Watch what you say

Com­ments made with­out thought can cause hurt­ful divi­sions

The Coffs Coast Advocate - - LIFE MIND - Nick Ben­nett

Are the words you are us­ing true? Are they help­ful? In­spir­ing? Nec­es­sary? Are they kind? If not, why say them?

WORDS flow around us ev­ery day.

It is rare that there are mo­ments of ab­so­lute si­lence, since we tend to have a con­tin­u­ous conversation in our heads and en­gage in conversation with oth­ers.

The con­sid­er­a­tion we give to the power con­tained in those words – whether to self or oth­ers – is usu­ally ne­glected.

From my ob­ser­va­tions through myr­iad con­ver­sa­tions past I recog­nise how many words I have wasted, how many glib, off-hand, un­com­mit­ted com­ments I have made in my en­gage­ments with many peo­ple.

Yet there are many other con­ver­sa­tions, af­ter I recog­nised the re­spon­si­bil­ity we have for the words we use, that have been amaz­ing for the in­sights, in­spi­ra­tion and clar­ity that were an out­come of my com­mit­ment to en­sure that I un­der­stood oth­ers or that oth­ers un­der­stood me.

“Words are knowl­edge and knowl­edge is power” is a quote I re­mem­ber from when I was young.

I thought that meant if I used more and big­ger words I would seem smarter.

I was wrong.

Words are knowl­edge but that is only true if we value each and ev­ery one of them, with care and con­sid­er­a­tion for the im­pact they have on those who re­ceive them.

If ev­ery word you used was seen as a gift you gave to an­other per­son, if you thought that you only had so many words to use in your lifetime, if we learnt to value them to that de­gree what would change in the way that you com­mu­ni­cated?

The path to com­mu­ni­cate in that way is pro­vided to those who “think” about their in­ten­tion in their words.

Are the words you are us­ing true? Are they help­ful? In­spir­ing? Nec­es­sary? Are they kind? If not, why say them? You are re­spon­si­ble for your ac­tions and their out­comes.

Surely it is bet­ter to walk the world with com­pas­sion, love and care for your­self and oth­ers than walk with anger, frus­tra­tion and hate.

Sadly, we are see­ing too much of the lat­ter and while some may pass it off as the hu­man con­di­tion, I see it as a lack of knowl­edge and de­sire to be bet­ter than we are.

Surely our role is to lift oth­ers up, not put them down.

PHOTO: THINKSTOCK

Words are pow­er­ful tools that should be seen as a gift to the per­son you are con­vers­ing with.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Australia

© PressReader. All rights reserved.