Friday, February 13, 2009

Symbology and everyday life

Another month, another post. Aren't I a slacker?

I've been wondering lately about a great number of matters, which might explain why I haven't written much. Things get all jumbled together and it gets difficult to post about one in particular.

I was thinking the other day about the various symbols that we have to represent ourselves. Most of us have something that we carry with us often, if not every day, to make a statement to the world about what it is that we believe or subscribe to. I suspect for many people, they don't think about these symbols too much, or how they are interpreted. I would encourage everyone to think a moment about what you have on your person, right now, that is making a statement.

Got something? Okay, now what does it mean? How are the people around you interpreting the message from your symbol? Is it common enough that others know what this symbol is, or what it commonly means? Are you aware that, right wrong or otherwise, others are making split-second judgments about you based only on these symbols? Given the opportunity, would these people find that you are not the person that your symbols represent? Do your symbols convey different messages?

That last one is very important, as people will oftentimes have a symbol that they wear out of habit that conflicts with one that they have at the moment. A cross on a chain worn over a t-shirt condoning violence. A promise ring worn with a low-cut dress. Examples abound in our world, from every creed, race, class and gender. This is not always because the people are hypocrites, in fact, I would wager this is very seldom the case. It is because we become so familiar with these symbols that we begin to forget that they are there. Instead of remembering why we took this symbol up in the first place, we have let it fade into the background. However, that is also the purpose of the symbols that we choose for ourselves; that others might see them and, instead of judging us as hypocrites, they might point out our symbol and remind us.

In addition to the style of clothes that I am wearing (a symbol in itself, although often less important), I keep four symbols on my person whenever I am in public, and nearly all the time in private. They serve two purposes: as a reminder to me of what I have pledged to do and a sign for others that I subscribe to a certain code. I found it very interesting that these four symbols, while from different origins and times in my life, all represent consistent beliefs. Thinking back, I have had different symbols that I used to identify myself through the course of my experiences. Over time, I might cover some of them here. A good excuse to blog more often.

Please feel free to comment on the symbols that you have in your own life. Why do you keep them, and what message do you hope that they to convey to those around you? If you had to describe yourself using only three symbols, what would you choose?

1 comment:

Maureen said...

Hello! I hope you don't mind me commenting here, but I thought I would introduce myself --- I saw your "about me" post at Conversion Diary (I posted after yours) and was shocked by how much we had in common! I am a new blogger (Feb 2009), Catholic, Minnesota girl now living in Texas, love CS Lewis and praying the rosary too! I saw the link to your site and thought I would pop in to say Hi :) I also noticed you wrote that you are not sure what direction you want to take your blog --- neither am I. I encourage you to write on a regular basis, peruse the blogging community and see where the experience takes you. My blog has already changed scenery and content multiple times and I am sure it will continue to evolve. I find writing to be a therapeutic and prayerful experience. Best of Luck! -Maureen @