What Does That Word Really Mean?

In my last year of high school, called Grade 13, I took four subjects.  One of them was Latin.  “But that’s a dead language,” you say.  Not in my heart, both back then and right now.  I love words, and I love discovering where they came from.  Here are some examples that get me thinking:

1.  Transmit … to send across

We can think of this word in connection with electrical energy and power lines, but there’s more.  We human beings transmit spiritual energy – a giving, a blessing, an including.  Your transmission is sent across to me, and mine to you.

2.  Translucent … to shine through

Perhaps the issues we have in the world are not opaque, not solid.  They might be made of filmy material, allowing the human spirit to penetrate them … and keep on going.

3.  Liberal … free, not tied to

I know we can be liberal beings – untouched by the opinions of others, by the prevailing wisdoms of society and by the walls of the mind.

4.  Fluent … flowing

As I see it, the best public speakers don’t necessarily have vocabulary, tone of voice and confidence mastered.  But they take us on their river of thought so we can see new lands.

5.  Perfection … finished, completely made

I don’t yearn for an end result.  I ride inside a perpetual becoming, erecting buildings that I may disassemble down the road in favour of an emerging design.

6.  January … referring to the Roman god Janus, who presided over doors and beginnings

This brings to mind New Year’s “resolutions”: the power of holding firmly.  For if we are not firm in letting go of the old, there will be no new.

7.  Compassion … to suffer with

Not being outside the person and feeling sorry for them, but really being inside them, sensing the agonies as they do.  Staying there, not walking away.

8.  Love … friendliness, delight in

A reaching out to the other, offering them your goodness so they can see their own, celebrating their unique gifts.

9.  Awakening … to rouse from sleep, to spring into being

And in what respects have we been sleeping?  Having the most toys wins.  Being better than you.  Feeling there’s only so much happiness to go around.  The truth, however, resides in the eyes of the other.

10.  Essence … to be

At the bottom, there is who I am, far beyond the roles, the traits, the appearance.

11.  Flamboyant … a flame, a blazing fire

For that warmth is in us all.  Will we let the passion escape from its tiny prison so others can bask in the glow?

12.  Equanimity … equal mind

“The slings and arrows of outrageous fortune” will come our way.  So will “the peace that passes all understanding”.  Is it possible to see them as friends?