Thursday, August 24, 2017

How Do You Use Your Words?

Raising our children I would encourage them, "Use your words in a kinder fashion, or in a quieter tone.

Words are fascinating.  In every language words create our ability to communicate.  Sometimes words are delivered by sign language.  We live in a remarkable era where translation can often be as simple as pushing a button on a computer.

My parents recognized the power that words carry.  My father had a Master's degree in speech and drama.  He loved to introduce new words to me as I was growing up.

My husband loved words as much as I do.  He used to read the dictionary (so did I), unlike me, he adored playing Scrabble and knew all of the words that do not sound like words because they are used infrequently.  He also knew how to put those unique words on spaces where the value was doubled or tripled.  I remember that many times his score for one turn would be in the 60s.  That is an extremely high score in Scrabble.

I did beat Nyle at Scrabble one time.  The reason was that we were playing with another friend.  Nyle and this friend played the game as though their lives depended on it.  They were so busy trying to annihilate each other by Scrabble score that they didn't even notice the game that I was playing until I won.  Obviously I still cherish that one time memory.

Words can be used to carry harm, and hurt.  Words can be twisted and re-arranged in such a fashion that the actual message is hidden within.  We have all experienced words that hurt.  "Sticks and stones may break my bones but words can never hurt me."  I've heard that Mantra all of my life.  It is NOT true!  Words can cause long lasting hurt.  They can precipitate actual physical harm. Psychology explains that it takes four positive comments to replace one negative comment that we hear.  Words can have great power to hurt...even to destroy!

It fascinates me that is often easier to be kind or polite to a total stranger than to those in our own family.  On the one hand, home should be a safe place where you are loved unconditionally.  On the other hand, why would we ever want to use the power of our words to strike out in anger towards those that matter the most to us?
What words are you using today?  Are your words helping or hurting?  Do you understand the power that words carry? 

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