Howtoencourage

Wednesday, December 6, 2006

Words Impact Us

Who among us doesn't understand the power of words?

Our pastor, Tom Jones,(yes,that really is his name)told a story about a monk in a monastery that could only speak 2 words a year.
First year he said, "Bed-hard."
Second year he said, "Food-bad."
Third year he said, "I quit."
His superior said, "I'm not surprised. All he's done for the past 3 years is complain."

Did you know, between men and women, we speak an average of 8-9000 words a day. OK, men on the lower end of approximately 4,000 and women can top out at approximately 20,000 words a day. WOW!

His theory is speaking and listening are closely related, and since he is capable of speaking only 4,000 words a day, he is capable of hearing only 4,000 words a day. Doesn't that explain everything?

Words are powerful. Words impact us. They can devastate or they can encourage us.

Where do our words come from?


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3 comments:

bilzor said...

To be technical, you could use the online etymology dictionary. But I know that's not what you mean. I think we get our words, and use them, from other people. It's like the excercise we did when I was in grade school. Our class formed a line. The teacher told a short story to a person at one end of the line. This person then repeated the story to the next person in line, and so on, and by the time it got to the last person, the story was totally different from the original version. What I object to is langauge that is used to express harmful or disrespectful feelings. You are right, we do need to encourage each other. The recent Michael Richards incident is a perfect example of someone using words to harm others. There is no excuse for treating anyone with anything less than dignity and respect, unless that person has taken away the dignity and respect of another person. A great book on how we learn the language we use is "The Language Instinct", by Stephen Pinker. I am also reminded of another story: A man from America is standing at a bus stop in China. the bus pulls up, and the man asks, "Where is the nearest restaurant?", (in english). the bus driver shrugs, and says in Chinese, "I don't speak english." The American then repeats his question, only louder. The same response is made by the bus driver. the American repeats his question, but this time, not only is it even louder, but he draws out the words: "Where...is...the...nearest...restaurant?!!"
The bus driver shrugs again, and giving up, says, "Apparently, I can't help you." He then closes the doors and drives away, leaving the American man fuming on the sidewalk. How could the American have communicated his message differently, and what response do you think he would have gotten? And, based on what the American did say in this example, and what we know about how the Chinese system of honor and respect works, how do you think the bus driver felt as he drove away?

bilzor said...

I came up with my own saying to keep me on the right path, and it helps my perspective when dealing with others, too: "Whether you choos to love or hate, it will consume you."

Anonymous said...

I belong to a spiritual organization that encourages its members to use the spiritual Law of Economy - not too many and not too few!

May the Blessing Be
Bejay