Thursday, March 3, 2011

Know the Power of Words

A while ago there was a scary movie called "Ju-on." The English name of the movie was "Grudge." The movie was about the ghost of a brutally murdered woman that stayed in the crime scene and killed anyone who visited her home. The soul of the woman was bound in the place where her husband had murdered her. The Japanese word "Ju-on" means a curse that stays in a place or a person. It comes from strong anger, resentment, sorrow, regret, or from a curse. Until quite recently, I had thought "Ju" simply meant curse. I found, however, that the origin of this Japanese word is not simply curse, but has a more profound meaning that refers to "binding."

According to the Chinese theory of the origin of nature known as "Yin Yang" (meaning dark and bright), "Ju" means "binding," "association," or "engaging." Ju does not necessarily mean curse or grudge. In this sense, the smallest ju is our name. Before we are named, we all are human beings. Unlike cats, dogs, or any animal, you and I are human beings. Without a name, you will not be able to be differentiated from others. Your name gives you your own definition, separate from others. At the same time, your name binds you to your own character and personality. We are able to use names to classify people, such as "John" is a tall person, "Susan" is thin, and "Sean" is smart. At the same time, you will be bound by the images or personalities attached to your name. A name finds a person. Therefore, names are ju.

Words give definition to things, matter, or phenomenon. They use words, which are ju, to bind the object that was referred to by the words. Words have a more profound binding power. One may think that he is free to select his words. Therefore, words are his slaves. However, words bind you and your activities once they are uttered. You do not want to be called a liar. Therefore, you must act on what you said. After you speak, you become a slave to your words.

During ancient times, people in many Asian countries were well aware of the power of words. There were gods of words, festivals for words, and temples and shrines for words. People thought highly of the words they used. High-ranking aristocrats were killed, seriously punished, or lost their positions because they did not believe in the importance of words.

Some bloggers do not want to reveal themselves because what they write does not truly represent who they are. They feel the need to hide forever because of the words they used. We should be fully aware of the power of words and use them carefully. Do not be cursed or bound by words or become a slave to your words. Make use of them.

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Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Shaw .. you're right - and back then words were essential .. if you couldn't story tell - you couldn't lead or pass on your thoughts .. speaking was it!

Cheers - have a good weekend .. Hilary

Shaw said...

Dear Hilary,

Thank you for your comment. You are right. We need to respect words, in this sense.

Have a nice week!

Best regards,
Shaw Funami
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