Norton: Choosing our words wisely
In no time in history has it been more important to follow the guidance of choosing our words wisely. And I am not making that statement lightly or in reference to the sensitivity and divisiveness happening locally, nationally, or even globally right now. My belief has always been that we should choose our words wisely. And regardless of whom we are speaking with, make each word that we use a winning word.
Coming slowly out of quarantine and isolation, many of us have become very comfortable speaking our minds and sharing our opinions of the current environment we are living in as we all deal with the health care fallout of the pandemic, the ensuing recession, and the Black Lives Matter movement. Many of us are also dealing with other personal situations that are causing heartache and stress.
There are some very real and raw emotions coming from every direction as remaining healthy, financially stable, and feeling safe from harm are competing with the reality and expectations of justice and equality for all, and possibly the return of the coronavirus.
Our freedom of speech and freedom of expression has certainly been tested, stretched, and has even crossed the line in many cases.
Here is the hard question: If we are free to choose our words, why aren’t we choosing winning words when we speak with one another? Even before the pandemic, the recession, or the Black Lives Matter movement, we seemed to be working ourselves up into a frenzy with our quick responses and heated replies.
Building winning relationships within our families, our circle of friends, at work, across political aisles, and within society will never happen with words of anger, resentment, violence, revenge, intolerance, or injustice. Healing and winning relationships can never take place with competing sources of media who seem to have very different agendas and priorities.
Healing and rebuilding relationships of any kind occur when we use words of love, grace, mercy, kindness, gentleness, hope, encouragement, inspiration, and forgiveness. And remember, we have free speech and the freedom of expression, and that we get to choose our words and how we express ourselves.
Whether we use those words or expressions in an email, in a text, over the phone, in a virtual meeting, in a social media post, at the local coffee shop, in a column, or from a podium, we own our word choices and the effect and impact that they have on others, and in the long run, even the impact they can have on us personally.
What are winning words? Winning words are real, sincere, and based on our true beliefs. Winning words are not manipulative, fake, or meant to placate anyone. And yes, if you have read this column at any time for the past 12 years, you are already aware of how often I speak to the importance of the vocabulary we should use and the word bank we should keep handy when we communicate with one another. A word bank that is filled with words that speak to solutions, opportunity, benevolence, charity, generosity, positivity, justice, and goodness.
The times we are living in call for each one of us to choose our words and choose them wisely. It is a time to be direct, authentic, and just. It is a time to stand behind our convictions, and I stand behind the conviction that the words we use can tear us apart, or they can be used to rebuild any relationship and even a society that is hurting, hurting as badly as our society is right now.
So how about you? How are the words that you are choosing to use affecting others? How are they impacting you personally? I would love to hear how you are choosing your words wisely at firstname.lastname@example.org and when we can fill our ears, minds, hearts, and mouths with the words of love and kindness and love and forgiveness, it really will be a better than good week and help us all to get on the path of healing and recovery.
Michael Norton is the grateful CEO of Tramazing.com, a personal and professional coach, and a consultant, trainer, encourager, and motivator to businesses of all sizes.
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