The Importance of Spoken Words to Life:
I think the importance of words, specifically spoken words to our lives, health and happiness cannot be overemphasized (in fact, much too much of the time, it is actually downplayed, in my “humble” opinion).
This is why I place “The Quality of the Words We Speak, Hear and Read” on the top of the list of my Seven Laws of Life series
View Video on WORDS here
Here’s a great piece I came across on the importance of words. I’ve reproduced it in its entirety because it’s really, really good:
“The influence of speech on the development of thought is a fascinating subject, which has long attracted the attention of educationists, psychologists and linguists. We know enough already to realize that growth of intelligence is partially dependent on the use of language and that, for example, the more the baby hears structured language, the more rapidly hiss mental faculties will develop.
Speech is the foundation on which every language is built. The child begins to learn a language first by hearing and then imitating speech patterns. He has to listen to a great deal before he can begin to make out the meaning of what is said. A child brought up in complete silence would scarcely be human, for we are human in so far as we communicate through speech with others. But we begin by understanding far more than we are able to express: the passive acquisition of a language precedes its active use, and that is why children are so dependent upon adults. It is surprising how quickly an infant will grasp the meaning of simple phrases constantly repeated. Baby talk may be emotionally satisfying to the loving adult but it is misleading and useless to the child, and is best avoided.
Speech is also essential for the psychological well-being of the child. It is well known that sick children who are left to themselves get well much more slowly than those whose emotional and psychological needs are met by friendly, sympathetic and intelligent conversation each day. A hospital where human relations are good can cure patients much more quickly than one where human relations are not so warm. A study of patient-nurse relationship in some hospitals noted that patients recovered more speedily in those hospitals where they enjoyed warm human relations than those where they did not.
We become human and stay human through the faculty of language. The silent man is regarded with suspicion and hostility. He may become an object of fear if he persists in refusing to speak. Lonely people tend to become morose and ill. The aged quickly deteriorate if they are isolated from the rest of the community, whereas the old grandmother who is an active and respected member of her children’s families can remain alert until the day she dies. There are, no doubt, other factors at work, such as unspoken love and affection, but speech plays a major role in cementing these bonds of affection. Married people who can talk easily together and verbally communicate their problems are less likely to end up in the divorce court. So, learning to talk easily and well matters a great deal in the context of our daily lives.
In the past, speech revealed a man’s social origins. It was a badge that marked him off from other men, especially those considered superior. Bernard Shaw’s Pygmalion develops this theme brilliantly. In the preface of the play, Shaw wrote: “As soon as an Englishman opens his mouth, he makes other Englishmen despise him.”
That remark is less apt today, although it still carries an uncomfortable sting.