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October 2004 - Unkind Words

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John A. Kline, PhD jkline@klinespeak.com
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October 2004

Unkind Words

A popular seminar leader commented that as he lectured on the powerful and often negative impact of words, he asked audiences if they could go twenty-four hours without saying any unkind words about, or to, anybody.  Usually, only a minority of the listeners raised their hands signifying, “yes.”  Some laughed.  But most gave a resounding, “no.”  The leader responded by saying that if they can’t answer “yes,” then they have a serious problem.

If you cannot go twenty-four hours without smoking, you are addicted to nicotine.  If you cannot go twenty-four hours without a drink, you’re most likely an alcoholic.  Similarly, if you cannot go for twenty-four hours without saying unkind words about others, then you have most likely lost control over your tongue.

My experience is that almost every time the negative or unkind things I have the urge to say could wait to be said twenty-four hours later.  I have also found that twenty-four hours later I changed my mind about saying them.

John Kline
Montgomery, Alabama
jkline@klinespeak.com

October 2004 - Unkind Words
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