Still Words Matter

Words matter.

You’ve probably heard that phrase thrown around. And, it is true. Words shape our thinking and feeling.

Some words haunt me. Like our government’s language of “collateral damage vs. casualities/loss of lives” which is meant to soften the reality that we are killing people or being killed by others.

I try to notice when a different way of using a word or a phrase lands in my body. What is my body telling me about that word or phrase?  Pay attention, Elaine.

Some words and phrases are showing up in my world connections. I am capturing them here for you and me to consider how they fit with our work in the world.

Agency – Personal Agency – Sense of Agency

Agency is a word I’d not heard in the context of personal capacity to action. It wasn’t until I heard Peter Block use it that my curiosity was piqued.

  • The “sense of agency” (SA) (or sense of control) refers to the subjective awareness that one is initiating, executing, and controlling one’s own volitional actions in the world. It is the pre-reflective awareness or implicit sense that it is I who is executing bodily movement(s) or thinking thoughts.
  • The Human Agency is a collective of systemic thinkers and doers creating conditions where individuals can transform the status quo.
  • Agency (sociology) In social science, agency is the capacity of individuals to act independently and to make their own free choices. By contrast, structure is those factors of influence (such as social class, religion, gender, ethnicity, customs, etc.) that determine or limit an agent and his or her decisions.

Words of Inclusion

  • Connections dismantle separateness
  • Connections dismantle differences
    • source the World Cafe zoom conversation Oct. 2016
  • When I know the other, the rules change
  • Am I defending the space or holding the space for differences? I heard myself speak these words when exploring my personal responsibility when someone expresses a different perspective than my own…and noticing my resistance to holding the space.

These are the words and phrases that I am wrestling with currently. What are words and phrases that work on you? Please share in the comments section.