Words mean more than what we say

by 21cstories

It does not happen on rare occasions that what we say is misunderstood by others, and that there is always a gap between what was meant and what was said. This is no fault of ours alone, as nature made individuals separate and unique. Immersed in our own body, mind and soul, it is only on occasions that we see that others too are in a similar state, and that the way they look at us is different from what we see ourselves as. 

All of us have built up with us our own unique ability to understand words. Of all, the media is an expert at interpreting words, for they look out for hidden meanings and read between lines. But it seems that words carry a life of their own. They mean more or less to others than what we say through them.

Spoken words carry along with them our emotions. A speaker unintentionally displays his or her state of mind while speaking to others. Our training for this begins right from childhood when we listen not just to words spoken by parents, but also pay attention to how they were spoken, and try to read their state of mind to get the full message.

In such a condition, the common ground of friendship, culture and understanding is the only connection between the speaker and the hearer. When that gives way, shows its imperfections, often because we are unmindful of what we really mean to say, the result is sometimes never less than an offence given to another.

Now, we never really know what would offend whom, humour being a major culprit. We can only explore and discover. Words spoken in the heat of the moment too share a major burden. Written words are our worst enemy — we never know what message has really gone across, for so much depends on mutual understanding and fleeting emotional states of the writer and the reader. Good examples can be learnt of this while chatting on the Internet. 

There is no certain way out of the problem. We can never be sure how our words will be taken. Ultimately, it all depends on the relationship — a context that re-defines words, and a context that spoken words can re-define.  Words are all about creating, handling, maintaining, defining and re-defining relationships, and that is where one needs to be careful.

 

Jan 6, 2007  


 

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