What’s in a Word?

21 Mar

In Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet”, Juliet asks, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” And so it would. Juliet didn’t care that Romeo was a Montague. She loved him just as much despite his family name.

In this context, words are interchangeable and don’t really matter. However, words do matter and often take on very strong energies. We can use words as deep terms of affection and connection and as weapons of mass destruction.

I think of certain words that seem to resonate with gentleness. The word “aloha” in Hawaiian means affection, peace, compassion and mercy. It also signifies hello and goodbye. In some ways the word is akin to the Hebrew word Shalom. Similar in its benevolence is the Hawaiian term “mahalo,” which means thanks, gratitude, admiration, praise, esteem, regards, or respects. I wonder the long term impact of speaking words that resonate with melodic goodness. Why do certain words seem to vibrate with a higher frequency of love than others, and is there a way these words can leak into our consciousness, infusing their definition into our very hearts and minds? Is there a way to invite in affection, peace, compassion and mercy, simply by saying “aloha” and meaning it?

I have never been one to pray or chant much over a particular word or phrase but I like this concept. I like the idea of inviting in affection, peace, compassion and mercy for others and for myself.





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