Word Watching

image credit: speaknoevil via flick.com

image credit: speaknoevil via flick.com


is an idea that crystallized in my mind some months ago, but the seed took hold many years back during the Sunday family reunions of my childhood.  The conclusion of decades ago was reinforced by work and life experiences.  It still applies now.

People do not pay attention and then misunderstand, resulting in disagreements that ruin relationships and sometimes escalate to violence.

WORD WATCHING is essential.  It begins with what WE think and how we then express ourselves.

What we think comes from what we CHOOSE to be exposed to regularly.  We’re careful about what we eat. We should be even more conscious of what we feed our minds.  Are we swayed by negative news stories?  Do we add to the office gossip whispered about? Are we spreading messages in social media about impending disasters or someone else’s failure?  Do we contribute to the ever-so-loud voices of criticism?

Before you speak up to criticize, write to complain, recommend to remove; before you sign an inflammatory document or press  ‘send,’ ask yourself this discerning question:    Does this help ?

How does it help the situation, the relationship, the morale, the project, the company, the country, the world?  Yes, the world!  Your signature on an Avaaz.org or Change.org petition CAN change the world.

And if you’re not sure, opt for silence. In silence, you can gather more information to weigh things. In silence, you do not take part in the chaotic clamor that often makes no sense but adds to fear and discontent.  In silence, you can listen with your heart to unspoken pain of the people closest to you.

Only then, can you express yourself consciously and deliberately, because your words matter.

Choose each word that communicates

so every message demonstrates

clarity and honesty

empathy and integrity.

6 comments on “Word Watching

  1. When I respond with negative feelings, I word, delete, reword, delete again and redo a text message to the nth degree in an attempt to rise above the lesser version of myself. There are times though, when the exchanges escalate, to react rather than respond mode. Lucky me when I realize in time that the best thing to do is not press the send button. On second thought, the recipient is luckier.

    • You are truly expressing the highest version of yourself by being conscious and careful of the text messages you send. It’s hard not to be reactive, but hats off to you for catching it on time! I thought I’ve been making progress when I realize I’ve made a mistake right after committing it, and can then make amends. You’ve now set a new spiritual benchmark. Lucky me! Thanks

  2. Of course I agree with you! But there is a saying that life provides us (if you prefer replace life with God) with what we need and not with what we want! Unfortunately this holds true for gossip and negativeness. We can explain o a person why gossip is bad but only when he or she experienced it themselves they will refrain from it (luckily this could have happened in a former lifetime!) I do not like war (I am a certified conscientious objector) but I have seen people grow fast spiritually when they lived in a war zone.
    It still stands that the words we use (frequently) tells a lot where we stand. Maybe it would be a nice exercise for you to start becoming aware which kind of words you use how often!
    Just a suggestion!

    • I agree Eugen that much of what we say to others are mere suggestions which they may choose to ignore … up until the time in their lives when they’re ready to accept and act on the suggestion because it has suddenly become relevant. It’s good to have the suggestion and those words available to those who are ready though. As for your suggestion, I try to be conscious of the words I think, say, write and follow. That’s one of my life purpose statements … but that’s for a future post yet. Thanks for sharing your thoughts.

  3. This is a great reminder, as sometimes we tend to react too fast and may say things that are not so ideal.
    The other thing we should remember also is to watch our thoughts. If we have a positive world view , then we are also less prone to utter the “Wrong” thing. 🙂

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