Words have Power. 

An age-old dictum that keeps us safe and secure. “Look where you are going!” warns a voice if we are about to step towards danger- small or big. Pre-warned, we avoid a calamity. But isn’t a leap about the confidence and faith we have? Sure. Take the leap of faith, no doubt but with eyes shut ummm, that requires a second thought, a re-look. A step taken forward may lead us to the finishing line if taken with the right outlook, approach and perspective. Alternatively, we could be stepping into an abyss. And that would prove fatal. Some of us might say fair enough, we would gather our wits, pick up the pieces, move on. After all we alone are responsible for what has happened.  Go ahead, do that if it pleases you but be prepared to face the consequences.

The step is taken and it impacts the person in question. But what about an unkind word that shoots from our lips. Like an arrow that leaves the bow for its destination, the uttered word cannot be retrieved. Once it’s left the oral orifice, it find’s its mark. Like the racing arrow, it damages. A word of praise, brings a smile, lights up a day, pulls a person out of an abyss. This word can be a miracle maker. Brilliant! Fantastic, Gorgeous! Amazing! Say any of these with a tender pat on the back and see the person opposite you emerge from the cocoon he is in. A constructive word stirs positive thoughts in a weak individual, uplifts someone feeling low or even kindles confidence in an unsure individual. The leap of faith is taken after this single, powerful word. It’s magic wand changes attitude, gives direction, transforms life.

Contrarily, a negative one would do far greater undoing than a positive word could ever hope to motivate. Negative singes, scars, it mars a life perhaps for time to come. The disfiguring it causes to one’s personality would be irreversible. An unpleasant word wounds, hurts and becomes the undoing of a life. It messes up a personality. Such is the power of an unkind utterance that it causes irreparable damage to the psyche of a listener, no matter which way it goes.

We have all perhaps, been through such an experience- be it as a receiver or a contributor. Even if spoken inadvertently the ability to does not diminish. The arrow shot from the bow is bound to finds its mark. A momentarily lashing tongue is like an arrow-head with fire on its tip. A missile which hits the target accurately, precisely. Arrogant! Egoist! Loser! Nasty! Misfit! Obese! We have heard these. We may have used some too. No evil intent! But that reduce the hurt? Said in the heat of the moment the foul word simply pops out so suddenly that there isn’t a moment to think. Exactly! Said without a thought.

‘You are so obstinate says one.’ ‘You wouldn’t change for anything. Selfish’ Labels! What do they do? They leave an unfathomable effect. They cause an emotional tsunami in the listener. The receiver if sensitive, would internalise and crumble. If the retaliatory kind, he would react negatively-more fire. An arrow pierces the heart, an unkind word shatters confidence. Could even impede personal development. The power of an unkind word far supersedes the good that a positive can create. The bad overpowers the good. It scars for life. So, what is the right way out? Think. Look before you leap & think at least once, if not twice before uttering a single word. Question yourself if it happens to be a word uttered in rage. Am I using the right word? Am I going to step on a tender toe? Will I cause deep hurt?  Do I have the right to pelt that stone-word? Is it base, beyond human dignity? What if I were the recipient? How would I feel? Would I like to be labelled? If your response is ‘No’ then stop, right there. Isn’t it a matter of a person’s self-respect, dignity? Isn’t it about a life, a living thinking, feeling human being? Time, we began to think before we utter a harsh word. Let’s choose to be what gives us the extra edge-HUMANE!

Look once before you leap, but think twice over before you speak.


PS: The A to Z of Wow words!  Let’s use these more often.

Admirable! Bubbling! Co-operative! Dazzling! Efficient! Friendly! Genial! Humble! Intelligent! Jovial! Kind hearted! Loving! Magnificent! Neat! Outstanding! Passionate! Qualified! Righteous! Sunny! Tender! Unique! Virtuous! Willing! Youthful! Zestful!


PPS: Umm turn your backs to: Rude! Awful! Callous! Failure! Loser! Nuisance! Pathetic! Quitter! Troublesome! Ugly! Addict!



5 thoughts on “Look before you leap; think before you speak

  1. Very sensitively and sensibly meaningful piece underlining the age old dictum “Do unto others what you would like to be done to you.” Shabash!


  2. As you said each of us has been a recipient and a contributor of these marring words. It’s always easy to shoot out a harsh punishing word. Nothing can undo that damage. Will resolve to use less of the negative and more of the positive. Thanks for this gem of a piece!


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