27 November, 2012

I am....

'I am' is the most powerful phrase in the English language, for what follows opens us up to others, and spills our metaphorical guts to them. The adjectives that we put after that two-word phrase are then subject to intense scrutiny by those reading or listening. Even ideas left unsaid that exist only in the intonation, the verbiage or the facial construction at the time of speaking are transmitted to others, as 'I am happy,' said with a smile is worlds apart from 'I am incredibly happy,' or even 'I am happy,' said with a frown or a grimace. Intonation can be rather important to getting your message apart. If you use an intonation that is ironic, you send a message that is the polar opposite of being genuine.

The unfortunate side-effect of using the phrase 'I am' is that it puts us in boxes. 'I am an artist' implies that I do things all artists do, or that I like things all artists like. 'I am of French descent,' brings all the stereotypes to mind: I surrender easily, eat snails (Ew.) and don't shower. Care must be used in all instances of adjective, but particularly this one, for to say something false is anathema to the idea of becoming close to those around us, and that's what life is all about, isn't it? Making connections to enrich our own experiences so that we may partake in everything that is available to us. That's what keeps me going, anyway.

Similar dangerous phrases include 'I believe,' and 'I think.' Those both precede wholly personal ideas.

Finally, in that spirit of making connections, I'd like to say that I am happy to know you. Whether you know it or not, knowing you has helped me evolve into who I am today, and I am thankful for your input into this person I am. He's pretty cool, if I say so myself.

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