Wow! While I don’t keep statistics, I’m pretty sure my recent “Exploring Traditions” column generated more email than any other post or column I can recall–at least in recent times. I’m not bragging, but the feedback triggered an idea. Maybe we should change the way we talk?
I’ve written before about how we refer to the ritual and degree work–and I know how difficult it is to change habits. But what would happen if we tried to change the way we refer to both? We currently have a number of different expressions like “We are doing the ritual” and “Have you taken the degrees?”
Should we, could we instead say things like “We are celebrating the ritual!” and “Have you celebrated the degrees?”
Linguists tell us that language often reflects the way we think, but it’s also true that the way we talk affects the way we think. One reason I’ve never particularly liked the question “Have you taken (or received) the degrees?” is that it’s passive and suggests the degrees are something that happen to someone. I believe the degrees are a celebration of agriculture and what it teaches us!
I’m not going to change the title of my column–it’s long enough already. But we really should be “Exploring and celebrating the Grange way of life.” It’s awesome!