Each time you speak, your thoughts are on parade. Today’s post is inspired by poet and writer Samuel Jackson – “Language is the dress of thought.”
As an ambitious young man in his teens, George Washington copied 110 rules of good manners from an English courtesy book of the previous century. He studied and “committed to the memory” these rules of genteel behavior because he realized that to appear in society, one must know how to behave, speak, and dress as a gentleman. One of the rules, which touches on the subject of this article, was simple and categorical: “Use no reproachful language against anyone, neither curse nor revile.” ~ “Vulgarity: The Style of Our Days” Marian T. Horvat, Ph.D.
Washington lived in a tough time. Much of his career in trying to lead a desperately disorganized, underpaid, and ragged group of early colonists to eventually overthrow one of the greatest military mights at the time required a very skillful use of words.
But you cannot use words alone to inspire. If that were true, a perfect sentence could be constructed and used by one and all to inspire.
It is the beliefs, thoughts, convictions, and life’s lessons behind the words which give the speaker the credibility for others to listen.
In the current Presidential debate in the United States, millions of dollars are being spent on words to communicate. Some of the best and most skillful communicators are employed to try and squeeze out one more supporter in a race that has been previously decided by only a few percentage points.
But at the heart of it all, it is all just words – and how much faith we have in one candidate or another’s words will likely persuade our vote in November.
As you review your language, is it positive or negative? What books are you reading to inspire your thoughts? What other activities do you undertake to solidify your mind?
If language is the dress of thought – what are you wearing?
Learn: Spend a day paying attention to your language. Consider keeping a scrap piece of paper around to tally how many times you use affirmative and negative speech.
Act: How are you feeding your thoughts and language? What can you do to continue or improve?
Share: Share your positive language. Consider disgarding your negative thoughts and language if they are not going to be constructive.