Words shape opinion, drive behavior, change trajectories, and mold the very spirit of those they touch. Words heal and they hurt. I learned a new word recently: Il'lu'mine. It means to light up, brighten. It means to enlighten spiritually or intellectually. To truly enlighten, one must choose their words very carefully.
Imagine you only had a few words to choose from. Take the Taki Taki language for example. This English Créole language spoken by South Americans in the country of Suriname has just 340 words. Contrast this to the nearly 200,00 words in American English. Shakespeare himself invented 1,700 new words.
We waste a lot of words. We leave some of the best words on the table to be written or spoken by others. On an average day a woman will speak 20,000 words versus a man's 7,000. I won't say anymore about that.
I have a general rule about words. It is simple. I am the first to speak good about others and the first to speak good about myself. I think and use bad words extremely sparingly, period. I know the power of words. I have been on both sides of the pendulum good and bad. When words are used they stick around. They create their own history.
Before I write or speak using my words I ask myself what kind of moment am I trying to create? Asking myself this question illumines what follows next. Words shape beliefs. Words take on stories of their own.
I start each day using my words on myself. I usually start with "You are fearfully and wonderfully made."