ruth: (archaic) Sorrow for the misery of another; pity, compassion; mercy.
The word I most despair of in today’s world is “ruthless”. I see ruthless behaviours around me all the time. Maybe, after all, I see them where they’re not, but if I do that’s my loss – the world is OK without my confidence in you, and you seem to bumble along quite happily without needing too much confidence in me.
So anyways. Here’s the appeal I’d really like to make today. I’d really like to recover the archaic word “ruth”, and for as many people in the world as possible to use “ruth” instead of “ruthless”.
Where ruthless thoughts trip out of your mind at twenty to the baker’s unlucky dozen, replace them with ruth whenever you can: you never know, it might do some good.
As a name, it would appear it translates into English as “Companion”, which – in terms of my appeal today – doesn’t half seem bloody appropriate. And that this word “ruth” forms part of the highly maligned concept we bandy about so casually that is “truth” is of as much interest – to me at least – as any other matter on the planet right now.
It seems a pretty damn curious example of synchronicity, that.
But then I always was engineered weirdly in ways which confuse even myself. I always was too you know. I just want people to be kind to each other: for kindness to motivate us together as a society instead of ruthlessness serving to drive us apart.
“Home truths,” you say.
“Yup,” I reply.
“What about them then?”
“I guess I’ll just have to work out how to ignore a world which I consistently fail to understand – or appreciate in all the apparent wonder others find so easy to comprehend.”
“I heard. And listened too.” You shake your head. “But that doesn’t mean I’m any the wiser.”
“I guess I got to give up on attempting to connect with others. It just doesn’t work. There’s always something I see that is wrong. In content, in meta, in life and its forms. You’re better off without me. Find a man and place and sense of space that makes you happier than I can – oh, and doesn’t question why.”
“And if I don’t want to? And if I want the question why just as much as you do?”
“Me too. I have been all my life. From a kid. Did you know that?”
“But human beings were made to fight fear,” you say, sort of ignoring – as you sometimes do. “And bravery only ever exists in the presence of fear. Anything else, after all, is easy ruthlessness.”