Talk with the Doc

All of us need to use our words wisely

Dr. Jim Surrell, Journal columnist

We have all heard the following phrase, believed to have originated in 1894, “Sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me.”

Of course, nothing could be further from the truth. Rudyard Kipling, the very famous author who certainly knew about the power of words, gives us all some clear insight into the power of words with his famous quote, “Words are, of course, the most powerful drug used by mankind.”

Do not underestimate the true power of spoken or written words, words we share on the internet, and also understand that our words may have a very strong positive or negative impact on the lives of others.

How we use our words is our choice and these choices will also have consequences. Our words can and should be used to encourage, to inspire, to teach, to speak the truth, and to offer a positive influence.

Unfortunately, our words may also be used to discourage, to humiliate, to criticize, to lie, to gossip, to bully, often with a resulting negative influence on others. In this regard, here is some advice from the following classic quote from Thumper the Rabbit in the 1942 Disney movie, “Bambi.”

Here is Thumper Rabbit’s famous quote, “If you can’t say something nice, don’t say nothing at all.”

Know that the words we use truly represent a personal choice. These words may be spoken or may be written. Of course, many, if not most, of our written words today are in the form of an email, and always recall that once you send that email, it can never be taken back. Therefore, choose all your words carefully, whether they are spoken, written, or sent out on the internet.

What about the words directed to us from others? Know also that we can choose whether or not to accept any spoken or written words directed toward us. We all have been given the ability to choose to accept or choose not to accept any words that others say to us, or say about us.

If somebody directs some words of criticism toward you, and you agree, take it as constructive criticism. If you do not agree, just forget it, and don’t give it any more thought at all. Again, always recall that it is our choice to accept or to not accept the words that others may say to us.

We also need to realize that we all do “self-talk”, usually without actively thinking about doing this at all. In the self-talk that we all do, it is important that we do not use our own words against ourselves.

Perhaps the best thing ever said about how very important our self-talk is to our personal success or failure is from Henry Ford. I personally believe his quote says it all with regard to our personal self-talk. From Mr. Ford, “If you think you can, or if you think you can’t, you’re right.”

It will serve us well to always recall that our words are very powerful, and that our words have the strong potential to influence the lives of others. Perhaps this is especially important when speaking to children, who will generally accept without question what is spoken to them.

Bottom line – we should always exercise good judgment with all our spoken, our written, or words we use while on the internet.

It is also very important for us to recall that we can choose to accept, or choose not to accept, any spoken or written words directed to us from others.

EDITOR’S NOTE: Dr. Jim Surrell is the author of the best-selling SOS (Stop Only Sugar) Diet book and his new Joke Book, entitled “Laughter Is Good Medicine.” Dr. Jim’s website is sosdietbook.com.


Today's breaking news and more in your inbox

I'm interested in (please check all that apply)
Are you a paying subscriber to the newspaper *

Starting at $4.62/week.

Subscribe Today