Thursday, June 24, 2010

Naming and Reframing

"Do not say, 'It is morning,' and dismiss it with a name of yesterday.
See it for the first time as a newborn child that has no name."

Rabindranath Tagore

"Call a plant beautiful, and it becomes a flower.
Call it ugly, and it becomes a weed."

Shakespeare says, "What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet," but I disagree. There is great power in naming. "Urban wall art" and "graffiti" are very different, even when they are identical.
Think of other word pairs, like "flower" and "weed" - "antique" and "used" - "freedom fighter" and "terrorist" that greatly color our perception of the object or person being described.

Exercise: Consider the words that you and others in your life use to describe you. If the words are not complimentary, take action to change how you refer to yourself, and encourage others to speak differently of you. For example, if you describe yourself as "shy," choose a more positive term, such as "reserved."

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