Namaste! For Word of the Year

I absolutely love words! They have such power: they can heal, they can hurt, and they convey feelings, facts, figures and formulas. One thing that I find interesting is at the end of each year dictionaries such as Oxford, Webster’s, and Dictionary.com adopt new words that reflect new usage and changing culture and proclaim a “word of the year.” So, on the CBS Sunday morning news this morning, there was a story about the possible new words for the year:

· Fake news

· Alternative facts

· Collusion

· Nothingburger

· Normalize

· Antifa

· Resistance

· Persisterhood · Dotard

· Reclaiming my time

· Taking a knee

· Covfefe

Reporter Faith Sailie shared that Dictionary.com picked its word of the day, “complicit” and commented on how all of the words in the running are almost all political. She said that in years before this has not happened sharing that past words such as “hashtag,” “tweet,” were not political and in 2015 the word was an emoji! New words are usually related to pop culture, but this past year politics has become pop culture. Also, the new words of this year, seem to be used to divide, diminish, and even cause entrenchment and not lead to understanding or to any kind of togetherness. The reporter ended her piece by saying that she knew that the word of the year would NOT be Namaste which she said is used at the end of yoga class to mean, “I bow to you.”

I found it interesting that she chose a yoga term as a definite NO for the word of the year. But actually it makes sense thinking about all the atrocities that have happened over the last year. I guess it would be great if we could nominate Namaste for the word of the year in order to get some respect and positivity out in the world!

Also, for me this word has more meaning than “I bow to you.” When you say “Namaste” you are exuding positive energy and recognizing connection. It is a thank you to the world created, and the world around us. It expresses politeness, courtesy, honor, and hospitality from one person to another. And I have most often heard this translation for Namaste, “The light/divine in me recognizes and honors the light/divine in you.”

So, Namaste to all of you!

Julianne Lewis

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