Words can either Burn or Warm
Sow roses and reap smiles and blessings—thus goes the saying. A kind word, a polite gesture, a sweet smile can win many wars, so said Guru Nanak. Words, after all, have the power to flatter as well as scorch.
Today, where there is so much unhappiness in the world, with destitutes hungering for food and shelter and the downtrodden craving for justice in this strife-torn world, a kind word, a loving touch or a friendly gesture go a long way in dispelling the pall of gloom.
People often cause pain and anguish with their harsh words, either possessed of a sharp temper or constrained by tension. Whatever be the reason, one bitter word can wound like the lethal blades of a hundred swords.
Life is so short, and true friendship so hard to come by. Wouldn’t it be better to always speak politely and softly rather than rant and rave and upset the feelings of others? After all, it costs nothing to be polite.
Being courteous and using carefully chosen kind words creates a feeling of warmth and happiness. The words may be simple, but they are bound to work wonders. Ridicule is the worst form of malice in speech. Barbed words that play on meanings should be shunned, for they hurt people’s feelings and break up relationships.
Undeniably, there are millions of people in the world who think little, act even less, but talk too much. And what do they talk about? Nothing worthwhile—they merely indulge in idle gossip, little realizing that the rumours may have no basis in truth, thus bringing bad repute to an innocent person. When such unfounded gossip travels around, can you imagine the magnitude of untold misery that is caused to the person concerned?
The spoken or the written word makes a permanent impact on the people it is addressed to. The Mahabharata reveals how Lord Krishna’s advice in the battlefield left a deep impression on Arjuna’s mind and guided him to his duty as a warrior in the Kurukshetra war.
So words, like fire, can either warm or burn you. No one would like to confront an angry man who hurls a torrent of abuses. Such words will surely burn your ears. On the other hand, soothing words, or words of kindness, will sound like music to the ear.
As Edmund Burke remarked, a very great part of the mischief that the world experiences arises from words. And words once spoken can never be retracted. “Think before you speak’ is as true a maxim as ‘look before you leap’. How forceful correct words are! Beware of the person who sways you with vain words. Likewise, excessive flattery should always be taken with a pinch of salt.
Rudyard Kipling once said, “Words are the most powerful drug used by mankind.”
We would have a fewer disputes in the world if words were taken for what they are; the signs of our ideas only, and not for things themselves.
Words aptly spoken are like apples of gold in a pitcher of silver. So sprinkle goodness and endearing words everywhere.