BE they in our everyday lives or in what's said by some who are expected to set an example and lead, there doesn't seem to be enough emphasis on how important it is to carefully and wisely choose our words, expressions and statements.
Sometimes, we see and hear derogatory words and language being used and even defended. When words are not enough, in some instances, we see hostility or inciting such behaviour resorted to with impunity.
We choose to express with great eagerness what has, or appears to have, gone wrong with the effort of someone we are not so favourably disposed towards. More is said to denounce, express disapproval and "attack" the other, and little if any, by way of concrete help to work together and overcome the real problem.
Of course, we use every ploy to cover up our own failings and shortcomings, even try to make what's bad look good with our words.
There are words we use freely on others, but consider them sensitive and offensive when others do the same to us.
|R.D., Petaling Jaya, Selangor
The power of words is so strong, so speak words that give hope, confidence and courage.
Often, with our words, we wound those closest to us and those with whom we especially need to build good relations.
No matter, even if we apologise (though apologies appear so hard to come by these days), the impact of our words is lasting and can have serious spiral effects in our relations with others.
It can be most useful, and perhaps necessary, if "mind your mouth" is made an essential part of our upbringing, education and training so that, from an early age, everyone is reminded of, and engages in discussion on, the power and implications of our words.
There's a proverb that states: "Death and life are in the power of the tongue".
Let's consider these:
DO you use words that are offensive to others?;
DO you use sarcasm?;
DO you mock others, even if subtly?;
DO you ridicule others' alleged vices and follies?;
DO you react and speak in anger?; Or
DO you speak with grace and kindness?;
DO you find ways to encourage what's right?; and,
DO you assist others to do it right without you seeking credit for it?
It is known that, more than anything, our words literally make or break our personal, working organisational, community and national level relations. Simply put, our relations will only be as good as our mouth.
Try speaking only good things to those you interact with, at home, school or work, or to anyone in your everyday life. Don't abuse, accuse, condemn, denigrate, humiliate or insult.
Don't be bossy in ways that make others feel inadequate and incapable -- and see if things change. Experience shows that it does.
Speak words that give hope, confidence and courage. Let's choose our words carefully and wisely, remembering it's our choice and we are responsible for our words.
In fact, many faiths enlighten us with the knowledge that every careless word that people speak, they shall give account for it in the "day of judgment". What we speak should help and not harm.
NST Opinion Letters to the Editor 17/02/2014