World of Contexts

World of Contexts


Words are singularly the most powerful force available to humanity. We can choose to use this force constructively with words of encouragement, or destructively using words of despair. Words have energy and power with the ability to help, to heal, to hinder, to hurt, to harm, to humiliate and to humble.  -Yehuda Berg

As social creatures, we live by acting and speaking. We use words to articulate or solve any statement which we find confusing to us- words that are misleading and in a way puzzling which give difficulties in our own existence. We act or move (the psychomotor aspect of our being) for us to be able to express words in our mind and heart. Such is the value of communication into our day-to-day life. Words are indeed powerful; they say that ‘we can’t return back each word that comes out from our mouth. They even hurt the inmost part of our feeling when others actualize it using negative and painful words. Such is the intensity of using ‘words’. We can use this in two ways: first is to use words constructively and to use words destructively.

When we try to motivate, encourage or heal a broken person, then we use words in its constructive sense. On the other hand, when we try to spread false witness, gossip, or harm to a person, then we use words in its destructive sense. We use words to express ourselves, but we must be mindful that we use language for us to unite each other and not to divide. The second point which I want to reflect upon is we must be aware that when we interpret language, we must examine its particular context. Indeed, in every text, there is a corresponding context. Given the example “masama ang lasa ko”. At the outset, it may mean ‘I have bad taste’ but for the Batangueños (people from a province in the Philippines) they mean ‘I am not feeling well’; the word ‘ibon’(which means bird)for the Tagalogs(majority can be found in NCR and Region 4 of Luzon, Philippines) is different from the Kapampangan word ‘ebon’ which means egg. In short, what I am trying to point out here is, we easily judge a certain statement and sometimes we commit an error because we fail to understand them in their own context.

In the Bible, we see Jesus using parables as a way of teaching his beloved disciples. Parables are drawn from everyday life. It would seem that Jesus used them in order to make it easier for his listeners to understand his message. Parables usually contain some element that is strange or unusual, and they are used to illustrate or compare ideas. They do not define things precisely, but use comparisons to point us in the direction of an understanding of how God works. The meaning of parables is never too obvious, and indeed, the purpose of parables is not to settle issues, but to challenge us to think more deeply about the issues.


-Fiel Pareja, MPM





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