It is not always easy to communicate, even with the ones you love or yourself. Difficulties arise with words, tones, emotions, intent, etc. Moreover, unfortunately, one misstep usually turns into an avalanche. Emotions are mixed. Words become useless. In the end, the communication has become so bad that there is actually a negative effect, an almost anti-communication.
This anti-communication is such that silence would be better. Buddhism teaches the tenant of Right Speech. Avoidance of this anti-communication is one of the reasons this tenant and direction happens. By creating situations where the message becomes so jumbled as to cause entropy to the exchange, we complicate situations, create disharmony and suffering, and loose ourselves in the downward spiral.
Simple honest words…we often lose track of the fact that simple honest words form the foundation of communication. By being straight forward, forthright, and harmonious we can influence the world around us and foster better communication. This is difficult sometimes. In a world of a million individual cultures, each word may have hundreds of meanings. Acting in harmony with those you are communicating with is essential at this point.
Honesty, as the saying goes, is the best policy. There are literally dozens of ways to veil the truth. It could be an outright lie, disassembling, avoiding, omitting, exaggerating…any of these and more take the truth and change it. Balanced against this honesty/dishonesty duality is the trend to be “brutally honest”. Questions like “Do I look fat?” are met with “Yes, you do.” Some would say this is the honesty that should form the basis, that people should be able to deal with the truth. Once again, we look to the concepts of peace and harmony.
Words are a powerful thing. They frame the world around us, create a social reality, and define the unknown or unseen. When we speak, choosing the words we use allows us control over the world around us. Choosing these words well strengthens and supports not only ourselves but also the whole of humanity. Poorly chosen words can destroy, create disharmony, and sow the seeds of hate.
Actions speak louder than words but words are what we use to frame the world. Actions in the past are written down or spoken of with words. While actions may carry the truth of conviction; memory and thought and the province of language.
A picture is worth a thousand words. What is a picture but simply those thousand words made real and solid in front of us. Language is not simply words but they are symbols. Blue is a word. Blue is also the color, the emotion, the sea at noon, the sky in summer, a ball in the park and a hundred other things. We weave each though into words.
Belief becomes though, thought becomes words, words become actions, and actions become habit.