February 8, 2024

Hardlife and a boy named Sue

Keynote speaker and writer, Jacques de Villiers writes about words have power.

Article 20/365 of Jacques’s writing quest.

The other day I made the acquaintance of a man by the name of Hardlife. What were his parents thinking when they named him?

Remember Johnny Cash and his song, A Boy Named Sue – “My daddy left. The meanest thing he ever did before he left, he went and named me Sue. Life ain’t easy for a boy named Sue.”

Names have power as do words. I’m not sure if I would be thanking my parents as they thought, let’s set him up for a tough life and call him Hardlife or Sue.

I have come to learn that the words we speak really do have power. They are spells we cast that create the world we live in, hence the word, spelling.

I’ve started a bad habit that I learned from the science fiction writer, Ray Bradbury. He said that his wife married a writer because she didn’t mind ‘taking a vow of poverty’.

I loved that phrase, and I’ve been using it. As in, I can’t meet a woman that will date me, a writer, because she doesn’t want to ‘take a vow of poverty’.

I haven’t been on a real date for more than a year now. It’s been so bad that I buy bird seed so that at least I can attract birds to my garden to keep me company.

One could argue that it’s my looks and cynical personality that scuppers my chances of getting a date and building a relationship. I probably wouldn’t disagree. 

However, I have a strong feeling that it’s the words I use. The word ‘poverty’ vibrates very low. And, to be honest, my income is seldom where I’d like it to be. To be fair, as Wallace Simpson said, “One can never be too thin or too rich.” Or as my spiritual teacher, Etsko Schuitema says, “No amount of zeros in your pay cheque can fill that hole in your chest called insecurity. Perhaps that’s just the human condition, thinking that there’s never enough.

I’ve been keeping a journal of how many times I say something negative. I’m quite astounded that I can still function with the amount of negativity I feed myself.  

I’m learning to stand sentinel over my sentences and worry more over the words I use.

I’m learning to use words that create positivity. That’s a better option, don’t you think? 

Photo Credit: WriteSonic – AI depiction of Sisyphus

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