Yet somehow his words stayed with me, because I couldn't shake the fact that I understood them. I refer to him as a 'crazy' because in our society it is not normal to walk around shouting such random things (or shouting in general come to think of it), and of course, his ramblings made no sense. And yet they did to me. There was a part of me that wanted to go and check that he was OK, to check that he wasn't having difficulty with his eyesight.
Language is a powerful thing, yet we all know that deaf is used for the ears, and blind is for the eyes, but what if I wanted to use this word differently. If I was from another country I may mix these words up, I mean, both demonstrate a problem with the senses, so it is not too far from the truth.
When I had a problem with my eyesight, as a visual learner, I had to change the way I learnt and thought quite quickly, and it was confusing. I could have said that my eyes had gone deaf, why not? My other senses were just as confused; I was suddenly listening with my heart, and seeing with my ears.
Words are simply words. Although I have a love of them, my meaning that I attach to them can be different to what the dictionary tells me they mean. A student may say she finds English interesting or enjoyable, but when asked why, her reasons can be so different to mine. She likes to analyze text, I like to write creatively. Our definition of interesting or enjoyable becomes different. A client says she wants success or happiness, but when I ask what success or happiness looks like, their pictures are always different to mine.
We can learn so much from understanding what other people's words mean, which enables us to communicate in a far more powerful way, so before you misunderstand someone and spiral down a negative tunnel, just ask: What specifically do you mean by that? You may be surprised by the answer.
Be brave, be beautiful