They can also be manipulated, I know this. So can people, but that's beside the point. Let's move on.
The point is that if I keep the search simple, then I get simple results. Clean and unfiltered results, like Colorado spring water running off a mountainside or dripping into a rocky gorge into a pool below. Nice, huh?
Equally nice and beautifully telling, are the results I got on a very simple search of positive words versus negative words and how often they appear on the Internet.
Now, remember: earth's population just hit 7 billion strong. Sometimes we feel crowded and squeezed out. Sometimes we let our sadder, heavier emotions get the better of us. Sometimes we feel we can't keep up. That's hard. What's good about this though, is that we can learn through every supposed mistake, that we can go on, that we can get smarter? No. Stronger? No. I don't think life is about getting smarter or stronger. It's about getting better. Treating ourselves better which in turn, means we treat others better.
When there are 7b people on this rock, I'm guessing not all of them have Internet access. Even in the U.S. we have only broadband 60% connectivity. Click on this link to go to a site that tells the latest story.
So, what I'm about to show is pretty freakin' awesome if you ask me. (Even though you didn't.) I am happy to say that Love does conquer (at least on "The Google" as a dear friend and I like to call it) and it makes me happy (which also conquers).
I searched the following words and here are their "hits" results:
Love: 9,240,000,000 (9.2b)
Hate: 871,000,000 (870m)
Happy: 3,790,000,000 (3.79b)
Sad: 1,010,000,000 (1.01b)
Joy: 769,000,000 (769m)
Fear: 627,000,000 (627m)
Gentle: 45,600,000 (45.6m)
Harsh: 130,000,000 (130m)
Soft: 1,500,000,000 (1.5b)
Tough: 2,350,000,000 (2.35b)
Open: 6,500,000,000 (6.5b)
Close: 5,940,000,000 (5.9b)
Heart: 3,050,000,000 (3.05b)
Brain: 630,000,000 (630m)
Soul: 1,120,000,000 (1.12b)
Mind: 2,100,000,000 (2.1b)
Peace: 931,000,000 (931m)
Dread: 61,700,000 (61.7m)
Now here's the deal: you can massage these stats any way you wish. We can simply state that this data reflects the usage of these words on the Internet and leave it at that. We can do that. If so, thank you for reading.
But I'm me. A little out-of-the-boxish. Sure, the counts reflect the usage. But to me, they also reflect the sentiment. They tell me that people prefer love and that if love wins on an Internet statistic where only the people / institutions who use the Internet are sharing their words and intentions, then there is enough of it to go around for everyone on this planet.
Confession (I'm always honest if nothing else): when I wrote down my columns of the words to search (see the picture below), I had a + and a - to differentiate. Lo and behold! Facepalm!: despite all my years of therapy and all my attempts to be more "soft & vulnerable" as my most awesome therapist ever challenged me (the day before he left for a month-long vacation) to consider being (the memory of that challenge still makes me barf a little in my mouth, no joke), I put "tough" in the positive column and "soft" in the negative column today. A few key friends and people I used to know are savvy to that story.
I guess I still have some work to do. But you know what? So does the Internet because "tough" outnumbers "soft" by ... a lot (Thing 1's at soccer, so my instant math stats genius is gone). What those stats show *me* is that while usage of "vulnerable" is higher than "invulnerable" the lower comparisons tell me that usage of strength over weakness is higher.
So apparently I still value my toughness. My parents used to call me "Toughy Turner" and while to them it was a term of endearment, it shaped me and I began to understand that "toughness" was valued over softness. And to a kid growing up with a fair amount of chaos, from which I am constantly recovering, I suppose it only bears the truth that the Tough not only survive but they thrive. Softness connotes vulnerability to me (notice I didn't search that on my card above) and well, I don't know anyone who admits to be OK with feeling vulnerable. Now, that doesn't mean we don't try to go there, it just means a lot of yuck. But it's important.
Ok, fine... here's the comparison of (it's hilarious to me when I imagine you all raising and eyebrow and saying, "C'mon... you have to go there now..."):
Vulnerable: 117,000,000 (117m)
Invulnerable: 3,980,000 (3.9m)
Strong: 2,050,000,000 (2.05b)
Weak: 286,000,000 (286m)
Neediness: 1,510,000 (1.5m)
Autonomous: 59,700,000 (59.7m)
If you still don't think words matter, check out the work of Masaru Emoto who conducted FASCINATING experiments about the weight of words and their effects on water (I knew I'd get back to that Colorado mountain spring somehow...).
One more thought: