“Engage brain before mouth in gear.” Popular in the 60’s and 70’s, this piece of advice seems to have been forgotten in the fine art of conversation and public speaking. And lest you think I am specifically referring to politicians, I am not. I am referring to all of us.
Negotiation and compromise is a part of everyday life and if it is not a part of yours, then you are doing something wrong. No one gets a free ride from the responsibility of negotiating. We live on a planet with many others and whether it be nature or humanity, we have to learn to get along together. That requires negotiation.
The farmer who is successful does not simply tear up the ground and drop whatever seeds he/she wishes wherever and whenever. Compromise is essential to insure the best yield of a crop. Rotation of seeds planted, paying attention to the weather and available water supply, Crops which will grow in the given climate, availability of manpower/womanpower to harvest and process said crops – all of these things must be considered, compromises made, and negotiations scheduled. Otherwise, we would not have food to eat. Human beings would perish.
Words have power and the words we speak have consequences. All too often it is the word we do not say that carries the most impact. Parents play a vital role in the life of a child but it is the absentee parent that often plays the biggest role and whose presence or lack thereof carries the most weight.
Just as our actions are important, so are the words we utter. AS we draw this series of Epiphany and words of action to a close, this being the next to last post about such verbs, I hope you take a moment to think before you speak. Is what you are about to say really necessary? Are you saying it effectively so as to be fully and completely understood? Is it kind and most importantly, is it completely true? If the answer to any of these is no, then please remember this adage: Silence is golden.