In Others' WordsIn Others' Words

Friday, August 19, 2011

In Others' Words: Words

"Among my most prized possessions are words that I have never spoken." ~ Orson Rega Card, novelist

Are there things I wish I hadn't said?
Sometimes the words spilled out of my mouth, surprising me almost as much as they surprised the other person.
Sometimes the words were planned. Deliberate. Only once they were spoken did I think, "Why did I say that?"
The words--rehearsed on the stage of my mind--seemed so right. So fitting. But now, under the harsh glare of hurt-glazed eyes . . .well, really, was what I said the right thing to say--or was it more that I wanted to be right?
As the years accumulate in my life-book, I find myself talking less and listening more. Why? Two reasons. The Bible puts it this way: Even a fool, when he keeps silent, is considered wise ... (Proverbs 17:28) Works for me.
The other reason? I learn so much--about people, about life--when I choose to be silent. When I choose to listen. 
Do I have things to say?
But oftentimes, I realize my words wouldn't have added anything to the conversation--except a bit of a breeze.

In Your Words: What did you think when you read today's quote? How do you handle the power of words? Was there a time when silence was truly golden for you?

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At 7:05 AM, Blogger Pat Trainum aka P. T. Bradley said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

At 7:07 AM, Blogger Pat Trainum aka P. T. Bradley said...

What did I think? That in the past I wished I had spoken less and listened more.

This is truly one of the best post I've ever read. It made me stop and think. And now, hopefully, in the future I will speak less and listen more.

the previous post was deleted because of typos.

At 8:01 AM, Blogger Wendy Paine Miller said...

We are on the same wave today!

I've been thinking about this a lot lately. Several times over the past few months I've had someone say someting to me flippantly and with a tinge of harshness. Each time it stung and I pray I am more and more careful with my words.

~ Wendy

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Jeanne T said...

This post is spot on, Beth. Words do have such power. More times than I care to remember, I have said words that really didn't need to be said, shouldn't have been said. I, too, am learning to listen more and talk less. Thanks for the encouragement to cherish silence.

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Edie Melson said...

Like Wendy, I've also been thinking about this a lot. I've been guilty of hurting people because of ill considered words. And I'm finally getting to the point where, generally, my first response is to pull back in silence, before I speak. The journey here has been tough, but it's given me a perspective that I desperately need! Thanks for the confirmation.

At 9:49 AM, Blogger Reba J. Hoffman said...

Personally, I completely enjoy chewing on shoe leather when I stick my foot in my mouth. The only downfall is that I go through about four pair of shoes everyday... or is it every hour?

At 9:52 AM, Blogger Donna said...

Very wise words, Beth, and sometimes very hard to put into practice - especially for women! Thanks for this much needed reminder.

At 10:27 AM, Blogger Keli Gwyn said...

I work hard to get my characters' words just right in my stories. Wish I did the same thing every time I open my mouth. Unfortunately, I've blown it at times. Thankfully, people are filled with grace and have forgiven me.

At 11:12 AM, Blogger Beth K. Vogt said...

I knew this quote would get people thinking. Words ... powerful. Silence. Even more so.
And, yes, Keli--sometimes it's easier to say or not say the right thing when I'm controlling my fictional characters' tongues.


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