We tend to forget as we age…but in order to progress within our thoughts…in order to articulate what’s going on upstairs…and synthesize the actual development and progress of our own ideas…we need to continue to progress through the language that we use.
I’m not saying that you should continue to read and write so that you can impress those around you with your stellar vocabulary. It is very intriguing though to understand that even your very thoughts stem from the language available to you. If that source of language is limited, dated, or depleted…undeveloped…well so will your thoughts, decisions, values, and experiences. I, myself will continue on an unending quest to use language, mostly through my writing, in order to gain insight and perspective into all that I can learn, develop, and construct.
I highly recommend that if you aren’t doing any writing…you pick up a pen, or open up a document in your computer, and get to it. Using writing (and language) allows to form your own judgments and values. It encourages you to find the correct words and articulation, so that you can most effectively represent your thoughts. One way that writing is superior to just thinking, is that you have a tangible record or your previous thoughts. And since you’ve effectively structured those thoughts into complete sentences and paragraphs, you’ve built a foundation for yourself that you can always access. Not only can you look back to it if you so choose, the exercise of bringing it out of your mind, and bringing closure to your thoughts on the paper, opens up space for you to bring in new ideas…and those will effectively build on what you’ve written about previously.
Let’s assume that you are not a writer. You are having extraordinary thoughts and ideas pass through you all of the time. You are wondering things about your existence and that of your family’s and friends, very often. Your own values are being questioned and challenged and confronted almost every day….usually every day. Writing gives you a starting point. It gives you a place to journey through your values, and then solidify some of them along the way. Writing out what you stand for (which begins simply with writing out what you’re thinking) is so incredibly powerful. You’ll notice patterns in your thinking…you’ll discover hypocrisy within your thinking. And you’ll be able to synthesize many of your thoughts as you realize their inter-connectivity.
It leads to you having a robust intellectual framework….one that vitality streams from. When I think of an individual with a unique and meaningful perspective…but one that allows thoughts and ideas to come and go without a deliberate confrontation…I see unfortunate un-reached potential. We each have an unreal ability to use the language we have at our disposal to appropriately shape who are. Yes, we can do that simply by speaking, but the words and ideas are lost easily. They are almost consumed. With writing though, we go through more of a production, where we create that vital, new information. We produce more of an evergreen structure that we can bring with us on the path.
Start thinking about language more. Consider how it was never a dedicated group of individuals that sat down and planned and created it. It’s been an ongoing cultural production for a very very long time. It’s a living organism. Part of it regularly dies and is left behind. Part of it is being created right now as you read this…by millions of people having conversations…and by writing. You are part of that ongoing development of language.
So… what’s your story?