Doctors, Professors, and Prayer Ballerinas (“Warrior” Part 2)   Leave a comment

A good friend noted, in response to yesterday’s post on the word “warrior”, that she felt empowered by the word, and proudly calls herself a “social justice warrior.” For some reason, her comments immediately made me think about the word “Doctor” (on which more below), and I thought I would post a follow-up here.

For the record, I’m not calling for a ban on the word “warrior;” if it gives you strength, use it. Nor am I expecting sports teams to give it up (and even if I were: in a culture that can’t understand that “Redskins” is a problem, I wouldn’t hold my breath about “Warriors”). What I’m calling for is consciousness and consideration around the way we use war-related words and the way our culture glorifies war in general.

What if we thought outside that box and looked to other occupations for our empowerment words?

The word “Doctor,” has been used by The Church for centuries to denote men and women who were important in the Church’s development and theology—no medical or even academic implication. And “Doctor” has also been widely used as a nickname in music (particularly Jazz) to celebrate someone with great skill. “Professor” is another common music nickname. And of course, even without direct implication, those words automatically call to mind healing and education. Perhaps we could broaden the uses of doctor and professor, and think of other professions we could celebrate.

“Artist” and its many subcategories seem promising to me. A “Photographer Pose” in yoga? Maybe we could have Prayer Ballerinas instead of Prayer Warriors!

Those last two sentences are in jest, but I think the possibilities are endless. The words we choose show what we value. Imagine a society that looked to peaceful, healing, creative vocations for its empowering watchwords; perhaps such a society would create a more peaceful, healing, creative world.

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