Our Words Matter
And, yes, words matter. They may reflect reality, but they also have the power to change reality – the power to uplift and to abase.
I think that all of us heard the nursery rhyme, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but word will never hurt me”. And all of us have been hurt by the words of others. Sometimes the words of bullies as they seek the soft spot that will create pain. Sometimes the words of loved ones, when we fight and say mean and hurtful things to those we love. Japanese scientist, Masaru Emoto did an experiment in a elementary school classroom in which he placed two jars of cooked rice. Each day the kids in the classroom had to pass by these jars and say the words taped on the jar. On one jar the words were “Thank You” and the other jar the words were “You Fool”. After 30 days the jars were removed. The jar with “Thank You” contained rice that looked like it had been cooked that morning, white and fluffy. The other jar with the words “You Fool” had shrank into a black shriveled gelatinous mass. Words have an energy that affect both the speaker and the listener.
Words matter and the right words matter most of all. In the end they’re all that remains of us.
There are others words that matter. The words that we say to ourselves in our heads. Like “your so stupid” or “you always make the wrong decisions” or “You’ll never get it or do it right”. . , and so on and on. Words that say that we are not good enough. Never say words that make your body or your accomplishments in life a joke. Stop name calling and self criticism to yourself, as well as others. We are all at any moment in time doing the best we can, with what we know and understand in that moment. We can all do and be better. It requires us to be conscious of the words coming out of our mouths. Surround yourself with positive, uplifting words.
You’re going to come across people in your life who will say all the right words at all the right times. But in the end, it’s always their actions you should judge them by. It’s actions not words that matter.
Do we put actions to our words, our intentions to be better, to do better? Do we keep trying to walk towards a better life, or when we trip and fall down do we sit there in lamentation and say it’s no use. That we are who we are, and we can’t do it. I always think of babies when they are learning to walk. They tip over and over and over. They fall so many times. And each time they get up and try it again. Although they can’t tell you, they are learning from each failure how to achieve balance. It isn’t something learned on the first, second or even 50th try. But they all – 100% of them keep trying. And once they are walking it seems like almost instantaneously they are running. They don’t let anything hold them back. Do we put the same kind of actions to the words that we speak?
No matter what people tell you it’s words and ideas that can change the world.
Just as words can create wars, they can also create positive change in the world. Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” words changed the world. Look at what has happened in the past few years with the movements that have been created to bring something positive out of their own pain as survivors, or of families of those who lost loved ones. Drugs, gun violence, racism, those sold into sexual slavery, sexual harassment/assault – all have created hashtag movements – #MeToo – #NotOneMore – #TakeAKnee – #BlackLivesMatter – #BringBackOurGirls – and so on. Your views of what was done to try and make positive change may not agree with all of the attempts to find social justice, but they do prove that words and ideas can change the world.
In every encounter in life we either give life or drain life. Their are no mutual exchanges.
Always remember that your words carry weight and bearing in the lives of others. Choose them wisely. When we speak words of hate, we find ways to support those words. We actually see the world through a “lack” mentality. We blame all of our problems on “Them” – whatever group “Them” is. We see the world through that lens and it distorts what we see to fit the viewpoint we have adopted.
The same is true of having a positive outlook on the world and the changes that take place in it every day. Every day someone’s smile brightens the life of another. Every day a policeman or fireman or paramedic saves the life of someone. Every day someone says no to drugs. Every day someone refuses to join a gang and live a life of violence. And every day someone who has been caught up in a world of drugs, alcohol and violence says no to continuing to live that lifestyle. The life we life and the world that we see is viewed through the lens that we have created. At any moment in time we can change the lens. Right now at this moment, someone is reading or seeing something that moves them to change that lens. To start one more time living a life that brings positive change not just to their life, but those around them, spreading it to the whole world.
. . . words are things, and a small drop of ink, falling like dew, upon a thought, produces that which makes thousands, perhaps millions think . . ,
Words Matter Week, 2014
Each day we design the life that we are living. All of the small daily decisions add up to the day we live. It is so easy to get caught up in the news. Depending on the stations we listen to we are fed a diet of everything that is wrong in the world, from a specific viewpoint that always says that the other guy is wrong. We don’t debate ideas from the news, we fling judgments against other. We are subconsciously refusing to hear the emotions, the hurts, the “reasons” why they are saying those words that damage others lives.
Words are free. Its how you use them that may cost you.
Words have meaning in the context in which they are spoken. Say the word fire – at a family barbeque. Say the word fire – in the workplace. Say the word fire – in a crowded venue. The family barbeque uses fire to cook the food, and it’s a normal safe word to say. Say the word fire in the workplace, and you will get a negative emotion running immediately. Either yourself or someone you know has just lost their job, their means of support for themselves and their family. It is sad, threatening, humiliating, depressing, and so stressful, not only to the person fired, but to the whole office. You also may feel guilty because you feel relieved that it wasn’t you, that your safe. Say the word fire in a crowded venue and you have people fleeing for their lives. You will see them stampeding towards any exit. Some people will be so scared, traumatized or selfish that they literally run over others trying to escape. Some people will become heroes, saving the lives of others, even if it means that they die trying. Words in the context of how they are used reveal things about ourselves that we never knew or acknowledged before.
Your words matter. A wider world is waiting to hear your story. When will you have the courage to tell them?
You crafted the stage you’re now on, so that you’d be pushed on to discover your power, the dreams worth pursuing, and the passion to create them into reality. In the lives that we have lived so far, we have created illusions to support who we think we are. To support who we are capable of being. These illusions have created and supported your thoughts, beliefs, and expectations. It is up to us to ask the questions from a place of curiosity as to what of our beliefs are illusions. To question how we gathered these thoughts and facts into truths that are somehow cemented into unbiased realities that we refuse to change.
We live in a world of possibilities. We all have potential that we haven’t fully plumbed or realized. Facts change every day. Every day some new scientific discovery is made. They used to say that man couldn’t fly. That if God wanted man to fly he would have given him wings. It was a fact. Then curious men created planes, rockets, hot air balloons, space ships and so on. Then flying through the sky became a cemented fact. Every new “truth” discovered requires that we change a previous truth.
Curiosity creates the possibility of a new word, or truth. Words give us a trail to follow. Intention brings action to the words and creates new truths, new meanings to the words. It creates a life journey of discovery, of continually learning new things not just about ourselves, but our world. As the Star Trekkers say, “To go boldly where no man (or woman) has gone before”. Stay curious, stay hungry for more, live in the moment, and most of all create peace and happiness in your life.