Symbols | The Daily Star
12:00 AM, June 13, 2020 / LAST MODIFIED: 12:38 AM, June 13, 2020


Symbols divide us; symbols unite us.

If your symbols match mine, perhaps we can be allies;

If your symbols, I don't recognise, you will be strange - at best.

Through symbols we make sense of the world;

Through symbols we live our lives.

In language, sounds and scribbles are symbols;

In religion, clothes and food become symbols;

In culture, there is nothing that is not a symbol;

In arts, in science, even in math, symbols rule our worlds.

Symbols make our worlds, whether human or not:

Where some use symbols in the here and now,

We use symbols to escape place and time.

A clever use of symbols, and, lo,

We can go to the moon and come back.

A wise use of symbols, and, lo,

We can create a world just and fair.

A neglect of the symbols, and, lo,

We can fight and feed conflict.

A malicious use of symbols, and, lo

We can destroy our worlds.

Symbols are just symbols, they mean and they don't mean:

A harmony in symbols is harmony in life;

A disarray in symbols is hell with no end in sight.

Ahmar Mahboob is a Linguist. Currently, he is Associate Professor at the Department of Linguistics at the University of Sydney.


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