This morning I had the sincere pleasure, honor and challenge of listening to Kathy Stock share her remarkable story of humility, faith, courage and service. Justifiably, she met with a standing ovation at the end of her message.
Through her story and even before, my mind was centering on the notion of the power of language. I found myself in conversation focusing on the adage, “a picture’s worth a thousand words”… and came around to a realization that a well chosen word or sentence can elicit a thousand pictures. Our language matters; both within and without. How we converse with ourselves and others matters. It is not about being politically correct. It is about understanding the power of language. It can engage, or it can entrap. It can dare or destroy. It can uplift or embarrass. It can lead or lose, people and movements.
How we engage one another in social and other media… in our face to face and embrace to embrace… is impacted by our words, wisely and mindfully and wholeheartedly chosen. It is not about being “careful about what we say”; it is about being care-FULL in our intentions. I desire no debate. I desire discussion. Debate has the intent of proving one side right or wrong. Discussion has the intention of finding what is right. This begins with language.
Wholeheartedness is the virtue that speaks to what I call our “five gears”. Driving a standard transmission as long as I have, I am reminded of the versatility and resourcefulness of shifting gears. Our choice of language is the same. The virtues that we apply to our messages are the gears of wholehearted engaging and leading. Speaking with confidence and compassion, detachment and determination, unity and understanding, enthusiasm and excellence, and more… it requires wholeheartedness; a sense of bringing all that we are to what we have to say. That is leadership at its most noble.
As a business educator, dance instructor, singer, speaker, writer, cartoonist and more, I am reminded, this day, of the power of our words and how we bring the diverse range of virtues to what we say. I am reminded of the craft that is communications; the instrumentality of language in engaging, leading and uniting.
Consider your intentions. Consider your words. Consider your applications of the virtues, the strengths of character. Are they in alignment? If not, what do you need to do to make them so? Integrity as a teacher, leader and human being demands it.
Peace, passion and prosperity.
Barry Lewis Green, aka The Unity Guy™