‘Words don’t come easy to me’, wrote F. R David in his classic song now synonymous to me with Bob Mills Goes Postal on Colin Murray’s Friday show on Talksport. Events over the past week got me thinking about the importance of words; words said and those left unsaid. With the deafening silence of so many who filled our screens with rhetoric for weeks and the realisation that there were those who deliberately kept their counsel, I have been drawn to the power of speech and who can or cannot say the words that help. Politicians have an agenda. The agenda is set from those around them, as are most of what they deliver in speeches. It is calculated to create an energy, a buzz and often targeted to a particular audience. Understandable.
Working with children allows me to listen to real honesty in their words. They just say whatever they feel, they have not been conditioned to filter what will wound. Over the first few school years, that filter is put in place. Their true selves will never again speak totally from the heart unabashed. In some ways that saddens me. What would life be like if we could literally speak how we felt even as adults? Instead, we look for clues as to the delivery in body language, eye contact and subtleties that give away the truth.
There are those who have a gift. Who can say exactly the right thing at the right time. These are people who speak from a place of love. In times of turmoil, we turn to those people. When all around us is in chaos, we need someone to say exactly what we may or may not need to hear, to help declutter all the mish-mash of thoughts whirring around in our heads. These people are our go-to people. You know who they are. They do not give platitudes. They are realistic, without wounding. They pull you back down to earth with the chosen language when you are way out in the ether struggling to hold on for dear life.
To be this person, you have had to experience life in all its forms. But more than that, you need to have the wonderful skill of empathy. At the age I am now, my world is constantly shifting; births, illnesses, deaths, shocks. If I can reach out to someone with a few chosen words, I will. They will be taken or ignored, but I have tried. I appreciated so much those few people who made the difference to me through my living hell two years ago. We all need to give back. But some of us maybe should retune the filter first!.
‘Words mean more than what is set down on paper. It takes the human voice to infuse them with deeper meaning.’ Maya Angelou
Dream BIG, Sparkle MORE, Shine BRIGHTLY