Part of my addiction to words involves a persistent idea that words have meaning when both written and spoken. See, words are potent little symbols; sadly though, most have come to take them for granted. And for me, being the word addict that I am, if someone writes or says something that mismatches his or her words, I end up in what I call a “divide by zero” situation. When I find myself facing a divide by zero situation, I , first, break into a cold sweat; and second, spin around in mental circles. After I’ve spun out and drenched my clothes, I then assess the contradiction and try and figure out an appropriate response. See, divide-by-zero situations are inherently contradictory because when you try and divide a given amount by nothing, you end up with an infinite amount of, well, nothing. There’s just no way to take nothing and spread it around. So, dividing by zero is a contradiction.
The other day, I saw someone who specializes in creating divide-by-zero situations. She appears to be a normal person, but take my word for it, she’s a master of the contradiction. I think she uses words to obfuscate reality, which means, to me, that she intends to create divide-by-zero situations so that no one can get a handle on her true plan. She may think that she’s quite clever, but I know that the reason she creates those contradictory situations is that she doesn’t really know what she’s doing. But she is smart enough to realize that words have lost their value and so she knows that if she says (and writes) enough of them, people will stop listening all together thereby giving her time for someone else to actually do something with which she agrees.
There was a time in my younger days when I would have engaged the divide-by-zero situation and tried to convince everyone that it’s contradictory. Now, however, after my sweat and spinning, I figure out how best I should address the contradiction within the divide-by-zero. Mostly, my response involves sticking to my own truth and act upon real and solid evidence such that I don’t lose my damn mind.
What does continue to bother me within my word addiction is that there are far too many people like the person I saw who use divide-by-zero situations to their advantage. Usually, they’re the types of people who came to their roles in life through something other than their own efforts. I’ve seen those types of people in authority roles, especially in government, who really have known someone who “promoted” them simply because of a relationship or as a result of a favor. Those types of managers had driven me batshit crazy for years. Now, though, I don’t let them get to me. I recognize their divide-by-zero situations and then do my best to move forward within their bullshit until I just can’t. Then I move on from the divide-by-zero situation.
I have hope that words will regain their meaning. For me, I continue addicted to words and seek the best and most meaningful collections of those little symbols that drive my every breath.