TW Viewpoint | The Monster In Our Mouth

April 18, 2018 | Winston Gosse

Do you have a monster in your mouth? The tongue is only a little part of the body, yet it can produce powerful words of both blessing and cursing.


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An old English children's rhyme states, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me." Is that always the case? I remember that being said on the playground of my schoolyard many years ago and I also remember occasions where the careless words of others had a negative impact. I remember in elementary school a girl named Sally who was quite overweight and the other students made verbal fun of her condition, essentially bullying her. She would put up a brave smile, but no doubt the taunting words had a negative, long lasting impact.

Ancient King Solomon also said that "death and life are in the power of the tongue." The ability to say the right thing at the right time has great value. Another Proverb states that "A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in settings of silver."

Hopefully all of us have experienced the sense of satisfaction that comes when we respond and speak in a mature and fitting manner, words that fit the occasion.

You might know of individuals who have a calming effect on situations, who diffuse a tense situation by "a word fitly spoken."

We live today in a coarsened world where verbal wounds are prevalent in all forms of media, politics and in many a school, home and workplace. Wounds that penetrate and can cut deep and malign.

There is a saying that "we tend to hurt the ones we love the most." Sometimes we tend to take for granted the ones we are closest to such as family, spouse or close friend and sometimes the things we say to those we love we would never say to others!

So in normal day to day situations we can say unnecessary things or unnecessary things are said to us which can cause great hurt and offence. However some might say, "But what if we are only speaking the truth?" Do we have license to go about offending and causing hurt because something is "the truth?" No doubt there are times where situations have to be dealt with, where being upfront is required, where the truth must come out. But if spoken with thought and care, our words can produce lasting beneficial results. Spoken carelessly, however, they can result in harmful scars and consequences as well as tragic, sometimes lifelong conflict and misunderstandings.

So the old saying, "Sticks and stones may break my bones but names will never hurt me," may not be always right. Let's be aware of the monster in our mouth called the tongue and make sure our words are fitly spoken.

For Tomorrow's World Viewpoint, I'm Winston Gosse.

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