Fran Watson

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Words can amuse, confuse, charm, and disarm Encourage, discourage, heal or harm. They can tell a story, bloody and gory, Or take you away, by boat, train or sleigh.

We use words in many different and interesting ways. They are used to share a feeling or a story with another person. They are the building blocks of thoughts. When talking to people, we need to communicate in their language. We do not want to talk above them, or beneath them. A good command of the English language is essential if you want to become an executive or rise to a higher position in most jobs.

When speaking, words are often accompanied by actions, which strengthen the communication, but words can be used by themselves to describe a scene, a painting, an experience.

I have always been fascinated by words. As a preteen I had read all the books in the children's section and moved on to the adult section of the bookmobile. When you read a book you can imagine actually being part of the story. You can visualize a painting being described or feel an experience.

Words are used in songs and stories to make us think of happier times or places or to encourage us to dream. For instance the song Somewhere Over The Rainbow gives us hope of brighter days ahead.

Words may also be used to describe scenes of violence or terror. . . “He was on his way home from work and she was listening to his message to their young children on the answering machine, suddenly “The story was interrupted by the jarring screech of his brakes, of metal against metal, of cars colliding. . . . her husband had been the only fatality of a four -car pileup" caused by a drunk driver.

Words can even direct our experiences, by programming our minds in a certain way. For example, many people say things like, “That makes me sick" or “This job is killing me. " Do you think they want to be sick or die at work? Probably not, so it is best not to repeat declarations that could program an outcome we don't want. Have you ever noticed that when someone asks you how you feel and you say, “I'm feeling great!" how it makes you feel even better, while if you say, “I'm not feeling very well" to two or three people you start feeling worse? If we pay attention to the negative words we use we can try to make them more positive.

According to the Buddhist principle of right speech, one should always know when to speak the truth and when to refrain from speaking it in order to spare someone unnecessary hurt. Hurting words include things like: I hate you, I don't love you anymore, you make me sick, go away and who do you think you are? We often say hurtful words when we are arguing, often without really meaning what we say. The intention of right speech is to make sure our words are used only in a helpful, not a harmful manner, which involves speaking at all times with discretion and compassion. .

We should regard our words as instruments of healing nor hurting. We need to try to choose our words with care, knowing that they will take root in the minds and hearts of others. It is important to become conscious of how we use words.

If you try practicing the art of right speech for just one day, refraining from talking about and judging others or saying anything that could hurt someone unnecessarily you may notice that your thinking and listening skills increase as your verbal activities decrease.

Depending on the context of the words, and/or the body language used, different meanings can be drawn from the same word. Take for instance the simple word “no". Several scenes or events may come to mind with each repetition. No (shock), No (absolute), No (hesitant), No (question). And what about the word “yes". Yes (statement), yes (hesitant), yes (joyful), yes (sexy).

We need to recognize the power of words. A simple “Thank You", said from the heart can bring joy and encouragement to someone who is feeling down. “I love you" said with feeling can lift you up and make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

You can improve your “word power" by reading a dictionary, which gives you the correct pronunciation of the word and a description. Each issue of Reader's Digest has a section on Word Power where you can test your knowledge and gain a new vocabulary. At Toastmasters, the “word of the week" encourages acquisition of new language by introducing a somewhat unfamiliar word and inviting members to use, and acknowledge the use of, the word during the evening's events.

We need to be aware of the power of words and how they can impact the people around us. We must be careful of the way we say things, with our mouths and with our body language. We should always try to make our words positive and encouraging.

Remember these words from the Bible, “whatsoever things are true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable - if anything is excellent or praiseworthy - think about such things", . . . and the right words will follow.

Fran Watson “Expert Author" http://www.franwatson.ca http://www.mormunny4u.org http://www.diet-basics.org


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