Definitions are worth discussing to help understand each other

Definitions are something I include in posts and discuss in more detail occasionally in order to help support clear understanding. Words have many meanings for different individuals in addition to a standard dictionary definition. The dictionary is a good place to start but even it can add confusion for some readers as the definition itself may use other unfamiliar terms or may simply use a slightly different form of the word as the main definition – which wouldn’t be helpful at all for the person who didn’t know anything about the word they were trying to look up.

I just updated a recent post with a lengthier discussion of the definition of racism as defined by a online dictionary and I added some supporting articles and statistics from other websites. See this article for the discussion of racism as part of national policies that discriminate: http://transcendingsquare.com/2017/10/21/what-is-racist-is-unfair-housing-and-food-policies/

The phrase transparency is used occasionally in relation to government agencies and politicians being clear and transparent about the goals and inner workings of policy and political agendas. Starting with definitions can help add clarity and possibly transparency to a discussion, as long as the underlying policy and political agenda truly is based on the stated definitions.

Saying one thing and meaning or believing another would not be an example of transparency but would instead be an example of outright lying or might be an example of someone who really didn’t understand themselves or their group’s true definitions or beliefs about a topic.

I recently looked into what was meant by the term “Developed Nation” and was very sad to find out that it is simply based on the average per capita income – how much the average salary is for a country. How many of the average people have healthy air, water, sanitation or actual health wasn’t included. Social development of access to schools also was not included. Number of people with access to good roads and safe infrastructure (physical development) also wasn’t included. The physical safety of citizens and freedom to speak openly about policy was not included in the definition. Instead a simple GDP financial number is used to suggest which countries are more “developed” than others. http://www.investopedia.com/updates/top-developing-countries/

The Social Progress Index is a different way to compare nations than only comparing the average income. The 2017 map shows the U.S. as being in the second tier: https://www.socialprogressindex.com/ . So by that criteria the U.S. is not as well developed of a nation in Social Progress factors, such as health and quality of life, as some other nations.

Definitions are important because they affect communication and how we discuss topics.

Disclaimer: Opinions are my own and the information is provided for educational purposes within the guidelines of fair use. While I am a Registered Dietitian this information is not intended to provide individual health guidance. Please see a health professional for individual health care purposes

Definitions are worth discussing to help understand each other by