By Dr. Ken Larsen
My friend Dr. Nancy Buck gave me a word of encouragement recently. It reminded me for some reason of this old song, “Home on the Range.” I can remember my boyhood hero, Roy Rogers, singing it. [btw, the second verse is not very politically correct in today’s world, so stick to the first verse.]
It got me to thinking of one of my favorite subjects: words and the meaning they carry.
Think about it. You have a meaning in mind that you want to send to another. So you find words that fit and you send those words. Hopefully, the words trigger a similar meaning in the mind of the receiver. If that happens, communication has taken place. Sometime even a meaningless word can have meaning if two people know what is being referenced. For example, that thingy on your desk came with a doodad attachment. Where are they now? You ever communicate like that? It’s funny how often that sort of thing actually communicates.
When I heard Nancy offer encouraging words, they triggered pleasant meanings in my mind that made me feel better about myself and about Nancy, and even about the world in general. I like to find ways to send those kind of messages as often I can without falling into flattery. If I look and listen, I can usually find something positive and up building to say to another. Dr. Glasser’s caring habits help with this.
Now think of the unkind word. The harsh word of criticism, or blame, or complaint. What meanings do they trigger? How do they make you feel? We know that at best they don’t make you happy. At worst they can ruin your day and affect the way you think about yourself. You may even go home and kick the cat. Poor cat. Think of Dr. Glasser’s deadly habits.
We used to sing “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.” I have discovered that that is simply not true.
Let’s look for ways to speak words of love and life everyday. One of the rewards is the happiness it brings to you.
And your bonus is a short clip of Elvis singing “Words”.