• Rachel Milne

The responsibility of words


My dad shared with me a few days ago that his friend moved to a Memory Care facility. I was immediately struck by the choice of wording. I understood that his friend was experiencing what we in the west typically call dementia, or alzheimer's. And I was touched by the compassion in the choice of words used to describe his level of care.


Words are so much more powerful than we realize.


"You have cancer in your liver". Whoa! Chemo or Radiation? How long do I have?


"You are experiencing an imbalance in your liver". Hmmm. Ok. Let's talk about that. What is causing it?


One word choice is disempowering. One is empowering. One gives hope. One sows fear.

There may be truth in both of these statements. And which do we choose?


We have a responsibility to each other to be mindful of what we are sowing in the world around us. Am I speaking words of hope, possibility, change? Or am I speaking words of disharmony, anger and fear? Which will create the world I want to live in?


I am not inviting a PollyAnna-like attitude. We are instead asked to reach inside our hearts and choose our words from a place of compassion and love, versus anger or fear.


Over to you: Watch how you communicate today. Are you choosing words of compassionate expression? If so, how do they make you feel?



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