With the very first breath , we begin to create sound, A cry announces our arrival into the world. When there are no words , we rely on sound to tell our story. To an outsider, a child’s cry is simply that, a cry, nothing more, nothing less. To the parent that identical sound speaks volumes . It tell them that he is hungry, she wants to be held , or that a diaper change is in their immediate future. Without words we use sound , facial expression , and movement to get the job done. It gets our message across.
There is jubilant fanfare when you hear the first words. Daaaaaaaaa to a proud papa is a self expression of the word Daddy. The child is obviously destined to be a genius. Over time random words form more and more. Simple at first NO for example Is a popular one that seems to get lots of use.
At this point there is no stopping us. We pick up words literally, for the rest of our lives. Some we perhaps shouldn’t , while others serve us well. More often than not, most of us say things without a lot of preplanning. That is , unless you fall victim to the curse of imaginary verbal tug-of- war. The phenomenon of doing battle with yourself over something that rarely happens. The mind somehow fixates on something, magnifying it out of all proportion The next thing you know you are drawn into a world that has you strategizing . If he does ” this” then i’ll say ” that” . Or If she does ” this” i’ll do”that”. We ready ourselves for battle. in severe cases , some people have been known to take preemptive action based on what our mind has only envisioned. How exhausting is that !!! I have fallen into that trap a time or two. Despite all the mental ping pong I played in preparation , it has yet to go the way it played out so vividly in my mind.
We have all at some point , attempted to retract our words almost the very instant they have left our lips. Internally scrambling to discover how the internal thought escaped. Like a heat seeking missile we hit the bullseye with deadly accuracy. The damage , immediate and long lasting.
How is it ,that in the case of a direct hit, these throw away words become imbedded into the very core of how we perceive ourselves. “you are lazy ” becomes I am lazy” . ” You stupid idiot” gets lost in translation and finds itself becoming ” I am worthless”.
There is most likely a scientific report out there in the universe , that can pinpoint how many good words we need to hear to erase the damage from the bad ones. If anyone knows it would be interesting to find out.
It appears to me , that we take the bad words to heart and the good ones just evaporate. Humanity needs to reverse that trend. Absorb the nutrients of the gentle words and discard the negative ones entirely. The effect. Of silence will get a post all its own at some point down the road.
For today, even if you think you never say anything that would hurt someones feelings. Add a few extra gentle words when speaking to someone. Avoid using the negative word arsenal we so easily find ourselves reaching for.
The right words can take down the greatest warrior, or build bridges.