Choose Your Words Wisely

Or You Risk Eating Them Yourself One Day!

One of the major distinctions between humans and all other life forms is the unlimited choice of mediums to communicate with one another. From bleating to barking, from roaring to chirping and so on and so forth, we have given a distinct name to other species’ voice. Although their social interaction and affection could be visible to us in an awe-inspiring manner yet their voice remains the dominating form of communication.

Now, consider human interaction against this backdrop and you will find talking, singing, shouting, crying, complaining, praying, threatening, whispering in hushed tones as well as some other unmentionable attributes geared towards inviting attention. Attention we may invite, no problem. What creates the problem is the repercussion of this act that may hide within a lot of unintentional pain and/or sorrow to either the speaker/communicator or the subject towards whom such a message is directed.

There’s many an instance where we hurt someone unintentionally and when it comes back to haunt us we ask for forgiveness. More often than not we are forgiven by an understanding soul but there are also scenarios where our communication causes agony to the other person/persons too deeply to be forgiven.

It reminds me of the following Turkish Proverb: “A knife wound heals, a wound caused by words does not.”

Experts say our entire personality comes to the fore the moment we open our mouth. Our education, upbringing, family background, culture, both EQ and IQ as well as our sophistication are all translated into words the moment we start to speak. It is our words that have the power to make someone’s day or, on the contrary, ruin our own when spoken without care.

Words do hurt and they hurt more than any other weapon ever devised. It is true they cannot kill like the weapons of mass destruction but hurting someone does not have to result in death. Have you never heard the term: living dead? Imagine the poor parents who gave away the best part of their lives in the care of their children and when time came for them to be looked after in a dignified manner, the exact same kids refuse to meet their obligation. What would you call these poor souls if not the living dead?

We have all had a multitude of experiences through our careers where some bosses were extremely cordial but some others nowhere near close. They say most employees leave their boss and not the job. Why is that so? The list of answers could be rather lengthy but suffice it to say disrespect, lack of courtesy and appreciation, exploitation and/or poor communication take the cake.

There are numerous instances where brothers become each others’ arch enemies and do their best to destroy the other, almost always due to a certain unaddressed gap in communication. Sometimes reliance on others’ self centered statements sows the seeds of discontent that dwarfs their perfectly healthy relationship and at others it could be the use of certain undesirable word in an embarrassing manner.

No matter how we cut it, choosing our words wisely can certainly give us many more attractive and ultimately rewarding opportunities than any amount of wealth and/or contacts ever could. Giving praise where it is due wins us friends in the right places but neglect thereof carries the power to close a lot more doors than we could ever count.

It is always advisable to choose our words wisely so as not to hurt anybody. A good practice is to count till 10 before responding to someone instead of lunging to take your turn by interrupting the speaker. Many people have a tendency to start preparing their own answers and/or defenses even while the other person is still presenting his/her own thoughts on a given situation. How would you justify such an immature act where one does not even absorb the speaker’s message and starts shooting in the dark? I do not think you can!

Badly chosen words come back to haunt us. At times, we end up paying a heavy penalty for blurting out without thought. There are instances where a polite ‘SORRY’ with a promise never to repeat the same mistake again might suffice. In either case, we end up eating our own words. Did you like the taste of it? I hope not! So why speak words that rebound in your own face like the most hated dish you ever ate?

Well thought-out words carry weight and show our maturity at both personal as well as professional levels. We have the ability to stand behind each statement we make because we have already given it due consideration before making it public. The recipient of our message can freely ask us any questions related to our statement and get a satisfactory answer. Not only that, others listening to our well-weighed words can help immeasurably by contributing to our knowledge of a given subject or becoming part of a fruitful discussion towards culmination of something big.

I could go on and on, loading you up with a large variety of examples to prove my point, but suffice it to say a man of action always chooses his words wisely!


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