I took this picture from the top floor of a parking garage the other morning. As you can see, the sunrise was out of this world. I couldn’t help but get lost in the contrast of the massive illuminated sky with the little tiny town below.
One of the things I enjoy most in life are high vantage points. I love looking at valleys from the peaks of mountains, and I love looking at cities from the tops of skyscrapers. While I was peering down from the roof of the parking garage, I couldn’t help but wonder why exactly I enjoy the world so much from up high. After a bit of reflection, I realized it probably has something to do with diminutives.
A little while back I ran across a video talking about diminutives and vocabulary. I had never really heard the term before but it refers to prefixes and suffixes that make things feel small. If a book is small we add a diminutive and call it a booklet. If a duck is small we add a diminutive and call it a duckling. If a drop is small we add a diminutive and call it a droplet. If a bus is small we add a diminutive and call it a minibus. The interesting thing about diminutives is that often times we add them to things we think are cute. If a dog is cute we call it a doggy. If a kitten is cute we call it a kitty. A doggy isn’t necessarily smaller than a dog, but for some reason it seems cuter when we add a y. Humans also naturally tend to use diminutives with people they love. The only people that call me Matty are friends that I’m close with. My friend David is usually David, but to me he’s Dave. Pretend you’re dating a girl name Emily. She’s probably Emily when you first meet her but over time she naturally becomes Em to you. How weird is that! And we don’t just stop at vocabulary either … who doesn’t love tiny versions of every day objects?!
The reason we use diminutives in the way we do likely relates to childhood. The intimacy we feel with our parents as children is a love that we continue to desire as we grow old. When we shrink the things around us down to a smaller scale, it’s a reminder of the sweet little world we knew as children. It was a world not only full of love but also cute little things like tedd(y) bears!
Back to my original topic, I think the reason I love high viewpoints is that they shrink my world into to something a little more intimate and manageable. I’m not as big as I think I am, and neither are my problems!