Tejal and Teji are twin sisters from Delhi. They study at one of the best ICSE schools in the 8th standard. They belong to a very affluent Gujarati family from North India. Both are decent in studies. While Tejal loves Mathematics and Science, Teji’s favorite subjects are English and Hindi. Tejal is quiet, calm and composed by nature, while Teji is a chatterbox and careless with her words.
Final exams are just 2 months away. While their parents keep pestering the girls to study in advance for their examinations, the sisters are pretty confident that they can end up getting first class marks with last minute preparations, just like they did every year.
Unfortunately dengue struck both the lassies and they had to be hospitalized. By the time they were cured and regained their strength it was just 15 days to their final exams! They missed school for around 40 days. All hell broke loose. Their parents were worried about how they would cope with their final assessments. A lot of portion had to be learnt, and they did not have enough time to cover all 8 subjects.
Somehow, the sisters appeared for their exams. Tejal ended up with 68% whereas Teji was dejected with 53%. Here, is an example of 2 adolescent girls with similar backgrounds, same upbringing, going through identical circumstances. How did Tejal manage an extra 15%? Why did Teji not manage to get better marks? The answer to these questions is a one word answer: WORDS.
While Tejal prayed daily and affirmed that she would definitely excel in her examinations with the help of the Almighty God; Teji kept worrying and confessing to her friends that she was not well prepared, and was not sure about how she’d manage to write her papers. As we can see, Tejal and Teji spoke their destinies. Rather, we all speak our destinies. Words can shape our thinking as they enter deep into our subconscious. Davis Riesman rightly said, “Words not only affect us temporarily; they change us, they socialize or unsocialize us.”
We must be aware of what we speak, rather than words simply falling out of our mouth. Sometimes, it’s best to remain silent than speak unnecessarily. Most of us take our words for granted, not knowing that we are prophesying over our lives. We can either be careful and speak positive, or be casual and talk nonsense. The choice is completely ours. But the consequences can be huge! The Bible says in Psalm 141:3 “Take control of what I say, O Lord; and guard my lips.”
Our words must boost the confidence of others rather than demotivate them. Proverbs 18:21 says “The power of the tongue is life and death— those who love to talk will eat what it produces.” Each one of us has power to speak life or death over any person or situation. Then why talk negative? Why not edify by speaking kind words? Words such as ugly, fat, stupid, skinny must never be used. These words are as good as spanking the other person. Whereas, words like wonderful, excellent, awesome, superb are comparable to a pat on the back for people. Negative words may end up in wars, murders, fights and divorces. Let us be extremely careful about what we utter. Ephesians 4:29 says “Don’t use foul or abusive language. Let everything you say be good and helpful, so that your words will be an encouragement to those who hear them.”
In the organizational context, words spoken by supervisors and managers have added weight. Their words can end up motivating or discouraging their teams. Every sentence should be rephrased in the affirmative. Rather than saying “Not bad”, we can use “That’s good”. This would make a world of difference to the listener. It is not about what you say, but how you say it. Rather than saying, “Why don’t we try?”; one can use “Let’s try”. The word don’t is a negative one, and is beautifully replaced in the statement above. Would you not feel good if the waiter at your favorite restaurant says “It was a pleasure serving you, Sir”. Am sure, you’d love to visit that restaurant again, since you felt appreciated and upbeat.
An important principle to remember while speaking is that we must talk to people, and not talk about them. Gossips and rumors are dangerous, and must be avoided. Have positive thoughts, and your words would automatically be gentle. George Orwell aptly said “But if thought corrupts language, language can also corrupt thought.”
It is imperative to listen before we speak. Our replies must be guarded and to the point. Sometimes, we speak too much and then realize that we’ve made a mockery of our self. Proverbs 11:12 says “It is foolish to belittle one’s neighbor; a sensible person keeps quiet.”
We must take the decision to speak loving, caring and uplifting words. We not only create our own destiny, but create destinies for our friends, family, organizations, cities, states, nations and the world. How can we then be so reckless and speak pessimistic, destructive words. We must cleanse ourselves so that positivity flows out of our heart. Proverbs 4:23 says “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
So what would you choose today? I choose to speak life!