The power of the spoken word

Winston Churchill said “By swallowing evil words unsaid, no one has ever harmed his stomach”. Yet, does the human race fully comprehend that power that is wielded by the spoken word? While pondering the merits of merlot versus cabernet sauvignon I chanced to overhear the conversation between a father and his son. Well perhaps conversation is too polite a term for the verbal onslaught that ensued.

With puce face and dark cavernous mouth in perpetual motion, words like “useless” and “embarassment” flew like barbed arrows towards the child striking him with an almost physical intensity. I cannot begin to envisage the justification for this tirade (could there be one?) but when it was directed at a boy of no more than ten it just beggars belief!

What saddened me /angered me and engendered emotions of most unladylike content, was the look of humiliation tinged with fear on this child’s face. Knowingly or unwittingly that father has irrepairably changed the makeup of his son’s psyche, irrepairably altered that sacred firmament of childhood that your parents are the safe haven  where you can do no wrong. Without question the parental right to chastise their offspring is not being challenged, it’s part of the bigger picture but it’s the choice of words that has the greatest impact. Do you flex your authoratitive muscles to wound or guide?

“Human conversation is largely an endless attempt to convince others that we are more assertive or clever or generous or successful than they might think if we did not carefully educate them.” –John Ortberg

Emotional Stuff a deux – the goo continues

So yes, a kindergarten day one might say. Never let it be mooted that adults cannot revert to their childhood with a flick of a switch – today in the world of me …….. Little Johnny didn’t want to share his toys and threw not one tantrum but three when he couldn’t get his own way. Susy Q put the round peg in the square hole for the 95th time and had to have her tears dried – again. Teacher Wildie put her stern face on and admonished all and sundry with great severity – Little Johnny and Susy Q were very sad. Once the children went home Teacher Wildie was very relieved!


Now for the goo – suitably frothy I strode out the office to visit with a work mate from along the corridor who fortunately didn’t have a Little Johnny today (lucky girl). En route the old grey matter took a left turn to the wilds of Dublin and a glass of Guiness at said factory. There is a fabulous viewing deck with a 360 degree view of the city – it’s a great place to be irish 😉 I adore Ireland and am feeling wistfully green today (Happy St Patricks Day – Sláinte).

30 min later I wafted back to my perch on a cloud of pink frothiness, we laughed so much that all my ill humour fled for the hills (powerful thing is a good giggle). She has a 26 year old colleague who is really funny with a dry, acerbic sense of humour and he was in top form today. Needless to say the poo pile is still high but not quite as smelly (dreadful analogy but particularly apt).

All things Irish – Favourite Band: The Corrs / Movie: In the name of the Father / Writer: James Joyce / Place: The Ring of Kerry / Thing: The Book of Kells.

Best Irish Blessing received today (and there have been many) – “May you be in heaven a full half hour before the devil knows you dead”.