How is it that words can hurt us so deeply, causing an almost physical pain which throbs away in the depths of the ribcage, sometimes for days on end?
How is it that words can uplift, encourage and strengthen so dramatically, causing us to float around on a cloud?
The power which words have over those to whom they are spoken is based, largely, on the inherently gregarious nature of the human race. We do not live, isolated, on our individual islands, unaffected by those around us. We need, on a regular basis, to be supported and appreciated, to be reminded that we mean something to those close to us. Which makes us vulnerable, capable of being raised up or crushed by the utterances of those at home, at work, in social circles within which we live.
These verbs, nouns, adjectives which we string together to communicate to others are more powerful than an army.
The question, to be faced on a daily basis, is this: How will you use the gift of language which you have, the ability to communicate thoughts and feelings and information to your fellow human beings? Will your mouth, and tongue, and larynx, be weapons of destruction or instruments of music? There is probably not a day that goes by that we don’t, if we so wish, have the opportunity of saying something really nasty, and cutting, to someone who has invaded our sense of self-importance. Equally, we each day have the opportunity of reaching out, with words, and letting others know that we carry them in our hearts and treasure the things they do, are and mean.
Try an experiment, for the next 7 days. Look around, each day, for opportunities of speaking words of encouragement, upliftment, endearment to those within your circle. Judge the result not only on how they react, but in how you feel when you use words as music, in this fashion. As part of the same experiment, try biting your tongue whenever, in a moment of anger or annoyance or vengefulness, you have the opportunity of cutting someone down to size, of making them aware of their inferiority and shortcomings.
Try this. For seven days. There is every chance that you will want to extent the experiment beyond the initial trial period.