Wednesday, 19 February 2014


We all have parts of us that we would like to change. We have a lifetime, some of us, in which to change them. And yet, even with that lifetime, so many of us, me included, are saddled with those things within us that we simply seem unable to change. It is as if our genes are programmed around a behaviour pattern, and no amount of nurture, self-talk, interpersonal coaching, relationship training or whatever we do can change those things.

I know for myself it is my willingness to say whatever is on my mind at the moment it occurs to me. I can remember being hurt as a child when my Dad would yell at me "Why don't you think before you talk?" Of course it is ironic to think that it was him I was emulating most of the time. Yet it still happens, I open my mouth and words plop out without any thought on my part as to how those words might hurt others. I did it to Jim just the other day; fortunately he and I worked things out, but it was another reminder.

It's not that I don't know the power of words; if anybody knows about words, it is I. Words are my tool in life, my stock in trade, the way I manage and manipulate the world around me. I have always been this way, always had the skill of telling a good story, framing ideas and concepts to shape my needs using words. In battle, they are my weapons, like the guns and grenades of the soldier. I can use words to slice thinly or cut thickly, to clear and cloud, to uphold or tear down.

Yet I am oftimes clumsy with this tool, unaware of the power of what I say, unaware of how much people imbue into what I see as a simple offhand remark or light-hearted humour. I am not highly self-aware sometimes. I regularly say things without even knowing what I am saying or how it will affect others. So while words may be my tools, I have yet to hone a craft so fine as some, yet to learn that these weapons are dangerous without proper handling.

Perhaps this is why I have never become a great politician or business leader. I have my tools but am not skilled enough to know when to use them and when to stop. No matter, this is as far as words will get me. Soon I will lose the power of speech, soon I will lose the ability to use a keyboard, soon I will become mute; no more words will come from me. Then what?

1 comment:

  1. That will be a very sad day, Richard.You weave magic with your words. I never miss a day reading your blogs,and often wonder if it could be made into a book. I know it has been suggested before.I, too, love words, books, poetry, descriptive word phrases. I smell and taste, and see the world through words.. If we are to raise money for anything, I think it would have to be keeping you communicating as long as possible.
    I, too have used words to hurt, maim, and assasinate characters, and Im not proud of it.Always having to have the last word in an argument. I know, for me,if I could not communicate in any way, I would want to die that day,because inside I would already be dead.