguing over the Future. Trust is there, and everyone has the Courage to express feelings and points of view in constructive ways, exempt of Fear, Anger, Resentment and Sabotage.
The etymology comes, as it is often the case, from Authentikos, an ancient Greek word meaning what is real, genuine, true, accurate, original, worthy of acceptance. It also defines the character of a person true to one's own personality and spirit.
Authenticity is based on Truth, not on Tricks!
Question: in our private and professional lives, do we really make room for ourselves and for others to be genuinely authentic, rather than “playing”authentic?
Imagine the benefits everyone would generate if Authenticity became the basis of a “No Bullshit” Civilization and Culture more and more people wish for in the Future!
No more Mistrust, no more Defiance, no more “vicious” plays on words which can turn a contract into a “con-trap”, no more stabbing in the back, no more detrimental Competitions.
All that virtuously replaced by mutual Respect and Trust, no more “All shots are allowed” or “What can I do you for” kind of questions!
A world of collaboration and cooperation where authentic people mean what they say and are genuinely committed to contributing to the Planet and Humanity’s survival and lasting Prosperity.
Movements all over the world endeavour to get back to Authenticity. Some started many years ago like Permaculture. More recent ones get inspiration from“Native people”, “First” Inhabitants, “Indigenous” people, “Autochthone” nations, who, it is believed, had authentic and respectful attitudes and relations with their various contexts.
So, we can observe an interesting coexistence of “Truth” movements and “Tricks” trends.
One of the latest “tricks” is to experience Ayahuasca in order to be the star of future “social” conversations at cocktail parties and dinners. The “Truth” people approach the experience as a source of Learning, of Understanding and spiritual Enrichment based on early populations authentic relations with, as mentioned above, their natural, religious, and social environments.
Are people going to be more authentic in the Future?
Some signs indicate that a growing part of the young people (17-35) show signs of a strong desire for Change, radical Change, not timid adaptations of obsolete ways. Even kids like Greta Thunberg are mobilizing crowds all over the world and asking embarrassing questions to members of prestigious inter-national organizations.
It seems that time has come to repossess a much-needed Authenticity, source of vital changes, like new types of politicians which will make to old ones obsolete, the replacement of the current “formatting” by authentic Education, the outlawing of all political “circuses” and their replacement by the Art of Thinking, Inspiring and Acting.
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