The other day I was watching a show on foreign languages. This one segment focused specifically on Japanese. To my amazement, I discovered there are certain words which the literal translation is not the same as it’s meaning. One such word was もったいない (Mottainai). The literal translation is “No dignity/importance” but the meaning of the word is much deeper.
The word means “Worthy of a better cause, associated with a feeling of being attached to it and reluctant to throw it away”. This is another way of saying something is “worthless or of no value”, mottainai evokes a feeling of sadness for losing that something of value. This is used for people, opportunities, situations, and so on.
This phrase comes from the Japanese mentality which puts value on treating things well and taking good care of things to use them for a long time. Contrast this to the English word “waste” which has negative nuances such as worthless, useless, and unwanted. In Japanese, mottainai contains positive nuances such as worthy and valuable.
This reminds me of when my wife and I first married. We promised each other to never use the “D” word. It was never to be an option nor a word in our vocabulary, it just doesn’t exist. It was never to be used in ANY way.
Read and meditate on Matthew 5:31-32. What do these verses say to you?
What words are you using in your relationship now which are negative and destructive?
Meditate / Make It Real:
How will you change or eliminate those words from your vocabulary?
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