The way I see it, in life, everything should be done with TACT and DECORUM, in order to achieve maximum results.
Just Thursday of this week, I was having a chat with some of the guys at one of the many offices that I must interact with, during the course of any given week.
I told them this story which I once heard:
‘These guys were in an army, far away from home and information had just been received that the mother of one of the privates had died.
The problem was, how to pass on the tragic news to the young man.
One of the Sargeant on duty, volunteered and said he had the experience and he could handle the matter well.
He went to the barracks and told all of the young officers to fall in.
‘All soldiers with mothers, take one step forward,’ he shouted.
As the young officers stepped boldly forward, he snapped: ‘Not you Private Johnson…………!’
Well I newa!
What a way to give a young man a heart attack.
And so, I am reminded that we ought to be very careful HOW we relay information to one another.
The HOW, the WHERE, the WHEN, the WHO (you say it in front of) and even the WHY, are key players in sharing sensitive information.
As a matter of fact, I have learnt that sometimes when you want certain information relayed directly to the required source, you tell it to a particularly ‘chatty’ individual and you make sure to tell them ‘and don’t tell anybody –mind, mind mind!’
More likely than not, the individual will literally race to the targeted source and spill his or her guts and may even tell the individual not to repeat it, so that you would not know that they had broken their ‘vow’.
It is also funny how things work. Sometimes the person will not listen to a close relative or family member, but a total stranger or someone outside of the household, is able to get through to him/her.
On the other hand, at other times, it takes a close relative to get the message through.
The nonverbal aspect of communication must also be taken into consideration. One wise soul once penned: ‘What you do speaks so loudly, I cannot hear what you are saying.’
You see, ACTION REALLY SPEAKS LOUDER THAN WORDS.
Even the tone of voice in which we communicate, says a lot.
Remember I told you the story about the dog?
If you say in a really nice voice to your dog: ‘Doggie come here. I want to kill you,’ more than likely, that dog will wag its tail and come to you.
But if you yell in a loud, obnoxious voice: ‘Dawg ah love you,’ more than likely, the poor dog will run away!
So, in communicating to our children; to our siblings; to our spouses, the tone of voice should be firm when necessary but still carry a loving ring to it.
How many times have you seen a really cute face– maybe the person was on their phone or something and the way they are speaking to the person at the other end of the phone, when they open their mouth, you are appalled?
The harsh, grating, obnoxious way the words come out-not to mention the type of words, certainly do not match the face!
So, despite what somebody said about ‘sticks and stones can break my bones but words can do me no harm.’
That is utter nonsense! Words can heal and words can hurt.
So, from now on, let’s be guarded and guided by the fact that words can be deadly, if used improperly.
Let’s hear what the bible has to say about the words we speak:
Death and life are in the power of the tongue, and those who love it will eat its fruits.
Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.
There is one whose rash words are like sword thrusts, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
I tell you, on the Day of Judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,
A soft answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger.
Gracious words are like a honeycomb, sweetness to the soul and health to the body.
Whoever keeps his mouth and his tongue keeps himself out of trouble.
Whoever guards his mouth preserves his life; he who opens wide his lips comes to ruin.
So as we go into this a new weekend, let’s make a concerted effort to manage and monitor the words we speak.
As a little boy, my mother taught me this lovely poem:
‘A wise old owl, sat on an oak,
The more he saw, the less he spoke;
The less he spoke, the more he heard
Why can’t I be like that wise, old bird?
Let’s pledge to be more guarded and guided by the words we speak.
That’s the way I see it. How do you see it?