Last week was the worst week I’ve had in a long time. Not that anything particularly bad happened, but merely the apparent mundane, repetitive future I saw for myself got me down. I remembered the days when I could see the difference I was making, and could see a life where I would continue to make that difference, and I wondered where that life had gone.
This week, I have exactly the same life, and yet not.
This week I have thought long and hard, and realised the power of small words. Originally it was small words with a negative power.
Specifically, but. The word but sounds a lot like butt, and frequently rips the bottom out from under you. “I’m sorry but you didn’t get the job.” (That happened to me last week.) Even better is “I know you’re busy, but could you…” or the ever favourite “I’m not racist/prejudiced/whatever else-ist, but…” The Dude always says using the word but means you can completely disregard whatever went before because the speaker doesn’t consider it important.
And yet, being a person given to a positive spin (even when lost within the apparent pointlessness of my own existence), I wasn’t happy to leave it there. Because there are other small words with just as much power, the type of power that overcomes the but.
Specifically, the tidy couple that is “and yet” (If you want pedantry, you can drop the and, the principle applies equally well). Choosing not to dismiss what had gone before, nor disregard how things feel, or are, or might be, it says there is more than just that.
And yet, my life still has meaning.
And yet, I live for a purpose.
And yet, the words still flow.
Of course, there are more powerful small words.