Let’s dance with words

Writing is beyond putting words together or simply conveying messages across. It is an art. Even though I’m not adept at this art, I always want to be carried away in words. I want my words dance with my thoughts, to capture every smell and taste that I have in mind.

For me, it is a challenge to express every subtle nuances perfectly, which is why it takes me so long to update this blog (it is also an excuse for my procrastination); and more often than not, I sway between concision and eloquence.

I remember there was once an acquaintance of mine, who works for a media company, told me that he had been asked to cut down the length of his writing simply because people dislike long read. I wasn’t surprised when I heard that. What raged him was the appreciation of reading is diminishing. His rant, I empathise. Few years ago, I had a colleague who is very expressive. He wrote long emails, long briefs and even long presentation decks to everyone in the company. His compositions were always so rich that would take you on a tour to what he had in mind from different perspectives; but sadly, not everyone cared for it. His enthusiasm, I empathise.

Similar experiences happened to me, although my articulation is not as great as theirs, I rarely feel the presence of my audiences. Probably it is because I am not a writer. Neither do I expect avid readers to be my audiences as my writings are not exciting as J.K.Rowling or J.R.R.Tolkien. But my point is the act of reading has been taken lightly or it is becoming less dynamic.

Reading is not walking on the words; it’s grasping the soul of them.
– Paulo Freire

Back in my parent generation, despite having barriers in their higher educational setting, they take their time and patience to read consciously, think critically and comprehend deeply. Somehow, I’ve always questioned if the new generations are becoming less literate in deep thinking; and also if the improvement of our standard of living is hampering our critical mind.

What concerns me is the declination of profoundness in our thinking and conversation, which I think it requires effort not solely from reading, but to read consciously. It is an interaction between the words and the mind, the world and the self, and also the experience and the perception. It is the process of inquiry to realisation that liberates us from merely accepting what is drawn to us.

Reading the word and learning how to write the word so one can later read it are preceded by learning how to write the world, that is, having the experience of changing the world and touching the world.
– Paulo Freire

Reading makes me feel like meditation. It internalises things surrounding me, engages with my own self and eventually stimulates my mind to expand my knowledge and views. Undoubtedly, we are facing more disruptions these days. Our attention span is shorter. Time is essential, but I do believe it has never been trivial, unless we make time for ourself. Even the world’s top leaders, like Elon Musk or Bill Gates, they spare time for reading.

Although reading can be exhausted, the contentment after completing the journey of reading always makes it exquisitely worthy. The fulfilment is abundant and sublime. However, it is way subdued or even underrated that only readers who understand the act of reading will rejoice at this accomplishment. It is just like language itself. Only if you comprehend how a language is used and applied, you will be able see the beauty of that language. When reading or using a language, we need to consciously interact with word, let it grow or challenge us while finding deeper meanings in it.

So whether reading or writing, we shall not take them lightly. Words dance only if we join in. From there, our thinking and discernment will grow instinctively and expand boundlessly together with the world that we once thought how it should be.


Originally published at sayalittle.wordpress.com on May 1, 2017.

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