Without words not much would be said! A statement of the obvious! Being able to speak and have a language is amazing if we give it some thought. When we first learn to speak it is done one word at a time and after a while we have the ability to string words together. It is called communication. Yes, words help us to communicate more fully than if we did not have a words, a language.
I have a great interest in words, in the written word and the formulation of words to make sense of what is happening in my life and the world around me. Words form sentences and sentences form a post on my blog and many words form a thesis, legislation, a policy, a program or a book. As we read the words it tells us about a subject. The words paint a picture and tell a story. Words describe what we see, hear and feel. I think I would be lost without words. If you asked my “One & Only” (O&O) he would probably say it is very rare for me to be “lost for words”.
But words are so important for our lives and livelihood. Words can build us up; encourage us to keep going when things get tough. A kind word does wonders for the soul. It is like glue that holds our life together when we think it is just about to fall apart. Words have an amazing role to play in our lives but also they can be detrimental to our lives. Words can discourage us; people can use cruel words to our face or behind our back. The words “behind our back” does not mean a person will walk behind us to say an unkind word, what happens is that they use words out of our hearing to disparage another or besmirch their character. What would the world be like, what would be our experience if no one said an insulting word or vilified another person or group?
Children are like absorbent sponges they need words of encouragement that will nurture them into caring individuals. But this can only come from adults who have been adequately encouraged and nurtured as a child. If we were all encouraging and tolerant and taught the same to children there would be no bullying in schools. It would be a thing of the past and words would encourage every child to do their best, to be their best, to spend the time learning and forming a character that would build others up through encouragement, tolerance, kind and positive words.
Lately I became more aware that adults just like babies learning to talk often utter single words to communicate. These words include: ged-day; cheers; awesome; great; good; gotcha; seeya; withya. Sometimes it is too difficult to string a few words together to communicate. Just a single word, perhaps a wink or a nod and we are all on the same page i.e. understand one another.
Words are not required when we are driving and communicating with another driver. Acknowledgements are usually provided with hand signals and not these in their entirety make you feel happy about the other person. Yet when courtesy is shown on the road, a gesture of thanks given with a hand wave and a smile – well that’s “great”.
Words extracted from the Proverbs of Solomon are quite telling and for me are worthy of deliberation such as “an anxious heart weights a person down, but a kind word cheers them up” (Proverbs 12:25); “a word aptly spoken, is like apples of gold in settings of silver. Like an earring of gold or an ornament of fine gold is a wise person’s rebuke to a listening ear” (Proverbs 25:11-12). Words of encouragement are “great” but then words of rebuke (putting a person back on track) to someone who will listen are likened to a gift of fine gold. I must remember that next time I hear a word of rebuke from the one I listen to the most and whose words I trust the most – my “O&O”. Words can be very telling….