The wonderful world of “MY”

.. Let's have some tea together, my friends, made from this wild and now dried chamomile

.. Let’s have some tea together, my friends, perhaps made from this wild and now dried chamomile ..

(click the picture to discover its intrinsic beauty)

Language is a strange thing. It tries to express whatever it is we think, feel or do. This works well for expressing thoughts, since thoughts are inherently conceptual, and language is just an extension of our internal conceptual world.

Language does more than that. It bridges my concepts to yours, and although I will never be able to exactly transmit my thoughts and its conceptual world around it to you, it does a very good job.

Language only falls short when I become personal.

The word ‘my’ is part of that wonderful personal world, which is different for every individual.

Whenever we see the word ‘my’ we think of its possessive meaning. But ‘my’ means much more than that. I’m not talking about property here, although there is an overlap concerning the world of matter and objects. In this post, I want to see the word ‘my’ as the ‘connection’ between me, and the rest of ‘my’ world. It is obvious that I do not own my world (although some tyrants would like that) but I am referring to my personal connection to this world.

‘My’ transforms an ‘it’, into a connected individual. ‘My’ transforms an unknown object of a set of many into an individual of a class. Let me explain by giving an example:

A deer, becomes ‘my deer’, that specific deer that comes to graze in my backyard by 5.30 am. When I’m talking about ‘my’ deer, I’m talking about a free animal that I do not claim or own. I’m talking about a specific individual, that I will even recognize within its herd. I feel connected to this deer, from the heart.

‘My’ car, can be the cheapest, oldest vehicle in the entire neighbourhood, but if it gives me that comfort that I appreciate every time, time and time again. I have a connection from the heart to a lot of iron, and doing so I treat it as if it had a soul.

One month ago I saw a man say goodbye to his 20 year old Mazda323. He went in the car, and sat there for more than an hour. Then drove a last time around the neighbourhood. The new owners came later that afternoon.

‘My’ mountain, ‘my’ river, ‘my’ village, ‘my’ city, ‘my’ country, ‘my’ forest, …

Our connections can be limitless. We feel something personal, in our heart. A warm feeling, a proud feeling, a feeling of comfort.

The most important use of the word ‘my’ is when we connect to people:

‘my’ children, ‘my’ wife or ‘my’ husband, ‘my’ parents, ‘my’ friends …

This post is dedicated to all my friends, online or in the material world. Thank you for this connection — that warm feeling I get in my heart when I think about you.


Pictures by bvdb (whoisbert) July 2013 – @Durbuy(B) – Canon Ixus HS230 – IMG4060

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25 thoughts on “The wonderful world of “MY”

  1. I once tried for a time to eliminate the “my.” I referred to my husband as Chris, referred to my girls by their names. The forest was just the forest; the car was “the Audi.” Whatever. It got a little maddening after awhile, but it was a good exercise! Again, great post, Bert. (And who says cars don’t have souls? After all, they are made from materials of the earth 😉 )

    • Smile!, Makes you wonder whether a washing machine is more than spare parts alone. Complex systems often behave unexpectedly …
      I’m sure we need the words my and mine to express our connections to the world, … hopefully a not too materialistic connection.

    • A lot of teachers focus only on the negative aspects of the possessive pronoun. I thought it was about time to look at it in a more complete way. The relation that is expressed by the possessive ‘my’ or ‘mine’ gives the correct meaning to the word, and this is a personal thing. It can be possessive, but often it is not.
      Even when we look upon the avarice holding his property like it was a stuffed animal held by a toddler, we don’t know what he/she feels when being in that relation with that property. If it has been acquired in a legal way without the often accompanying greed and pride, it might be nothing more that that, a stuffed animal, giving imaginary love to the lonely person that never really grew up. (but often it isn’t 🙂 )

  2. Gives me a different understanding of using the word “my”. Before I would think of “my” as possessive only…now thinking of it as “connection” gives it a whole new meaning and I like it…won’t think of “my” quite the same. Thank you for this post…

    • The world of personal concepts can be as frustrating as it can be enriching. Sometimes poetry is the only appropriate personal language. Thank you and … be happy!

  3. my my my what a lovely little love note to find in the reader in box. 🙂 i am doing some time in the sky right now without as much ground space to read and respond here on line, but just wanted to reflect the feeling of gratitude back to you… especially as I just found a moth hole in my treasured cashmere traveling shawl and was tempted to curse UNTIL I remembered your beautiful pictures shared of life with wings here. WONDERFUL posts also on teaching work and expectations and communication, but I am without time to engage… just now know they were read and LOVED! -x.M

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