Sunday, July 13, 2014
Home in Finland we say silence is more precious than gold. This might have something to do with the culture of not saying too much and when saying something saying only what is necessary. This is just a stereotype but like all stereotypes it does have a grain of truth in it. In addition to this cultural message, this saying has another important lesson for the reader.
Think of the heart ache, quarrel, fights, enmity, bad feelings, conflicts and unnecessary warfare. It is not an all-encompassing reason nor the ultimate over-arching root of all evil but a good part of it is caused by audible spoken words. Some are uttered purposefully and some are voiced by accident or without thinking too much. Most clearly the damage of words is visible in the lives of ordinary people. Broken friendships, shattered families and disappearing self-esteem are the most common products of it.
Words do not only damage their target. They always have an effect on their speaker. I would describe the effects binding and manipulative or persuasive.
Words bind their speaker to what has been said. Naturally words do not have a forcing effect but they do set expectations, make the speaker responsible and/or, pressure him or her to act accordingly. A liar must either reveal the hoax or keep lying. A boaster must live up to his or her claims or cause disappointment. Also when thoughts turn into words, they become sharper and stronger. If an individual repeatedly goes about audibly hating while actually being just irritated, that irritation eventually becomes hatred.
Everyone have surely heard of the path how thoughts lead to words and words lead to actions. I recognize that there are some who would argue this and even reject the idea. I don't claim that mere audible expression of a thought immediately makes one to act. What I do claim and believe and have experienced very personally is that words are an agitator and an ingredient for escalation. Speaking of your thoughts boosts the likelihood of them actually happening.
Christ was confronted by scribes and pharisees from Jerusalem. They came blaming Christ's disciples of not following the traditions established by the jewish elders. "Why do thy disciples transgress the tradition of the elders? For they wash not their hands when they eat bread." Christ took this as an opportunity to teach the people around the scene.
"Not that which goeth into the mouth defileth a man; but that which cometh out of the mouth, this defileth a man." This was the simple lesson.
To defile means to corrupt the purity or perfection of something or somebody. Words we speak mirror and amplify our inner being. They either help us to be uplifted or they drag us down. What we say can cause unnecessary tears. If correction is needed, don't speak everything that comes to your mind.
Watch yourselves, my friends! Don't let your guard down and be active in going about doing and saying much good.