A religious man had once told me – about prayers – that the prayers we recite – the words in them, as soon as they are spoken, go out into the world and become an energy. They create vibrations in our environment that produce certain results. Another wise man had told me – about words – that using one word instead of another (when only that one will do) is a betrayal. I’ve known quite a few wise women too. And since I’m an equal opportunity blogger, I should mention that a wise woman had once told me in Gujrati ‘Bole ena boar vay chai’ meaning, the one who speaks is the one who sells his wares. Another very angry woman (I’m sure she was wise too) had told me ‘You have no idea what you say!!!!!’ Pointing out that was grammatically incorrect did not help.
I have always liked words. Given them a firm, unwavering status in my life, close to my toothbrush and blankie. I staunchly believe that using words in a responsible fashion should be a civil duty. That bad grammar and ‘word dropping’ should be punishable offences. And yet, I wonder if ‘words’ alone can do the job they set out to do.
Surely the wise religious man has propounded his vibrations theory with others.
I know for a fact the other wise man has made the ‘betrayal’ statement to others as he regularly trains copywriters and wordsmiths.
But would the guy selling his wares manage to do so by merely the action of speaking? Wouldnt there be an unstated requirement for somebody to be listening?
Words by themselves are meaningless if there is no one listening. They are equally ineffective when the words being used do not match the interpretation of the person listening. More often than not misunderstandings are created first by the ‘word betrayal’, using one word in place of another when only that word is suitable. Then the misunderstanding is further compounded by the varied rhetorical and literal interpretations of those words.
Mankind places itself at the top of all organisms because of its ability to think and speak. To process sounds into coherent speech.
Every sphere of life, personal or professional requires good communication skills. There are scores of courses that teach us to speak better, write better, yet none that teach us to listen better.
Many years ago we designed a new year greeting card that had an actual ear bud on the outside and on the inside a statement ‘This year, let’s communicate better’.
10 years later, this greeting card still seems relevant.