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Words may differ where meanings do not
Part of any science or expertise is to learn a language different from the ordinary. - photo by Joseph Cramer, MD
All these years, you have been walking around thinking you have a breastbone when, in fact, humans have a sternum. It is also true for our collar bones clavicles and our jaw bone or mandible.

Part of any science or expertise is to learn a language different from the ordinary. We know about atoms and molecules, but the nuclear physicists talk about spin, quarks and color.

As with medicine and other sciences, religion and spirituality have different expressions for the same pains that human therapies are created to fix. Faith and hope are anxiolytics, which inhibit anxiety.

Mindfulness swings both ways. The word is used to describe a biological state of active, non-judgmental focus on the present and the people and things in that moment. Mindfulness is also a state of spiritual alertness. It is being receptive to new words whispered to define the ordinary.

Clouds are nothing original. They float by every day. Mindfulness of science may cause one to pause and think about water vapor, ice crystals and pressure changes. Spiritual mindfulness sees beauty and majesty in the same atmospheric conditions.

By our merely using different words, our mental synapses may represent a soul or an inner spirit. When scientists say they know something that the spiritually minded do not comprehend, it may just be a difference in terminology. Likewise, for the religious to dismiss science could be truncating our thinking to a single dimension.

Three-dimensional printing has revolutionized manufacturing. The technology takes a persons imagination and, with software, proceeds to make something new with nano-sized squirts of plastic.

This creation of something never seen before should encourage us to think in multiple dimensions when it comes to our problems.

A single perspective is a lonely lexicon of words that direct our thoughts. A second dimension is like a scientific name given to a plant or a newfound species in the Amazon rain forest.

The third dimension gives the subject form. Combining the science and the language of religious traditions builds a new perspective. The creation is not the computer program or the printer; it is neither. It exists. It can be picked up and turned in all directions. It can be examined from the top, bottom or side for clues.

The challenges we face are more than a first-grade spelling list. When we use multiple languages to describe us, we become better understood and better at understanding.

Whether we're saying boy and girl or male and female, Homo sapiens or children of God, we are merely using different words to describe the same thing.

Politics and religion are often considered two topics that should be avoided in any civil conversation. But instead of avoiding difficult discussions, we need to incorporate as many dictionaries as we can to solve the problems confronting us in a complex world. Combining languages doesnt mean we use the dimensions against each other.

So the next time you get out of bed and pound on your chest or chew food with your mandible, think how we are all the same shared carbon structures. A beggar on the corner or an enemy around the corner or a child in the corner could be the same person. He or she is you or I, depending on which label is applied from our limited vocabulary.

If clinicians of all stripes can learn to call a breastbone a sternum, we should be able to call others our brothers and sisters.
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