Thursday, June 16, 2011


It was my Daddy who first told me that my writing was verbose. Yes, I was a little offended. Even at a very young age, I had a hard time with criticisms no matter how "constructive" they were. But as I've said, I was only offended a little because primarily, I didn't know the meaning of the word. I was only 15, for goodness' sake! I had to grab a dictionary, fast. You see, my father was once a journalist and a newspaper editor. We grew up in a home filled with news reports, weeklies and dailies, facts and words. Growing up, part of how I enriched my vocabulary was to listen to my Dad and his peers talk shop. I guess you can say I had no chance at all, I had no escape, I had to write, too. And how I love it!

With Dad's critiques on some of my "work," it made me strive harder to improve on my writing. I learned how to be more concise and clearer in sharing my ideas. I try to make my sentences short and to the gist. He also told me that writing should not be too "highfalutin." And yes, you guessed it, I also needed a dictionary for that word. My Dad also said that I should write the same way I speak because it's the easiest way to communicate my thoughts and that I would never go wrong with that kind of "style." Don't you just hate it when your parents are right especially when we were teenagers? But how I love those advice now, so full of wisdom!

We've all heard the quote, "The pen is mightier than the sword!" which is taken from a play by an English author, Edward Bulwer-Lytton. This quote has been used as an inspiration by several non-violent revolutionists all throughout the years as they write to express their discontent and complaints, as well as their praises and support for something worthwhile. I would like to bring it to another level by saying that if the pen is mightier than a blade than can kill, well, the tongue is so much more so! What the pen writes comes directly from our hearts and our minds, so then basically it's the same thing as speaking out.

"A good man out of the good treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is good; and an evil man out of the evil treasure of his heart bringeth forth that which is evil: for of the abundance of the heart his mouth speaketh." -Luke 6:45

The tongue is even more mightier than the sword. It is one part of the body that can ruin another person's life. It can break a friendship apart, dissolve trust, and entangle one's future. All because of something that we can never take back ever again. I've read somewhere (maybe it was on Facebook?) that the only three things we can never take back are: time, opportunity, and words. So true, right? Sure, we can apologize and make amends after the fact but the "damage" has already been done. Those painful, thoughtless words we uttered are already out there, hovering in thin air, hurting people. Maybe we said it at the height of anger, and someone or something provoked us in saying them. Yes, there will always be a thousand and one reasons to justify our cause for speaking out of spite, but what happens after when the anger is gone, when the provocation is minimized? What then? Can we also lessen the pain we've caused? Can we take back the words? I don't think so.

God's wisdom on this issue shines through so clearly especially in the books of Psalms and Proverbs, where the tongue is the most talked about part of the body. On how much damaging it can be if not used wisely and sparingly. The Bible does refer to it as like a sword or a razor!
"There is that speaketh like the piercings of a sword: but the tongue of the wise is health." -Proverbs 12:18 

"The tongue deviseth mischiefs; like a sharp razor, working deceitfully." -Psalms 2:2

Too many words can result to too many errors at times. Few words fewer mistakes, they say. Verbosity equals excess, and excess can mean saying so much more than we ought to, most of the time. So it is my ultimate goal to be able to write and speak clearly, to share my thoughts and my stories, yet without any deceit nor verbosity, so my words, no matter how short and concise, may be truthful, honest, and will always give the utmost glory to my God. The latter part is the most important thing that matters to me.

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