Hey, nobody knows the trouble I’ve seen. You think it’s easy doing what I do? Here I am trying to communicate to you with words.

Words are low level, almost solid bits of communication. They are like tiny bricks or wooden block pieces, all with different shapes. To make a sentence, form a paragraph, and especially to transfer an idea from me to you, I have to arrange the pieces as in a jigsaw puzzle so as to form a picture for you to see. But the picture I manage to arrange using these jigsaw pieces, (words), may not be the picture you see at all. That’s because each piece, (word), can be interpreted in so many different ways.

Words are symbols, and symbols denote meaning. And do they ever! Just try looking very simple words in the dictionary such as: is, it, at, to, the, and as. Really! Just try looking up one or two of these. The dozens of definitions, meanings and connotations will make your head swim. You may just want to take a vow of silence from now on!

So no wonder we are in the mess we’re in using words. Attorneys can argue cases trying to unravel the complexity of words till the cows come home,(at hundreds of dollars per hour). congress can add ever more laws on the books, using legalese, so they can not all be read in one lifetime. Then you need lawyers to interpret them!

Also, you desperately try to find the right words to express your love for your wife or girlfriend. She of course does not understand you and ends up going home to mother.

You see, words don’t just convey meaning but also emotion. And what a mess that is! Just try getting out of an upset saying: “It’s alright Honey. Don’t worry. Everything will be fine”.

Her likely response: “What we have here is a failure to communicate”.

Some words are like landmines set to go off once you stand on them. There’s: democrat, republican, liberal, conservative, racist, terrorist, sexist, fascist and communists. And we won’t even mention the word: sex.

Words are sometimes as lethal weapons. Case in point: Trump versus Kim Jong-Un: “Fire, Fury, Elimination, Decapitation”.

There are words that grab, hold, label, identify and imprison you all your life. They are simple chosen words assigned to you at birth such as Joe, Harry, Mike, Mary, Jill or Nancy.

Then you have the two words spoken with sincere love and affection that can be the cause of all your problems the rest of your life; “I do”

Sometimes, when asked a question and seeing trouble coming, I just respond: “I do not speak very good English” which, technically, may be correct.

But you always have the right to remain silent. Most times it’s a very good right to exercise. How often do you get in serious trouble for something you have not said?

All in all, though we humans are social animals, and being involved with living your life requires communication. Doing so very often involves the use of words. But there are higher and more pure channels to help convey this communication. There is purpose, intention, honesty, integrity and affection. Combining these with words can greatly help get your message across.

Sometimes I get the thought that we all have the ability to communicate clearly, concisely and directly. We have just gotten into the game of the completed complexity of words. And it’s gone downhill for ever since.

But in reality, communication is quite simple. After all a baby can do it with just a smile.

Dan O’Connor can be reached at danhughoconnor@gmail.com.