What’s in a Word? – Tear vs. Tear

Listening today, to the funeral service for Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, I was struck by the Rabbi’s comment, “We come here to heal the tears [pronounced ‘t-airs’] in the world.”  And I got to thinking:  What an interesting and ironic word – tears. Because, especially as healers, do we not also have an obligation to heal the tears [pronounced ‘t-ears’] of the world?

The tears [t-ears] that are shed due to the pain caused by the tears [t-airs] in the world.

The tears [t-ears] shed due to the painful tears [t-airs] in our hearts from some loss.

The tears [t-airs] in the fabric of our humanity that cause us to shed tears [t-ears] and question that very humanity.

The tears [t-airs] in the fabric of our society and the tears [t-ears] that are shed because of them.

We ignore those tears [t-airs] at our peril. For when tears [t-airs] are ignored, they grow and become monuments to our ignorance, and a piece of ourselves begins to die. When the tears [t-ears] are ignored, left to fall and turn to stone, is it any wonder that someone might pick up that stone and throw it? At someone or something?

Can we search in our hearts to find the tears [t-airs] that have become a chasm? Can we seek them out?  Even if we’ve gotten so used to those chasms they’ve become invisible, and we step over them. Or the tears [t-ears] that have turned to stone, however minute, can we find and begin to heal them?

Can we see the tears/tears in others, however ancient or recent, and say, “There, but for the grace of God, Goddess or Nature, go I”? In that ability lies true compassion and the beginning of true healing.

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