Three Brief Thoughts: Evil Jargon, Good Quotes, and Great Books
If there is one thing that I aspire to in my writing, it is clarity. I want to think clear thoughts, and I want to write clear words. With clarity comes a better glimpse of the truth. Language has such a power to communicate the truth of our existence, but it also has an unmatched power to blind us from the same truth. We build mighty walls around our minds and hearts with empty words mortared by ignorance. And, unfortunately, we are guilty of building the same walls around those with whom we interact. When we resort to jargon (words used by a particular group that have little meaning to outsiders) we put up more walls. Jargon is in direct conflict with the truth found in Christianity. Only a fool, or a young child would build walls just to break them down and build them again. Jargon is an enemy of truth and therefore in direct opposition to the message found in the bible.
“There are two people who provide the entire world with quotations: Names and Anonymous.”
I wrote that quote. Is it true, or is it clever? Does it matter? It seems to me that most of the quotes that we use come from famous individuals. Regular people say all kinds of great things throughout their lives, but who cares? You have to make a name for yourself, or the quote has to be so incredible that people forget your name and you become Mr. Anonymous. So the next time you see a quote, ask yourself if it’s truly insightful, or if it is something you could have said at a party.
I love movies, but more and more I see the advantage of books. How many times have you heard someone say, “The book was better than the movie”? In almost all cases the book is more enjoyable than the movie. The Harry Potter series is perhaps the best modern example. Is there one person who truly appreciates the books who will then say that the movies are greater? To claim that the movies are better would undermine the foundation of the series, and prove to everyone that you don’t actually appreciate the story. Even though Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings trilogy is one of the greatest cinematic achievements of all-time, you would be hard pressed to find a fan who didn’t believe wholeheartedly that the books were far greater. The magic of books is found in the intimacy between author and reader. The author transports you to a place inside of your own mind where the both of you can go on a fantastic journey. Isn’t that a beautiful thing? Let’s value great books.