4 Important Words that Totally Lost their Meaning, and Hope for 1

Language is living. Social environment, technology, time and the freedom and individuality of every human being modifies our communication. But there are some words that should just stick and if they don’t we may need to replace them. Here are four that, in my opinion, have totally lost their meaning–they need to be spelled out before their weight or truth comes across.

  1. Molestation: This word has been so used it conjures up images of fondeling, which doesn’t sound or seem too bad. Corey Feldman shared he was molested as a child star in Hollywood and Corey Haim was apparently raped. Fyi, I grew up with these kids and their movies and this deeply affected me. Molestation is not rape, but it, like rape, is a form of “child sexual abuse,” which in Feldman’s case can be anything from showing a child inappropriate images, or making inappropriate images of the child, or touching a child inappropriately, or having the child touch or perform sexual acts on the offending adult. Basically everything short of anal or vaginal penetration. How innocent does “molestation” sound now?
  2. Sweatshops: I first learned this term in school, but as awareness of labor conditions trickled in over the decades, “sweatshops” just conjured up images of big rooms with lots of people working. Are they sweating? I don’t know. But do they have water? Do they get beat when they don’t meet quotas?–and with high demand for bargain prices quotas are fierce. Do they leave families and children behind to make a few dollars a day? Are kids behind the machines? Are there breaks? Rapes and beatings? Let’s just say, I’m now minding labor conditions of my clothes and other items and am not ashamed of second hand stuff. Really, how many clothes do we need for a 7-day week?

    bangladesh sweatshop disaster-mourning and death
    Bangladeshis walk past victims to identify relatives who died in a building collapse in Savar, Bangladesh (2013, AP Photo/A.M.Ahad)
  3. Christian: *If Christianity is like a god to you, please consider sitting this one out.
    My walk with God has gotten quite Love-focused and I find myself offending fellow “Christians” the most. What is Christianity anyway? A members-only club? If American politics are an indicator, “Christians” are Republicans pushing “biblical values” while promoting policies that hate people including children. And can someone tell me when sharing became a bad word?

For the record, the most basic “biblical value”/principle/command is, was, and forever will be: Love  (…Oh Snap–another wrecked word…).

When people ask if I’m a Christian I now have to clarify: “if that means I believe Jesus is the King and everyone should love one another, than yeah, I’m a Christian.”

The Good Samaritan
Priest and Levite, those supposed to be closest to God’s Heart, pass by the man in need. The Samaritan, a hated foreigner, got it right (the ‘Who is my neighbor?’ parable of Jesus).

I could say more, but this post might catch fire…

4. Love: You know the world is in a sad bad state when the word “Love” lost her meaning. How many times did people hear, “I love you” but got their backs stabbed, hearts broken, gossiped about, or stolen from (even in the “church”). And how many kids heard ‘I love you’ but were mistreated, abused or “molested,” and not believed to boot?

Love has became a playword like sex has become a commodity.

Luckily there’s a tremendous definition tucked away in the bible.. get your paper ready for this one…

love is 1 Cor13Tip: Plug “God” into the Love definition for new insight. Can you read your name there too?

In conclusion, next time you hear a kid was molested, I hope your insides turn. Or if another sweatshop collapses, consider dropping Primark or a lifestyle that is possession rather than people-focused. If someone says they’re Christian check their actions or words against the definition above. By the way–how many times do we hear Muslims say: ‘that’s not Muslim/Islam!’ after an incident perpetrated by someone of that faith? Yup, it happens in Christianity too. Did you see “Christians” protesting at the funeral of a murdered gay boy? Or witness “Christians” fighting healthcare coverage for kids and the poor? Did a pastor say “Gays cause floods?” Hmm. People can be wrong about so much and call themselves Christian in the process. All the more reason to err on the side of Love. (Sadly, Christianity was supposed to be synonymous with Love–it’s what Jesus said would show the world he was the Real Deal. Remember that as things get crazy on Earth…)

Words have power and words lose power. But if there’s one worth preserving it’s Love. Luckily, it doesn’t even need to be a word to be seen, felt or experienced.

divine love

Photo credits:
Feature image: D. Suarez
Corey Haim & Corey Feldman: Patrick McMullan (1987)

Corey Feldman & Corey Haim: Frazer Harrison/Getty (2007)

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