When people call us fragile it always seems to have a negative connotation. We’re always too much of something – or nowhere near enough of it. It’s one of those things people will always recognise about us.
When people call other things fragile, it’s no longer this bad thing. A fragile thing becomes something priceless, something invaluable, something that you almost need to hold dear.
I have to wonder then why it is that people are so concerned about human vulnerability. Why is it such a be and end all? Why is the word so different depending on meaning. In my semantics class, we talked about this concept called speaker meaning – essentially it’s the meaning of the sentence that’s guided not by the literal, but by the personal.
When we think of fragile, we think something that’s easily broken – and damn right, people are fragile creatures. We know that from experience. We think of things like glass, the wings of a butterfly. These beautiful, beautiful things.
So why do we try so hard to preserve the fragile beauty of the things external to ourselves, but give ourselves so much hell for being just as vulnerable?
When glass shatters, does it not try to refract the light with all its pieces still? When a butterfly’s wings are clipped or pinched, does it not try its damnedest to fly again? When we are broken and we think we’re irreaparable…don’t we still try to love with the broken bits?
But fragility is such a bad thing?
The more I think about it, the more it becomes abundantly clear how marvelous a thing it is. Ever heard the saying necessity breeds invention? Well, fragility breeds resilience. So maybe we should stop giving ourselves so much hell, because when we try to mend the result of being fragile, we dust ourselves off and fly again.
What makes you fragile, makes you stronger.