A Monthly Inspirational Viewpoint of Life’s Journeys with Sonia Wignall
In his book, “The Art of War”, Sun Tzu writes this powerful quote
“The supreme art of war is to subdue the enemy without fighting.”
Each word, out of our mouth, weighs both on and off the battlefield. Some people fight eloquently and strategically with words, and others use words as swords to deliver a lasting and painful impact, cutting to the bone, marrow and soul allowing no space for grace.
On a recent visit, I met a friend’s wife for the first time. I noticed she was quiet, gentle and humble. Later in speaking with her husband, I complimented her with the observation I had made. He answered that although she is indeed quiet, and humble she was a very wise and powerful woman. He describes her as being able to “pivot”.
By definition, it meant a person with the agile ability to assess, and change easily, riding the flow.
He added that her gentleness was her power; she chose her words very carefully at all times. He said that this was a characteristic she learned from her grandmother, also a quiet and powerful woman.
His words made a deep impact within me. I thought about the way I sometimes emotionally, not strategically deliver my words. This woman was young, yet again she was mastering, by practice, the “Art of War”. Her communication strategy will serve her well as a wife, mother and in her other roles and duties.
I reflected back on the art and strategy of communication. How one word, or a group of words from a financial guru, or world leader can disrupt the global financial market, or cause a war, each scenario having profound economic impact.
It reminded me of when I heard that our corrections can be “destructive or constructive” when we are attempting to make a needed course remedy. Many traumatic life moments can be traced back to a single word, or sentence delivered without sensitivity, in the wrong place and time. Friendships, marriages and business relationships can shift negatively due to spoken words.
Words of anger, racism, criticism, hate, distrust, etc can easily offend us. Whereas words of encouragement, grace, forgiveness, love, affirmation and acceptance can soothe our weary souls.
As lovers, we long for the sweet words of affection and desire from our beloved. At work we long for words of appreciation from those in authority, our associates, or even our clients.
Words are like water, we yearn and thirst for a sip of the sweet, not the bitter.
Unfortunately, we often speak one thing and deliver another message, failing to understand the power of our communication. Our words can change direction with our tone, attitude and emotion, so, when we speak, they cannot hear us. We cry and our message remains undelivered. The intent and the content is lost. We have not learned the art of communication.
Our words have power. We can choose how and when we will use that power.
Regardless of our race, gender, education, and or financial status, the power and impact of our words delivers the results. So, choosing our words wisely, delivering them intentionally and gracefully is an art we must all acquire, lest we continue to waste one of the most masterful and powerful strategic resources God has given us, “words”.
“The generative and dynamic power of Nommo is given full breath and breadth, in the art of dialogue and conversation, so iconic of the African continent. “Speech is not in people’s hands. People are in the hands of speech” —Mande proverb.
The collective wisdom of a people, the manner in which it perceives the human condition, the codes, values, and interrelationships that bestow its identity, are given voice by the panoply of words, adages and tales that it creates. Proverbs and stories are the horsemen, the escorts, the messengers of culture, traversing generations and the boundaries of time.
“It is the story … that saves our progeny from blundering like blind beggars into the spikes of the cactus fence. The story is our escort; without it, we are blind”. — Chinua Achebe
By: Sonia M. Wignall
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