Ok, not to let Planned Parenthood off the hook here, with their deceptive use of words and terminology, but I would like to speak today of yet another odd, perhaps not heretofore considered, contribution to our clouded understanding of reality, due to words - that being today’s language itself.
We live in a modern, cold world, where science and technology have greatly altered our communication and our language - a world where people are computer literate, while they are almost completely illiterate in a classical sense. While computer readiness is part of early childhood curriculums today, philosophy, poetry, music appreciation and all the great writers - most of all – the art of critical thinking, have been largely left out of our children’s education.
Socrates taught his students on the subject of reality: “Truth is not subject to the whims and caprices of fickle human opinion,” one of my favorite quotes actually. But is this true today? Does our modern language reflect such?
Today’s modern Vulgate seems to be making it more and more difficult for people to discern what is real and what isn’t – what is truth and what isn’t. With our ever-changing vernacular and lack of critical thinking, the original meaning of Shakespeare’s, “a rose by any other name, “might not be as easily understood by today's vaguery and ambiguity. Texting has turned back the clock on our language to the primitive grunts of Neanderthals. And the coarseness and vulgarity of certain modern entertainment has caused our civilization to regress into a primitive state of brutishness and ignorance.
When we read the language and expressions of older generations, we many times experience far more poetic and meaningful usage of words, than our present dumbed-down vernacular. I watched an old Civil War documentary, where preserved letters from Civil War soldiers were read out to viewers. I was completely startled by how erudite and profoundly these soldiers expressed themselves to mothers, wives and sweethearts!
Our scientific and technologically advanced generation has heavily influenced our vocabulary to be sure. Terms such as interface, dialogue and relative, designed to be such great verbal aids to our communicative relationships, sound idiotic – and have lent nothing to our human intercourse with one another, in my humble opinion. Indian sign language would be more effective. And let's not forget psychology and its' role in how we speak and understand ourselves. Today, you will hear people say “I’m depressed, where previous generations would have simply said, “I’m sad or melancholy.” So many children today are diagnosed as being hyperactive and a variety of other maladies, when they would previously have been viewed as healthy, active, mischievous little rascals. Instead of being medicated, they would have had their buts paddled or sent to bed with no supper.
We have seen ourselves as being in an age, where we have a much deeper understanding of the world around us and its’ realities. Yet I believe, in many ways, we are becoming less aware of these things - in spite of the fact that we've walked on the moon.
Recently watching a movie on Elizabeth I, Queen of England, where Sir Walter Raleigh has a tryst with one of the queen’s ladies – I was struck by a touching scene in which the young lady attempts to make her condition known to her lover Raleigh; whereupon he immediately anticipates her with these lovely words – “You’re with child, aren’t you?” Those words struck me through! Not only were they so much lovelier than a modern beau saying to her, “You’re pregnant aren’t you?” – But they said so much more – so much more!
The term pregnant is a cold - scientific word - a term, used perhaps, by a much more scientifically advanced world than the one Sir Walter Raleigh inhabited. Yet, Sir Walter’s generation’s limited scientific knowledge was nevertheless far surpassed by their generation’s deeper and more profound grasp of reality itself. The two terms, “pregnant” and “with child” both describe the same reality – or do they? One speaks of a biological state or condition – while the other speaks so much more profoundly of a change whereby the woman is no longer by herself, but suddenly accompanied by another – her child. A reality wherein someone else is inhabiting her space.
It is one of the main reasons for post-partum depression ( another modern term), which scientifically speaks of the simple fact, that the umbilical cord has been cut – and the mother and child will never again be as close as they were for those past 9 months. For 9 months they both inhabited the same space. For nine months, her child listened to her heartbeat, while she felt her child’s movements stir within her. I recall an experience with my 1st child - before any physical indications of being “with child” – I suddenly had the feeling one afternoon, that I was no longer alone in the room. A few weeks later, after a visit to my doctor, I discovered why – for it seemed I truly was no longer alone – I was “with child”.
It says in the Bible, regarding the birth of Jesus: “When His mother Mary was espoused to Joseph, and before they came together, she was found to be “with child.” By the Holy Spirit.” Matt 1:18. Some recent modern biblical interpretations will use the word pregnant – but once again, I believe this is a mistake. For the term, “with child” far more adequately describes the reality of the woman's situation. Perhaps if we use the term, “with child” more readily today, women might more truly understand what is occurring within. Perhaps, if we use the term, “with child”, they could better comprehend, that “their body” now carries a little passenger on board.
Pregnant or With Child – which term do you prefer?