Is There Any Limit To What Humans Can Justify?
By the time you finish reading this article, if you truly have an open mind and really try to understand what I have learned and want to share with you, then you can turn that negative first thought of words into a positive thought. And if you are an achiever, then it will even turn into action. So here we go! Are you ready for a transformative experience?
Personally, I have learned through spiritual exercises to genuinely try to comprehend to truly understand the real meaning of each and every word. After all, I may have learned about a certain word from someone who misunderstood it and taken it to heart without ever questioning it. Then they may have shared their misunderstanding with me and I never questioned it again. Is this the way it should be?
As you read this article, please keep the following in mind:
- We use and hear words everyday and may not even know the message it communicates.
- Have we ever looked up in the dictionary a new word that was introduced to us as an adult?
- Do we truly understand the power of words to harm or heal?
In the building industry, we call this type of assumption building on a poor foundation. When the foundation is faulty, then we must take extra steps and “shore up” the base of the structure with concrete pilings or some other creative alternative, based on the grading of the land. What I am suggesting is that we re-evaluate words in the same way. Take another look at the words you use and their meaning, especially multi-syllable words.
If you are still with me and reading this, you either think I am nuts or I have peaked your interest!
Let’s take a look at 2 words in particular that I urge you to reconsider for your own personal growth. If you do, and take this to heart, it will change your life and the lives of everyone you come into contact with. Both are extremely damaging multi-syllable words that most humans practice every day. Notice I said practice, not use. Chances are we rarely use them in our speech. They are action words. This means we are practicing them!
Let’s look at the definition of rationalize from Merriam-Webster:
- to think about or describe something (such as bad behavior) in a way that explains it and makes it seem proper, more attractive, etc.
- to find ways to make (something, such as an industry, a company, etc.) waste less time, effort, and money
Let’s look at the definition of justify from Merriam-Webster:
- to provide or be a good reason for (something) : to prove or show (something) to be just, right, or reasonable
- to provide a good reason for the actions of (someone)
- to position (text) so that the edges form a straight line
They smell of enormous negative connotations, do they not? Of course they do. And even worse, they work together and are nearly identical twins.
Before you read on, take a moment to think of the last time you spoke and practiced each of these 2 words. What you are about to read may just change your perspective and practice. I certainly hope it does, as it has changed my entire life.
Are you ready? Ok! Let’s explore the multi-syllable idea:
When we rationalize, what are we really doing? Is there any positive from a rationalization? I can’t think of any. Does it help or does it harm? Usually what we do is tell ourselves something to justify what we have done. What we are really doing is telling ourselves rational lies. Even worse, we believe them! Who are we lying to? Ourselves! Pretty sad when you think about it! If you cannot be honest with yourself about your actions, I am sorry to be the one to tell you this, but you cannot be honest with anyone else either.
From this point on, I challenge you to look at the word “Rationalize” as two single-syllable words: Rational-Lies. Simply put, honest people don’t lie. Take another moment and decide for yourself if you want to be honest, right now, For what you are about to read next will not only change your life for the better, it can help many, many others as well.
We are all familiar with the term justify, right? When a person thinks of this word the first thought in our minds (or at least mine, until recently) has been to rationalize something that we (or someone else) has done that is, or could be perceived to be, improper on the eyes of another human being. To make sense of some wrong in the world or to give some sort of excuse that we can live with and enable us to sleep at night. To try and understand some pain or suffering that was caused that could have been avoided. Are you with me so far?
From this point on, I challenge you to look at the word “Justify” as three single-syllable words: Just-If-I. Simply put, this new perspective on this one word has the potential to repair/improve the world we live in. Conversely, it also can destroy it if we use and practice it the way the dictionary describes.
At a recent lecture by Rabbi Jamie Cowland, he spoke of what it could mean if humans practiced this positive sense of Just-If-I. He spoke of the mitzvah to perform Tikkum Olam. He spoke of many, many things that anyone with an open mind could use to make the world a better place. I felt compelled to speak with him after the lecture and share about an article I recently wrote on a similar topic called “Doing What’s Right Even When No one Is Watching” which you can read here. It sure was refreshing to know that I am on the right track in my spiritual practices and is a tremendous confidence booster to know it. The room for his lecture was packed full, with many folks standing, as the chairs were all used up!
Rabbi Cowland’s words forever changed my life and they can change yours and many others as well. This concept and many others can be explored upon at his website here or go to http://www.justifi.org/. The man is a genius and a scholar and I am forever grateful for having met him.
Justify is one word that I had not gotten to yet in my spiritual path of re-evaluation. Now that I know it’s true meaning (not the one from the dictionary!!!) and I can use it in my life by taking a negative, passive word and turning positive action.
After all, let us remember that this world was created with words when G-d spoke and things came to be. Read Genesis chapter 1 and the first part of 2 about creation. The world He made was formed with WORDS. So too can it be destroyed with them if humans choose to justify or rationalize. Yet consider the potential for good when Just-If-I don’t tell any Rational-Lies and how different the people I come into contact could be.
P.S. I felt it was my duty to share this with the world and take no credit for this as an original idea. Thank the Rabbi for that by making a donation to support his cause. Just-If-I (or you) help with any size donation we can help make the world a better place and allow the Rabbi to continue his outreach. Click here to make a difference.
Christopher Gould – President
Gould Design, Inc.