I was in my early twenties when someone who I greatly admired told me that language shapes behavior, and one of my regrets is that I did not hear it sooner. These three words caused such an impact on me, they changed the course of who I was to become.
Ever since I have tried to use my words as tools, as brushes, as notes, that represent what I want and need, and that might correctly represent who I am. That is not to say that at times I am not expletive-free, or that I have not made mistakes in getting my message across clearly…and every time I have done so, I have regretted not thinking before speaking.
I also firmly believe that we are what we think, and have been given the ability of language so that we are what we speak. In trying to practice thinking before speaking, something else is vitally important: listening. Making sure that you understand what is being said and the context, the situation.
Think of language as a snapshot that lasts forever, the proverbial bell that cannot be un-rung. Language can raise people’s spirits and it can also break dreams. You decide on which side you want to be on. The side that inspires and builds or the side that dampens and can even destroy.
Yes, the power of our words is mightier than the sword…and now through Twitter, Facebook, Instagram…our word might become a very large sword…so thinking before we Tweet might just be a very good thing.