August 6, 2010

War of Words

It's 3:45AM  AHHH!!!

Word...Webster gives several definitions (condensed by me):
1. something that is said; a brief conversation
2. a combination of characters that represent a spoken word
3. command
4. Gospel
5. news; information
6. act of speaking or making verbal communication
7. a saying or proverb
8. Promise or declaration
9. quarrelsome conversation
10. verbal signal

Words can convey love, interest, comfort, support, respect, desire; hate, agitation, anger, doubt, hurt and tons of other feelings or ideas.  Combined with body language or actions, they can become something altogether deeper and expressive.  Sometimes we understand actions more clearly than words because there are so many words that can mean different things and many words to express the same thing.  Plus actions seem to be more direct about showing what's in our heart.  If we say one thing but act in a way that is contradictory to those words, I'd say that the actions are more reliable; more "true", if you will.
Sometimes words are so wonderful; beautiful tools we use to tell about something that is important to us or describe what we're feeling or something we're seeing.  Tools to relate to others and express our ideas or feelings; to comfort and assure; to encourage and love; to flirt or entice.  These are words that have been chosen with care and words that come from our hearts but many times should only be used with certain people. 
But other times, words flow but make no sense at all.  Statements are written or spoken but we don't know what they mean.  When we don't exercise discernment in the words that we use or the statements we make, they can cause misunderstandings and pain.  They can sound one way when we really meant them in another way.   Words can become weapons used to deceive.  A two edged sword that cuts and wounds leaving scars and building walls.  Breaking hearts whether we meant them to or not. When our meaning is misunderstood (or our intentions) the quickest and best way to correct the misunderstanding is not by making excuses or denial but immediately setting the record straight.  What did I mean to say?  What were the circumstances that led me to say it?  Misunderstandings can be cleared up and hard feelings left behind if we are quick to take responsibility for our words.  We have to be able to back up what we say.
We can use words carelessly but the results are nearly always misunderstood.  The more we learn about words, the better we should become at sharing what we're trying to get across.  But too often, we use words because they sound impressive or show how large our vocabulary has become but in reality they might merely create vague, empty statements that leave folks more confused.  When we use words to put down a thought but we don't really know what that thought is saying, we're leaving ourselves wide open to misinterpretation.
Sometimes words are no good at all.  What is needed are actions to back them up or to express what they are saying in a visual model.  You've heard to old addage, "Actions speak louder than words." It's true.  Here's another one, "Think before you speak."

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