It is said that the most harmful organ in the human body is the tongue. I never really thought about the tongue being an organ, but yes that’s what it is. The tongue’s purpose is to to help us eat, to make funny faces but most of all it is used to help us speak.
We can use it for speaking affirming and encouraging words to help those around us feel better about themselves. It is evident when we do this that good things happen. For example, let’s start when a child is very young. Children can be very trying and cause us dismay in a myriad of ways. They quarrel among themselves and need to be corrected. They run out into the street without looking for cars or we find them sneaking cookies before dinner. There is so many things that cause us to lose our patience and sometimes our temper. When correcting a small child we must remember that their knowledge is not the same as ours is. They don’t realize the repercussions of their bad choices. How we speak to them when disciplining them can make a difference in how they view themselves as ‘bad’ or just ‘naughty’. They are two separate feelings. A child who views himself as ‘bad’ because of a severe tongue lashing perhaps with calling them names such as ‘stupid’ or ‘idiot’ or ‘bad’ or words such as those, will start thinking of themselves in that way and start believing it, especially if this is a frequent occurrence. Whereas if a child is given an explanation of why their action was not a right or good thing to do, they will be able to separate the action from themselves….so what they did was really wrong but their self-esteem is not damaged.
When children reach their teenage years, it is very important to keep validating them and not being critical in a demeaning kind of way. If we can only realize that the teenager’s brain is not fully developed as far as their reasoning skills. That’s why they often do things that seem so obviously wrong to us as adults, but to them it’s not. Examples, like driving too fast, or text-ting while walking across streets or even driving, or staying out too late. They don’t (can’t) always follow the consequences of doing these things, so calling them dumb, stupid, inconsiderate and on and on does nothing constructive.
Now as adults we perhaps do the most grievous things with our tongues. We gossip, tell lies, talk ‘down’ to those we think don’t live up to our standards and worse. We can cripple another human being with what we negatively say and swearing and cursing is another way we do damage.
Now having said that the tongue is used in many wrong ways, we can use it n good ways. We can lift people up with our words, we can make people feel better about themselves, we can encourage someone who is feeling downhearted. A person may need just some kind words to brighten their day and by thus doing we perhaps make them in turn do the same for someone else.
So the next time you let your temper flare and maybe explode into a barrage of words that accomplish nothing except to bring another person ‘down’ try and catch yourself, take a deep breath and if you need a few minutes to collect your thoughts, take them and then voice your concern, disappointment or anger in a more constructive way with words that don’t harm the spirit.
To speak evil of no one, to avoid quarreling, to be gentle, and to show perfect courtesy toward all people.