by John Yeo
Someone recently wrote on a wall somewhere, this anonymous piece of graffiti ~ “WORDS DO NOT MEAN ANYTHING TODAY”. The word anything was underlined to emphasise the lack of meaning contributed to life in general by words.
My immediate and unequivocal response is that in my personal experience the exact opposite is true. I firmly believe, and I will always stand by my belief that WORDS MEAN EVERYTHING! Our way of life and culture is built on verbal communication, we cannot survive rationally without the use of the spoken or the written word. We must communicate to be able to share our lives and our ideas with one another and the easiest and most widely understood successful method of communication is through the use of words.
Even the questionable graffiti message, “WORDS DO NOT MEAN ANYTHING TODAY ” is conveyed by the use of words.
Smoke signals, distant drums and semaphore flags all need words to interpret the message that is communicated.
The many varieties of the media that is everywhere these days, is built and maintained through the use of words. Electronic devices such as computers, laptops, and mobile phones thrive by the messages conveyed in the form of words. Sadly social media would not be very sociable without the hot air that is generated through the use of words. Yes, the “chattering classes” are alive and well and maintained wholly through the use of words. Perhaps the graffiti artist had this enormous and growing verbal assault in mind, when he painted his work of art.
I am afraid I haven’t got a clue who first uttered this sequence of words or the logic behind the statement. Perhaps someone was sadly let down by a smooth talking salesman, or they were badly hurt by a smooth-talking individual. Maybe they were very disillusioned by a series of concepts that gave them the impression through the use of words that heaven was just around the corner.
There is an old saying that people can be, “Put in the promised land,” simply by the use of words. To be put in the promised land a person would be promised much, regardless of the outcome, building their hopes up by the use of words.
THE PROMISED LAND
Billy was a native country boy who arrived in the city with a legacy of many thousands of pounds. Billy was bereaved when his father, a very wealthy farmer suddenly passed away after a massive heart attack. Billy was spending very heavily when he came to the attention of the entrepreneurs, Bob and Ben. They met in the bar of the palatial hotel that was Billy’s temporary home.
“Hi! Let me introduce myself, I’m Bob and this is my colleague, Ben. What would you like to drink?”
Billy was very impressed by the friendliness of these two prosperous looking men and he nodded.
“Thanks, I’ll have whatever you are having.”
“Three double scotches, please bartender, and have one yourself.” It was Ben who ordered the drinks and put them on a tab.
“We have had the pleasure of making the acquaintance of a very wealthy oilman from Texas and we are meeting up with him here to discuss some business, would you like to join us? We will have a few drinks and maybe play some poker, there is also a chance of us all making some very nice money from a huge deal.”
Just at that moment a tall man breezed up and proceeded to shake everyone’s hand, then in a very smooth American accent with a wide smile.
“Hi all! I’m Hiram, pleased to meet you!”
That night was a night Billy would live to remember for the rest of his life. Not only did he win a very large sum of money at cards, he was offered a share in a Texas oil well, that would make him a multi millionaire. Billy was flattered, but he asked for time to think the deal over. Billy parted from his very good new friends.
Bob nudged Ben after he had gone and mentioned the obvious skill and good luck that Billy had shown at cards.
“Bob! He cleaned-up. He won almost every hand and cleaned out Hiram!”
“Don’t worry Ben, he was just lucky there, we will get it all back when the deal is done.”
Billy was in his luxury room smiling and counting out his winnings. He was very good at cards after living through the long winter nights down on the farm.
Now this is an example of words in the form of dialogue. Bob and Ben think they have put Billy in the promised land by promising him a fortune for the easy earning.
Billy has put Bob and Ben in the promised land by going along with everything they say without any intention of investing.
Born on a farm, and as sharp as the blade of a well-used scythe.
Perhaps, “WORDS DO NOT MEAN ANYTHING TODAY”, should read
“WORDS SOMETIMES DO NOT MEAN ANYTHING TODAY”
Copyright (c) Written by John Yeo ~ All rights reserved