The Weight of Words
All words carry heavy meaning so think once, think twice, think three times...
You know when you hear something and all of a sudden everything in your head just clicks. Like alarm bells go off or in some situations, all of the pieces of the puzzle just fit. In a T.S Elliot poem I read, he has an epigraph that talks about the sibyl who asks for eternal life. As a result of her wish, she is miserable because even though she asked for eternal life she still grows old and suffers from aging.
This story makes you think about your words and how much weight they carry. Her misery would have been avoidable if she just wished for eternal youth since she would be living in her prime forever and would love her life until boredom strikes. But because she asked for eternal life, it was like okay here you go… you may live forever but you are going to face the consequences for having this wish. With that in mind, it makes you think about two things.
First is how important word choice is and how you should think twice about what you are about to say. No one can understand your thoughts unless you vocalize them well. Unfortunately, no one can enter your mind and know the literal definition of what you are saying or what your intentions are. So when you speak you have to make sure that you say exactly what you mean. Way too many issues in life come from misunderstandings and misrepresentations. So we must acknowledge how underrated word choice and sentence formation are and that they should carry more importance in our daily language.
Second is the fact that you only get one chance to respond to a conversation. There are no repeats when someone asks you a question, or with a text, or even when a genie presents you your three wishes. That in itself shows how important and careful you have to be. You have to sit there and think and ensure that the sentence you are about to say is one you will not regret. You do not want to be sitting in bed 5 years later, right before sleeping, thinking “oh my god, I cannot believe that’s what I said when I was asked this.” Life is too short for too many stupid regrets, so when speaking just take your time. It is never a timed IB oral exam…you are in no rush. It is better to take your time and speak well and eloquently than it is to just blurt out anything and never be able to take it back.
The value of words and the power of words is so significant that we must start taking advantage. Seek worth in the words you speak and the sentences you form. Not only will it progress your thoughts, but also foster a deeper conversation that carries more meaning.
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