The meanings of words may not have changed very much down the ages, but the way they impact an individual, differs according to the place, time, situation and the person to whom they are spoken. Especially in modern times, when societal pressures and media influence leave young people high strung and sensitive, it becomes imperative we use words as a medium to treat each other with care. Very recently, the media reported news that a school student jumped off a terrace and died in Chennai because her teacher had ‘scolded’ her.
“Kind words do not cost much.
Yet they accomplish much.” – Blaise Pascal
Research has shown that plants respond favorably to certain types of sounds and this can stimulate growth – prompting some people (including Prince Charles) to talk or sing to them. It doesn’t need great imagination to see how much the positive effect of words can be multiplied in human beings.
Those involved in giving palliative care are known to weave healing into life through words that strengthen and support a person in distress. Studies have shown that caregivers and patients often form lasting friendships over the course of care.
It is said that ‘love’ is the most often used word in the English language. (Most eastern languages have different words for different connotations of the generic word ‘love’.) Each time Michael Jackson blew a kiss into the crowd and shouted ‘Love You’, the crowd went into raptures. Words like ‘Love you’ and ‘Love to you’ have been replicated as parting words or used to ‘sign off’ mails in millions of messages exchanged all over the world and it sometimes leaves you wondering if the words continue to quite mean what they say. Relationships are known to breakdown because the partners said the wrong things to each other or failed to say the right things at the right time.
Words Can Build a Better World
Ill-chosen words can dampen enthusiasm, negatively impact self-esteem and seriously affect the psyche of the person at the receiving end. Well-chosen words on the other hand can motivate people, instil a positive frame of mind and help spread hope and happiness everywhere.
In current times when Emotional Quotient (EQ) has replaced Intelligence Quotient (IQ) as the bench mark of successful livingwhether it is in the realm of work or interpersonal relationships, words and their worthiness assume prime importance. The right word said to the right person at the right time could make this world a friendlier and an emotionally healthier place to live in. However, words have no meaning if they are not backed by the speaker’s sincerity of intention in thought, word and deed.
“Words should be used as tools of communication and not as a substitute for action.” – (Anonymous)