By Marilyn Turk
Writers are always searching for the right word, that word that captures the truest meaning of the moment in our stories. We try to abstain from the “weasel” words, the weak words that are commonplace like “just,” “some,” “most,” etc., and strive to find more accurate words to use. Writers are accused of being lazy and uncreative when they use clichés such as “dead as a doornail,” “thick as thieves,” or most common expressions people use. We creative thinkers should be able to craft new, unique ways of saying things that haven’t been used before.
In my last post, I mentioned the task of coming up with New Year’s goals. I also touched on the subject of choosing a certain word to focus on for 2018. Selecting that word can be a challenge, as there are so many words to choose from. However, in an effort to better myself, I looked at what I need more of, or what characteristic I would like demonstrate instead of some I displayed last year. Unfortunately, there are more than one. Then I found the one word that encapsulates many desirable traits, and if controlled by that word, can affect many other traits.
That word is LOVE.
What does that mean? Ancient Greeks believed there were eight different types of love. The Bible speaks of four types: Eros – refers to sexual love, Storge – Family love, Philia – “brotherly” love, as in love for friends. Then there’s Agape love, the highest form, which is perfect, unconditional, and unselfish love like the love God has for us.
So what kind of love encompasses the traits I need to have toward others? Well, once again the Bible tells us what kind of love we should have. We are told to love one another in John 13:34. The Greek word used in this verse was agape love. So how do we do that?
I found my answer in 1 Corinthians 13, commonly referred to as the “love” chapter in the Bible. It says, “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” (1 Cor. 13:4-7 NIV)
All the things I need more of – patience, kindness, humility, respect for others, forgiveness, joy, positivity, perseverance, endurance, unselfishness, peace – is covered in that definition of love.
So my word for 2018 is LOVE, and I pray I can represent it in all ways. Do you have a word for the new year?