By Carlos Barboza
The messages we received from our parents in our childhood shaped our personality and character, which still apply a great influence in our adult life. Those messages today are part of our beliefs that elevate or degrade us, that help or deter us. Most of our internal battles are to get rid of or change the inappropriate behavior. When we are teenagers or adults, the messages from these parental figures lose strength, but they do not disappear, they continue to mark us. And it is through readings, the media, leaders or people we admire, that we could reaffirm, change or modify these beliefs and be able to reparent ourselves; and that’s because, both the written and spoken word have great power to build or destroy.
Humans have the privilege of the gift of speech, allowing us to create our reality and induce realities in others with our persuasion. It is something we do on a daily basis.
The influence of the spoken or written message not only applies to our personal lives, but also communities, countries and the whole world are subjected to good or bad words. We have the case of Hitler – a failed painter, a lousy student, but an intelligent, resentful person, who shocked the world with his verb and Nazi propaganda based on lies and manipulation of the masses, provoked a World War, resulting in the extermination of millions of human beings and the terror of the Holocaust. Or consider the case of many dictators worldwide, with an incendiary verb, they knew how to search for the worst primary instincts of the society, highlight the defects of previous democratic governments and set fire to the low passions of the people, leading countries to complete ruin.
But we also have good examples in the use of the verb. The human rights activist Martin Luther King Jr., had a powerful speech, in which “I Have a Dream” stands out. He led a movement against segregation and racial discrimination that plagued American society and led to the enactment of civil rights and legal equality for all Americans. The best example of spiritual transformation through the word is Jesus Christ. His teachings shape the way of life of more than 2.6 billion faithful, through the Christian faith, the most widespread in the world.
It is amazing how the words we use not only shape our lives but also affect our health. In a study conducted at California Pacific Medical, the conversations of 600 men were recorded. Listening to the tapes, they counted how often each man used the words “I” and “Mine.” The investigation continued for several years and it found that those who talked most habitually about themselves suffered the most heart attacks. That is, the less you open your heart to others, the more your heart suffers. The aforementioned study advises: “Listen carefully when others speak. Give your time and energy to others. Do things for reasons other than satisfying your own needs.” The previous statement reminds me what the Greek philosopher Epictetus said: “We have two ears and one mouth, so that we can listen twice as much as we speak.”
Words have the power to inspire us or crush us as Don Miguel Ruiz talks about in his bestselling book, The Four Agreements. Based in ancient Toltec wisdom, the book’s first agreement is, “Be impeccable with your word.” Ruiz writes, “The word is the most powerful tool you have as a human; it is the tool of magic. But like a sword with two edges, your word can create the most beautiful dream, or your word can destroy everything around you. One edge is the misuse of the word, which creates a living hell. The other edge is the impeccability of the word, which will only create beauty, love and heaven on earth.” Be mindful. Words can hurt; they can also heal. When you use a wrong word, back-peddle fast. Regroup. Find the right word. How you view the world and your relationship to it will be enhanced by your mindful choice of words.
Words matter. Words are powerful. Words move people to action. We must be conscious of the power our words carry and use them wisely. With the word we can bless or curse and that will have an effect on others and on ourselves. Release your words of encouragement, love, gratitude, support, understanding of other people’s pain, forgiveness, tolerance. How many times have some friendly words given us strength and led us on better paths? And it is that we are interconnected by the invisible threads of the human species. The illusion of being apart only brings us pain and loneliness. The respectful and affective verb is the bridge that unites us.
Mother Theresa once said: “Kind words can be short and easy to speak, but their echoes are truly endless.” Blessings.
Carlos Barboza is the owner of Eco Green Auto Parts, Orlando, FL. Their website is https://ecogautoparts.com and they can be found on Facebook @ecogreenautoparts.