Thursday, 11 March 2010


Reading, writing and talking has always given me great pleasure. In my life, many situations have required me communicate clearly. Place a dictionary in front of me and I am occupied happily for an hour or two. There is something fascinating and beguiling inside a beautiful book of words. There are adventures to be found.

What does still astounds me, however, is the power that we allow words to have over us. Words spoken, written or even left unsaid can arouse people into the most uncharacteristic behaviour. The interpretation of both spoken and written words can set wars in motion and kill nations.

They can divide friends and families in an instant and they can bring them back together too. Words of forgiveness are the hardest to express. We all want to be right and morally superior to each other. We are all more passionate about words than we would care to admit.The saddest consequence of this is that words of contrition, comfort, love and reunion are often left unsaid and a great deal of pain is caused to all involved.

Sometimes words pop out on their volition, when something completely different was intended. This happened last night at the dinner table. Borneo was being his usual, the wild man of Borneo, celebrating all that encompasses cave man existence. In my impatience with his caveman antics, the word ' moron' flew out of my mouth instead 'neanderthal'. To make matters worse, there was a guest at the dinner table. An awkward stunned silence enveloped the table and I felt very ashamed of myself. I certainly had no intention of hurting him.

Thankfully he knows me well. He realised very quickly I had intended 'neanderthal', which he takes no umbrage to. The moment passed quickly and we were all able to laugh together at my momentary verbal glitch. The tension dissipated. There has been no fall out from it and we are as kind to each other as ever.

It did get me thinking about the power of words and how we often take too much too personally. We hear what we want to hear and don't listen to what is really being said. We don't want to hear truth because we may have to change something within ourselves to accommodate the shift in perspective.

How much power do words hold over your life? It is very interesting to think about.

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