Talk isn’t cheap

I wrote the following piece in June 2009 and shared it on Facebook. As I look back at 2009, there are various milestones and I am glad I documented them. This piece in particular will resonate with me for a long time. It also gives a more indepth perspective to my relationship with my own word, as mentioned in the post before this one (Choose powerfully. It’s your life.)

For much of my life, I don’t have much faith in words, regardless of who speak them. So many broken agreements. I don’t believe in words spoken by others, and also have very little faith in the words that roll out of my mouth. Words are but words. Actions are more important. It’s such a huge irony of my life – I am in the communications business.

These days, I’m not so sure. Actions are taken depending on how something or someone occurs to you, how you relate to whatever is happening to you right that moment. They are linked to what you think, spoken or unspoken. We often take actions in response to what someone says. We could say something back, or decide the action to take in split seconds.

Language is a tool of communications. God gave us language so that we may understand one another. We give the words we speak meaning, and in the same breath, we can undermine what they mean. In other words, I decide how much value my words carry. I make them worth every second it took someone to hear them. I make them as cheap or hollow as they sound.

I recall many times when I say something and do something else. Oh how I have fret over the inconsistencies of my speak with my actions. Feel the hair stand on the back of my neck. A complete disdain for my own integrity. And I was arrogant enough to think I can get away with that kind of behaviour.

Listen to Obama. His enemies are trying to trip him up by catching inconsistencies in what he says and his actions. He alters someone’s reality with his words – he gave America and some around the world hope.

I’m humbled. I pay more attention to words these days. What people say, what comes out of my mouth. I say what I mean. It’s speaking with a new sense of freedom, rebuilding the relationship I have with my own word, the foundation of my own integrity. I dare believe myself now.

It’s actually very scary. It’s tough. Sometimes I still question what I say.

Saying what I mean does not equal to a license to be rude and be a jerk. It does force me to be true to myself. Cut out the crap that comes out of my mouth, the pretense, the niceties, the not-so-nice that veil my own fears.

Words can alter one’s reality. That is the power we are all given. How much weight I attach to my word, depends on me. When I am true to my word, people will take notice too. I am learning to listen to words with more authenticity and honesty. Time for a new relationship.


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