Asking a writer what their favorite word is might be akin to asking a musician what their favorite note or chord is -- it's borderline impossible, and any answer is liable to be impermanent. We'll hedge and waffle, we'll give you a menu of our favorite words broken down by emotion or circumstance or even alphabetically ... but choosing just one is, for many, immensely difficult.
I love words that feel good in my mouth: acetaminophen, hilarious, monumental, and (inexplicably,) clothes. I love words that represent ideas: compassion, imagination, minimalism, fragility, steadfast, and affirmative. I also have words I dislike: moist, mayonnaise, cornhole, dregs.
But my favorite, right here and now, is kintsugi. Kinsugi is the Japanese term for "Golden Joinery," and refers to both the practice of repairing pottery with precious metals and the philosophy that a thing is more beautiful for having been broken. I think it also speaks to the care that should be taken in the repair/healing stage - which I find refreshing in a world of "suck it up" and "get over it."
I resist, on every level, the emphasis in current culture on recovery speed - the faster you are out of the hospital, back on your feet, over the loss, back to work, the better. Don't dwell on pain, put hardships behind you, always forward, always faster. Who does that help?
What happened to honoring the experience, integrating it, and learning how to exist with the new reality of it? What about healing, or recovery?
Oh, right. Productivity. Our worth is directly related to our contribution, time for ourselves is time we're stealing from our employers. Employees are as disposable as napkins, so you'd best be present and useful regardless, or you're out and the next one is in.
This whole 'disposable' mindset is so damaging ... repairs are a thing of the past, people just buy another whatever-it-is. We're all so broke we can't afford to buy the quality product that will last for generations, so we line up to buy cheap imitations that we'll have to replace in a year, maybe two if we're lucky. Why work on a relationship when we can just swipe right? Why take care of the planet, we'll be dead before it's uninhabitable. We're surrounded by stuff and starving for meaning.
I don't have any answers. Minimalism comes to mind. A life with a select few (ideally high-quality) possessions, nothing present that is not treasured and greeted with enthusiasm every day ... things loved and maintained with care and pride. Authentic. (Which in this era, equates to expensive, which equates to unattainable, so again ... no answers.)
Ah, well. At least I have my words.