Metaphors are used to define everything in the world into terms that would emphasize on the meaning of those items. Metaphors are also used to define people to accentuate the characteristics of their personalities. They are also used to describe concepts and ideas to give meaning that is describable in one short sentence or a couple of words. Examples of metaphors such as life is a journey, or life is a road, or one should take a road less travelled help to emphasize the concepts of life so that people can take life seriously and live it to the fullest. This essay is a discussion of how the metaphor ‘life is a journey’ influences aspects of life in the society.
What aspects of life does this conceptual metaphor accentuate?
Metaphors in life as a journey shape our spiritual aspects of life. People define themselves according to the crowd they keep company with (McFadden, 2010). These groups have names according to the society and depending on the moral standards of the society; the group can be deemed to be morally upright or not. The extent of immorality that a society can accommodate defines whether one is acceptable or not in the society. The definition of human beings as outcasts in the community can define their beliefs about their spiritual life. For instance, life is a journey where one chooses which road to take. One can either be straight or gay and this in turn defines who is welcome to church and who is not. According to McFadden (2010), pastors and the clergy should be disturbed by the fact that lesbians and gay should not be welcome to the lords table. The author is disturbed by the fact that even those people who conform to morals that society define as immoral consider themselves not worthy to participate in a church service.
The concept of life as a journey also determines the kind of leaders people elect into office to govern them (McFadden, 2010). Discussing the meaning of journey in the metaphor, people often know where they are going when they start a journey. In most cases, they take a path or direction or flight that can take them directly to where they are going. They do not want to take a winding path when there is a better alternative that would get them to their destination quicker and with fewer inconveniences. This is also true for electing leaders. People elect leaders who would lead them with transparency and integrity. A favored path is usually clear of bushes and one can tell what he is stepping on. This affects the election of leaders because naturally, people want a leader who does not take long to lead them to the destination because of corruption and wickedness.
What aspects of life does this metaphor hide?
The metaphor life is a journey hides some aspects of business. This is because in business, people are on the look out for trickery and deception. In a journey it is not possible to be tricked by the way or direction one decides to take (Lee & Sue, 2007). All the choices one makes in a journey are not imposed by anyone else but this case happens in business. When dealing with others in business, they control part of the negotiations one is involved in. Unlike a journey, one cannot decide to do business without involving others.
The metaphor also hides the aspect of relationships in life (Lee & Sue, 2007). For instance in marriage, love has to exist for normal marriages to occur and thrive. Most people like to marry because their feelings permit it. Love is a feeling or emotion that one cannot decide to have, it just occurs when the right partner comes by. In a journey however, one makes the decisions to follow one direction and not the other depending on the destination of the journey. A journey does not evoke feelings in a person although one can like a place but cannot be attached to it forever.
Where does it break down?
This metaphor breaks up when the intended audience does not understand the metaphorical meaning that was intended. Metaphors are used to make meaning easy but not hard. Metaphors are used to illustrate concepts at a layman level. The concept however may not go through because people have different meaning and experiences of a journey. The metaphor breaks down when misinterpreted or misconstrued by the audience.
Other metaphors that define life aspects include ‘throw off the bowlines. Catch the trade winds in your sails.’ This means that one should do the things that ought to be done without waiting for tomorrow. Fear should not hold one back from achievements. Another metaphor is‘Don’t judge each day by the harvest you reap but by the seeds you plant.’ This means that what happens in life depends on the choices and input one makes.