WORDS CREATE WORLDS, DID YOU KNOW THAT?
Philip is an amazing learner. And of all, I think he gravitates to acquiring and identifying words. Before 1.5 years old he can already complete the list on his Alpha Book, and say a couple other things like: water, cat, friend, baby, bird, lion, airplane, bubbles, tabo (haha yeah taboo; Pinoy right there!), pillow, thank you, I love you, duck, neigh, baa, moo, k, batman, bus, car, sky, trees, amen, airplane, stone and so much more.
Lately, his new vocab additions are: RUN (nuun), WALK (oak), SHOES (shush), OUTSIDE (acai). Which for me, were noticeably different the first set of words that he has learned through repetition. Reading repeatedly to him and saying words repeatedly around him gave him quite a good vocabulary which he does not have any use for now but merely identification and to get that brain working. But his words of late are different in the sense that they seem to come from a place of desire or passion.
He is in that stage where motor skills are rapidly developing and his senses awakened to the different textures of this physical world. I realized this time, he isn’t merely identifying but associates pleasure with these action words- he desires to run, he desires to be outside, he desires to walk, and wearing shoes meant he can do all of those things.
As I thought about this I was reminded of this part of verse 34 from Matthew 12: “For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Because is it not true that our desires, wants, needs, often make themselves evident through our speech?
They say Filipinos have numerous ways of saying rice: kanin, tutong, sinangag, bigas, palay, lugaw, bahaw. On the other hand, Americans only have, well, rice. They’d have wheat and oats at best but those aren’t really rice. And this is because rice is very important to the Filipino diet, while Americans can go through life without it.
In English there are numerous ways to call snow: blizzard, flurry, ice, while it doesn’t even exist in the Filipino language. Ice in Filipino (Tagalog to be specific) is yelo and there is another term which escapes me. (Maybe you can remember it and write it down at the comments section below, haha!) But the point is that snow doesn’t exist in our consciousness as we have never experienced such and never had to deal with it.
One explanation for why babies say Papa earlier than Mama even when the mom is its primary caregiver is because fathers leave home sooner than moms. Hence the need to call the father, because mommy is always around.
So far I’ve only spoken about how the mouth expresses what is deep within us but the interconnection of speech and life works far more than just that.
God said let there be light and there was light. He called all creation into being within six days and all He had to do was speak, right? While we are no gods, I think that words and language and speech have an inherent creative power that takes after a God who places much value on both the spoken and written word. (The most obvious proof for this as God’s value is that He called it from the beginning of time how He will come again and realized it 2000 by becoming the Word Incarnate.)
When we say “Mag-sangag ka nga,” sinangag na kanin comes to being. I read a book on natural childbirth written by Ina May Gaskin and in it she recounts a number of births she’s assisted where speech greatly affected the woman’s process. One mom who was in labor for so many hours only had to say, “I just want this baby out” and she immediately did just that! Baby was out only seconds after she expressed her desire. Tell someone you love him back and a new relationship is created. Words are creative, I cannot stress this enough.
Now which comes first, desire/need/wants or speech? Perhaps a chicken and egg answer here: we don’t know. But all I see here is that there is power from both ends and unless we guard both our heart and tongue, we will continue to express and create a world on selfishness and greed, and eventually make it unsuitable for collective living.
My prayer today is that we would all be mindful of what we put in our hearts, what passions we take, what desires we keep, what thoughts we harbor, as well as the words we use to express our innermost down to our everyday colloquial which has the power to do something to somebody and to the rest of the world.
May you all have a thoughtful week ahead of you!
Any thoughts on this blog? What have you spoken lately that has made itself evident in reality? Are there any words that have escaped your mouth lately that seem to reveal a desire you’ve never known before? Share your thoughts on the comments section below!