Sunday, January 23, 2011

Definition & Identification

Have you noticed that some things in life can be defined while others can only be identified but never properly defined.

Take love. Impossible to define, but easy to identify (or at least possible to identify even if not easily!)

Inspiration, greatness, meaningfulness, all are hard to pin down, but you know them when you see them.

Of course there are dictionary definitions for all of these, but none of them make any sense unless you have experienced them. Love for instance is defined by the Merriam Webster as “strong affection for another arising out of kinship or personal ties”. Okaay – try explaining that to a 4 year old. Compare it with the the definition of a table from the same source: “a piece of furniture consisting of a smooth flat slab fixed on legs” – right, with that we know where we are !

To take a wild leap from here, it does appear to be the case that things which are less easy to define are more interesting. There is something about attaching a label to something which makes it less interesting. So it is just as well that love is hard to define, or it would become very hard to love!

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