The focus of the month "It's not what you say. It's how you say it" is about the sounds that we make, the words that we choose, the tone and intonation and intention behind them.
We often take it for granted, but when we take time to think about it, we will realize that language is such a gift. We are able to understand each other not through grunts or gibberish but through the clarity of words. Isn't it amazing that humanity has created this common ground-- languages whose sounds enable us to share with each other our deepest thoughts, our random musings, and the nuances of our emotions? Isn't it absolutely mind-blowing that we can express who we are with no other skill but the ability to speak?
And yet, we use this language quite thoughtlessly sometimes. We use this medium of communicating to gossip or judge or complain or make excuses or lie or insist that our truth is the only truth. Sure, we have the ability to say what we want. The question is: Are we using these words to make sounds that uplift, that give justice to the gift of this language?
I was listening to a Ted Talks lecture about communicating. The speaker Julian Treasure said that if we want to speak in a way that will make others listen to us, then we use four principles: Honesty, Authenticity, Integrity, and Love. To be honest means we speak in a way that is clear, direct, and straightforward; that we do not conceal or minimize or embelish or exaggerate or beat around the bush. To be authentic means to be ourselves, to let go of that pressure to be someone we are not, to find irrelevant that self-consciousness that makes us falsely believe we have to act like somebody else. To have integrity is to be our word, to let the way we live this life be a testament to the words we speak and promises we say we vow to keep. To be grounded in love means to think well of others, to speak well of others, and to wish others well.
Language is a gift. It holds so much power. It can either connect or separate, trivialize or emphasize, uplift or put others down. Why not give language the justice it deserves? Use honesty, authenticity, integrity, and love to create something beautiful-- today, tomorrow, and the rest of your life.