Monday, May 14, 2012

"Why Didn't You Leave?!"

"Because... you said we were friends."

So, I start with a Community quote today. People have a limited vocabulary these days. In general, they don't know enough words to completely express their thoughts. They have to repeat words over and over again. The ironic thing, then, is the total lack of respect and reverence for words that should have meaning, such as "love", "promise", or "friend." One reason why there is so much drama in the world is that people don't know the meanings of these words. If people realized that words have meaning beyond the superficial, the world would be a better place. Friendship is worth more than just someone you hang out with. Love is more than just someone you make out with or have dinner with. A promise is more than saying you'll do something if it's convenient.

It is all a matter of simple economics. If you print too much money, the value of each dollar goes down. If you use a word too much, its value decreases.

The fact that we use the term "friend" on Facebook to refer to people we pass in hallways or met "one time at this party" belittles the real meaning of "friendship." I have friends I would die for. I have friends who have dropped everything to come be with me on a horrible day. I have friends whose Eagle projects I have worked HOURS on. I have friends with whom I exchange birthday gifts with even though we didn't have parties. I have friends who hate the guy who hurt me more than I do. THOSE are my friends. Can we please bring the term "acquaintance" back into everyday use? That what you call people you know from a dance, or a class, or someone you didn't really talk to at a summer camp.

Promises are another issue today. In the scriptures, you can see examples of times when battles ended because one side promised the other that they would never attack again. Another time, leaders of an army refused to make a promise that they would never battle the other again, because they knew their people would not be able to keep it. They did this even though their lives were on the line. Promises used to be a big deal. If someone promised something, they did it. End of story. There just isn't that level of integrity today. I've written a lot about honesty and integrity recently, so feel free to browse April's posts to find my two cents.

"Love". Jordan from Messy Monday has some great things to say in his video Like vs. Love. (He's a little excited in this video, so don't let it throw you off.) He's 100% right, though. People struggle with being able to distinguish when to use "like" and when to use "love." It's really too bad. It leads to all sorts of problems. How do you tell friends you actually care a great deal about that you love them when you just said that you "loved" that new gum you just tried? Yeah, not going to happen. Another problem is one that teenagers are facing now. How do you tell that special person that you care for them more than just "friends." Teenagers should NOT be telling each other that they are "in love." I'm sorry, but it leads to misunderstanding and confusion. I believe that real "teen romantic love" exists and happens, but that's the small minority of the time. The problem we have now is that they use the word "love" cheaply, and then have to resort to physical means to express deeper feeling. That leads to problems of its own. Can't we learn from Melville's "Billy Budd" and recognize that nothing good ever comes when words are taken away??

I wish everyone would read this and understand where I'm coming from. The quote in the title reminds me of a situation I was recently in. It was not the first time and it certainly won't be the last. That's the problem with trying hard to bring the true meanings of these words back - you sometimes get messed with by people who don't understand. But hey, you'll find people who are true friends, who love you dearly, and will keep the promises they make to you. I know that.

Think about it.

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