Defining Words

I just read an interesting post from Patricia Singleton at Spiritual Journey of a Lightworker in which she talks about a theory of words by Giulio, an Italian friend of author Elizabeth Gilbert who wrote, Eat, Pray, Love, One Woman’s Search for Everything Across Italy, India and Indonesia. His theory is that there is one word that defines each city and describes the thoughts of most of the people that live there. According to Giulio, examples would be: Los Angeles – SUCCEED; New York – ACHIEVE; Rome – SEX; Vatican – POWER.

In this theory it also appears that everyone has a personal word that defines them. It changes throughout our lives as we evolve and I can see how my personal words have changed.

When I read this post, I thought about it and in my youth my personal word would have been SURVIVAL thrown in with the word OBSERVATION. Half a lifetime later, it has changed to CONTENTMENT still accompanied with OBSERVATION.

It’s interesting to me to think how one word can describe a point and time and measure the energy of a city and even a person’s life. Is this true? Yes, I think there’s some truth and validity to this theory but I also think there is so much more to each one of us than what can be described in words no less than a single word.

Considering our lives right now, what is that one word that describes most of what you respond to on a given day or what your thoughts are composed of? How has that one descriptive word changed for you over the years? I’d love to hear your response.

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9 thoughts on “Defining Words

  1. Pat, I could use so many different words to describe my journey through life. Survival, Fear, Rage would describe my early life quite well. Compassion, Love, Contentment, Rebel are so much better descriptions for my life today. Those are different than the ones that came to me when I wrote my article. It is difficult to use just one word.

  2. Hi Pat,

    What a great idea.

    Years ago, my word was DRIVEN (I was very career oriented). Now, like you, it’s CONTENT ( I love my life and everyone in it, and don’t let much bother me).

  3. Patricia – I thought it was so interesting in your post how Giulio could capture what cities are all about with one word.

    And it’s true, just like you say, there are many descriptive words for what’s going on in our lives.

    That’s what makes the spice of life. It’s constantly changing.


  4. Barbara – isn’t it interesting how that one word really captures that time in our lives and how we change?

    Like you, I like CONTENTMENT. I’m happy with life and all of those around me too. What could be better?


  5. Thank you for this post. Through my wife, I have found that my life has become more “Natural”. Natural to me, exemplifies all the other words that I strive for. (peaceful, happy, content)

    Thank you for this post.

  6. Adam – your word is interesting – NATURAL – and most descriptive. I like it.

    What a gift from your wife in being natural and the expression of peace and contentment.

    There’s also the sense of being who you truly are and feeling comfortable with it. You find that in Nature with the birds and wildlife.

    Thank you for stopping by. I enjoyed your comment.


  7. Hmm, I didn’t thought or realise that certain words can define a city. Thank you so much for sharing this, I greatly enjoyed reading this post too.

  8. PuNiao – thank you for your comment and I’m happy you enjoyed reading this post. I didn’t realize either until I read this that there are distinctive words that can describe cities and towns and even our lives. It’s an interesting concept.

    Although, I haven’t been as active of late in writing my posts, I hope you’ll stand by and come back again. There are other posts in the archives too that may strike your interest.

    Until we talk again, many blessings.

  9. Pingback: Courage And The New Year | Plain Talk and Ordinary Wisdom

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