Do we use our words with care? Words are powerful. They shape our thoughts. Thoughts shape our actions- good and bad. And so a pen is mightier than a sword. (Language Shapes Our Thoughts)
Where does this leave us in an interconnected world? Many cultures exaggerate as a matter of fact. Americans are prone to sarcasm and specificity. Venezuelans speak with emotion. Speaking Russian or Farsi? Words and sentences have more than one meaning!
How can we communicate with each other with so many from different worlds coming together? With the on-line world and the ease of travel, many from different cultures continue to maintain their uniqueness as they live in another country. So, a person in America may speak English and live as an American, while simultaneously holding on to their familial culture and language. Holding on to that culture and language inevitably affects a person’s ability to communicate with another.
A Russian may perceive an innocent comment as meaning something completely different. An American can be overwhelmed by the emotion expressed by a Latin American or take literally the words of a Middle Easterner prone to exaggeration. In short, we can quickly have a breakdown in communication and connection.
The Solution? Speak Kindly. Assume Goodness.
Speak with kindness and give the benefit of the doubt. Never assume a negative intent if you can somehow figure a positive intent in someone’s words. If you don’t have something nice to say, don’t say it- or find a genuinely nice way to say it. Every intent in every word should be something that unites and brings us together rather than apart. (Go Givers)
The danger in this approach is that it’s possible that someone is intending to insult you and you take it as a compliment… there’s been worse tragedies in the world than that. Besides wouldn’t you rather feel complimented anyway?
Words matter. Through words, worlds are created and destroyed. Let’s watch ourselves when we speak and be an example of unity in these divided times.
Made you think? You may enjoy Good Fences Make Good Neighbors