Sunday, August 16, 2009

Curious about Expression: So Many Different Types and Means of Expression. How Well Do You and I Express Ourselves and Our Ideas?

Definition of Expression : The act of declaring or signifying; declaration; utterance; as, an expression of the public will. (2) Lively or vivid representation of meaning, sentiment, or feeling, etc.; significant and impressive indication, whether by language, appearance, or gesture; that manner or style which gives life and suggestive force to ideas and sentiments; as, he reads with expression; her performance on the piano has expression. (3) That which is expressed by a countenance, a posture, a work of art, etc.; look, as indicative of thought or feeling.

Freedom of expression is the matrix, the indispensable condition, of nearly every other form of freedom.” - Benjamin Cardozo, American judge

There is a vitality, a life force, an energy, a quickening, that is translated through you into action, and because there is only one of you in all time, this expression is unique.” - Martha Graham, American dancer

I chose “Expression” for this week’s theme, because in all of my careers, I am noticing my various means of expressing thoughts, feelings, ideas, emotions, beliefs, and much, much more. I have also noticed the expressions of the people I come in contact with – students, friends, family members, Internet contacts, club members, strangers, those I meet through networking, and again, many, many more.

And, there are also the non-verbal expressions of my surroundings. The apartment that I live in which exhibits a good amount of my artwork, the modern furnishings that I love, the prints on the walls that express the work of my favorite artists, the colors that speak to me, and more. I have a small garden which not only expresses my love of flowers, it shows that I grow and enjoy vegetables – especially tomatoes.

I notice too, that when we speak and/or write words, what we are trying to express can easily be misinterpreted by the receivers. There is a fine line between enthusiasm and pushiness, between subtle marketing and over zealous selling.

I urge you to consider the reactions you receive from others. Are they smiling because they are experiencing your smiling expression. Or did something you said made them angry or confused?

When I searched for useful quotations using expression, I found 14 pages, each holding at least 20 great quotations. Many referred to “freedom of expression,” others to art and performance. Let’s consider a few:
  • A picture is the expression of an impression. If the beautiful were not in us, how would we ever recognize it?” - Ernst Haas, Austrian photographer
  • I wish I had invented blue jeans. They have expression, modesty, sex appeal, simplicity - all I hope for in my clothes.” - Yves Saint Laurent, French designer
  • A woman whose smile is open and whose expression is glad has a kind of beauty no matter what she wears.” - Anne Roiphe, American author
  • If we don't believe in freedom of expression for people we despise, we don't believe in it at all.” - Noam Chomsky, American activist
  • Success in any endeavor depends on the degree to which it is an expression of your true self.” - Ralph S. Marston, Jr., American motivator
  • Feelings or emotions are the universal language and are to be honored. They are the authentic expression of who you are at your deepest place.” - Judith Wright, Australian poet

And a couple more to chew upon:

A man of genius has a right to any mode of expression.” - Ezra Pound, American poet

Young players need freedom of expression to develop as creative players... they should be encouraged to try skills without fear of failure.” - Arsene Wenger, French coach

I feel that we all should be encouraged to try skills without fear of failure. How is your expression skill? How about updating it? Let me know how it works for you.