Monday, February 1, 2010

The Power of Context and Ten Things to Do

Context: 1. The part of a text or statement that surrounds a particular word or passage and determines its meaning. 2. The circumstances in which an event occurs; a setting.

I was in church yesterday and something the pastor said (who was inexcusably wearing black shoes with brown slacks) caught my attention as it had to do with context. What someone says or does means very little if you take it as an isolated sentence or incident.

Example 1
Curse words, for the most part, mean nothing inherently. There is nothing about the the F-bomb, C-word, etc. that make them offensive, it's only when you apply a meaning to them that makes them that way. Dirty words are powerless without the context humans supply them with.

Example 2

Seeing a woman naked. Is there anything natural about seeing a person of the opposite sex undressed that does something for us? I don't think so. If we saw each other naked all the time, it wouldn't be as exciting and stimulating as it currently is. Breasts are amazing because they are normally hidden by blouses and tank tops, not because they have awesome lines and curves.

Example 3
For me, loving someone doesn't mean anything without the actions you put behind it. I can tell a girl I love her, but it means noting if I run around on her, or if I treat her poorly. Sweet nothings have zero value if you don't back them up with productive somethings (cards, back rubs, dates, calls, etc.).

Example 4
There are a ton more I could list here, but I'm sure all of you have situations you can relate to when someone took you out of context. It can lead to all sorts of problems when you isolate a word, action, sentence, idea - anything. It's unfair to take a kid from the country and tease him for the way he talks, without looking at his environment before judging. In that same vein, take the situation, paragraph or area under consideration prior to judging the smaller part of it.

Ten Random, Sort of Shallow, Things I Want to Do Before I Die
-Kick a door in to save someone, makeout with a supermodel/A-list actress, drive through a fence or building, change the game (any type of game- PR business, blogging, music, sports marketing, fashion, I don't care), go to the Grammys or Oscars, win a ring (any level championship from college on up), do a triple Lindy, hit a hole-in-one, catch a homerun, party with Jay-Z, Dan Marino and Derek Jeter.


  1. What is a triple lindy? Oh, P.S. I have hit two hole in ones. NBD.

  2. Putt Putt don't count son.