A general reference point to help us connect and understand our life experiences. To help us communicate, build, and define who we are.
The variable: US. YOU. ME. The person.
You are the variable. Your perception - your understanding of a word depends on your experience of it. How you understand love is based on how you have experienced and interpreted it.
Funny might be defined in the dictionary as something that makes a person laugh - but you - you - define what funny means to you. What you appreciate about a sense of humour, your brother may not.
As it goes with every other word in language.
I might describe love to be an assortment of honesty, loyalty and trust -
you might define it as affection, patience and playfulness. If you express love by affection, playfulness or some other away - I may not feel your love - simply because of how I have defined love.
I have learned - and continue to learn - that language is actually a variable. It is a variable that is sourced and shaped by your interpretation of it. How you describe it.
This variable creates separation. It creates communities. Laws. Tribes. Religions. Beliefs. The list continues.
We define our lives by our understanding of language - of words. We gravitate towards people who define words the same way we do. Naturally. We naturally gather people and build communities based on our beliefs - our perceptions - our understanding of words.
We are always searching to build harmony and when we meet a person who defines our most important words - differently than we do - we (generally) naturally move apart.
The lesson is to withhold judgement. The lesson and the gift is to understand a word from the mind of another - and to surrender the need to adjust their definition to either serve you - or your belief that the adjustment could serve them.
You are who you are. Your perceptions, your definitions, and your understandings are your own. It is a blessing that you are able to build a tribe with those whose beliefs are aligned with yours.