Words are slippery things – and powerful. Therefore it behooves (seldom get to use that word!) us to handle them with respect.
We must be careful to distinguish between FACT and OPINION. A “fact” you can prove, either by your own experience or by scientific method. (“evolution” is a universally held scientific theory, not a provable fact.) An “opinion” is your personal conclusion from available information (sometimes influenced by emotion!).
And oh, yes, there is HEARSAY – somebody else’s opinion or expression of fact. Gossip falls under this category. We all tend to pass on the things we hear, particularly if the subject is known to the hearer, and especially if the juicy gossip is negative – STOP.
Wait a minute. I don’t do that! You don’t do that! Only other people do that!
When someone starts with a piece of hearsay, you can ask, “Did you witness this yourself?” If the answer is “yes” then ask, “Will it be helpful/useful for me to know this?” If the answer is “Yes”. THEN the story can be told. If the answers are “No.” You could say, “I don’t listen to that sort of thing.” Or some such statement.
Having offered you a procedure that almost never gets used, you might want to hold it in reserve for REAL IMPORTANT MATTE
RS. Let me give you a quicker, easier one: Hear it and DON’T REPEAT IT! Yes, passing on new, exciting news does get the attention of your audience and our egos love that – however, we run the risk of hurting someone else – and even ego turns from that.
Another aspect of words is their magical power. Just think: if, when you get up in the morning and look in the bathroom mirror, you say, “OOOOhhh ,this is gonna be a really tough day.” Or “I’m dreading this day.” --It will be a harder day. If you keep telling a child that she or he is clumsy, they tend to expect that from themselves.
Positive affirmations also work this way: chose a characteristic you want to acquire. Write it on a paper and tape it to your bathroom mirror. – Each morning look yourself in the eye and repeat the affirmation three time, speaking as if you believe it – gradually it will become part of your picture of yourself. It works. You create the reality with your words.
It is perhaps most important to be very careful of your written words. They have no voice intonation, facial expressions, or body language to aid understanding.
I fully realize that this is a simplistic approach to the subject and welcome other opinions to ad
d to mine. In these confusing and frequently frightening times, we all seek clarity - and it’s hard to come by!
About the Author:
Grandmother Elspeth Odbert is the Visionary & Founder of GreenSong Incorporated and in her 90 years has become a living legend.