We often talk about lightness, in a positive and negative sense. It is talked about at the table and on the street, it is talked about on television and radio, in the newspapers and even at home. What does lightness mean? What does it mean to be light and does it make sense to try to become light? Let's try to investigate this word, also discovering how, over the years, the concept it defines has been used to send messages and leave teachings.
We can already distinguish between the literal meaning of this word and the figurative one. If we talk about it in the strict sense, we mean the limitation of weight, entering into the specifics of a qualitative or functional datum. A feather is light, a person who weighs little is light, a suitcase that is not too full is light light a butterfly and so is a dragonfly. Always remaining within the scope of physical characteristics", we talk about being light even when you want to evaluate how warm a dress or sweater is. In winter it is not good to wear too light sweaters, which instead is done easily on cool summer evenings.
Figuratively speaking, it is defined as "lack of control in behavior, an indication of lack of seriousness and frivolous carelessness ". When you indicate a person as light, you don't usually give him a big compliment, it means that he lacks thickness, that he takes everything too little seriously, that he doesn't control himself and follows his mood too much without filtering his own brain actions.
Lately, as we will also see in the books that I suggest, the meaning of this word for people is gaining ground and becoming a positive attribute, a longed-for condition that could make us achieve greater serenity. It is a question of nuances, the fact is that today if they tell you that you are light, they do not necessarily want to offend you, maybe they admire you for your ability to to overlook unsolvable problems dwelling on those on which it makes sense to invest time and energy.
Among the synonyms we find very few words with a positive meaning. Here are some of them: vanity, futility, recklessness, emptiness, imprudence, recklessness, corrivity, changeability, unpredictability, carelessness, fluffiness, thoughtlessness, carelessness, girlishness, recklessness, inconsideration, carelessness.
Here are some interesting aphorisms that show us how many ways this word can be understood. You can choose your favorite, mine is definitely the first.
Take life lightly, which lightness is not superficiality, but gliding over things from above, not having boulders on your heart. (Italo Calvino)
Simplifying also means adding lightness. (Colin Chapman)
Being cynical is also a way of giving lightness to life when it begins to weigh. (Luigi Pirandello)
Melancholy is sadness that has become light. (Italo Calvino)
Lightness belongs to the rising age, the wisdom of the setting age. (Marco Tullio Cicerone)
Let's now pass to the more consistent and demanding sentences that invite us to a greater reflection on the concept, some I propose to you because of authors I respect, others because they contain reflections that are worth accepting and evaluating.
Lightness is not related to superficiality, unlike what superficial people claim, who mistake heaviness for depth of thought. (Massimo Gramellini)
What is positive, heaviness or lightness? Parmenides replied: the light is the positive, the heavy is negative. Was he right or not? That is the question. Only one thing was certain: the heavy-light opposition is the most mysterious and the most ambiguous of all oppositions. (Milan Kundera)
The reason angels can fly is that they take themselves lightly. (GK Chesterton)
Get rid of the ballast, men! Let the boat of your life be light, loaded only with what you need: a cozy home and some simple pleasure, a couple of friends worthy of the name, someone to love and love you, a cat, a dog , and a pipe or two, enough food and clothing, and plenty to drink, for thirst is a dangerous companion. (Jerome K. Jerome)
Blessed be fashion that keeps us fickle and light, even when we would like to be profound. (Erica Jong)
It is so deep now that you can't see anything anymore. By dint of going deep, one has sunk. Only intelligence, intelligence which is also "lightness", which knows how to be "light", can hope to go back to superficiality, to banality. (Leonardo Sciascia)
During the day, walk lightly, sit lightly. Smile more often looking up, as if you are smiling at the sky. (Swami Kriyananda)
Women do things, sometimes, that there is to remain dry. You could spend a lifetime trying: but you wouldn't be able to have that lightness that they have, sometimes. They are light inside. Inside. (Alessandro Baricco).
Three books, each completely different from the other. Who has never read Calvin he must do it, here is an excerpt of his reflections on the subject. Another excellent book by a great author is "The unbearable lightness of being " by Milan Kundera, a "heavy" novel that is worth reading. And then here is a nice Japanese manual, a guide to learn how to attribute their real value to things, selecting and treating them with attention and respect, just as is done in interpersonal relationships. Because “only in this way will we be able to absorb its positive qualities, which contribute to one brighter and more gratifying life ".
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