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Consider the power of words before speaking

Out on a LimbRoss L. TalbottGlenwood Springs, CO Colorado

As years roll by I have become more convinced of the power of words. Psychologists will attest to the fact that parents (and teachers) can shape a child’s future by their words. Continually berating a child can convince them that they are stupid, ugly and dumb. On the other hand, words of encouragement, praise and confidence will have direct and positive results in the child’s life. Patriarchs of old would formally pronounce a blessing on their sons, especially the oldest. Inevitably the blessing would be born out in the son’s adult life. A good parent can see the possibilities and talents in a child and cast a vision into the life of a son or daughter. The power of mental suggestion is great, and I believe the words themselves have power. How many people are living under the power of a curse they don’t even know about? All of that being said, the political campaigns of today are great examples of words being used to bless or curse.The news media spew fountains of words that are claimed to inform but in reality manipulate and distort for the purpose of controlling public opinion and ultimately the outcome of elections.The two things at stake here are power and profit. This principle is at work in today’s campaigns, and the media are obviously raking in millions of dollars aiding and abetting the whole thing.To use a line from an unlikely source (Louis L’Amour), “Folks can’t seem to realize that it isn’t a smooth talker we need in there but a steady man, a man with judgment. Any medicine show man can spout words, if they are written for him. It takes no genius to sound well. To act right and at the right time is something else again.”The challenge then becomes sorting out truth and deception, real potential from pie in the sky promises.The stakes in this word game are really, really high. The influence, leadership and reputation of our country worldwide rises or falls based, to a great extent, on what we citizens say. People yelling “I hate George Bush” give ammunition to our detractors. We may not agree with some of his policies and positions, but publically spewing invectives is shooting ourselves in the foot.You may be experiencing stress in your marriage, but publically condemning your spouse will only make things worse and diminish your own influence and respect.The book of Proverbs says, “Words fitly spoken are like apples of gold in pictures of silver.” That means that they are both valuable and beautiful.Another saying is, “What you say is what you get.” If you speak fear, you will become fearful. If you speak hatred you will become a hateful person. If you talk defeat, you will become defeated. If you can’t speak forgiveness, can you expect to be forgiven? If a commander is exhorting his troops before going into battle would you expect him to tell the troops, “We will probably get our butt kicked but a bunch of you will survive even though you’re shot up.” If you broadcast that to the media it encourages your enemy and further diminishes your chances for victory.In fact, at some point words become basically traitorous by aiding and abetting the enemy. Self-deprecation is not true humility and often does great damage to everyone around you.We need to verbally reject entitlement and advocate responsibility. The image of America that Hollywood spews forth has damaged our nation. The inaccurate and distorted news the media pump out has confused us and decreased our sense of resolve.Listen to what you say. Speak life, encouragement, beauty, enthusiasm, love and faith.Make the world better for your having passed and having spoken.Ross L. Talbott lives in New Castle.


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