Searching For Words

15 08 2010

Every person who comes into the word howling has something to say, something to contribute, but it doesn’t take much to steal their voice.

What if someone speaks too slowly or too quickly, or uses too many words, or too few? What if a person is too quiet or is far too loud? What if someone is shy? What if someone misses the cues and says what they shouldn’t (or another wouldn’t)? What if the words come out hesitantly, or in the wrong order, or with an accent? What if they can’t pronounce their R’s or their S’s or they trip over their tongue; or what if they stutter?

I saw a posting on Facebook today: “It’s International I stutter And I’m OK Week.” I’m not sure if it is officially international, but it made me think about how whatever doesn’t fit the narrow norm steals the life from people, in this case, one word at a time.

I wonder if now is harder than then to have a stutter; I mean 2010 versus 1910.  Now we all want information so quickly; I am sure our patience with people who need an extra minute to make their point known is at an all time low. What is our problem? Can we not allow for a few more ticks on the clock to listen intently? Why can’t we let people take another run at things so we understand one another clearly?  We all pat ourselves on the back for being so tolerant these days, but in practice, there is little room to give people room.

There are so many “awareness” days, have you noticed? Anyone who is outside of the tight margins we set for normal and we need someone to take us by the hand to show us how to behave. Just because someone’s words do not come out all neat and tidy, the rest of us need to be sat down and told, politely, to smarten up.

And yes, we do need this, we do need to smarten up because even worse than being poor listeners are all the little judgments people make based purely on how words flow, or do not, off the end of one’s tongue. One string of words and opinions are formed, and isn’t this the worst thing about us? That we do give or take opportunities, extend or withhold friendship, like or dislike people based on so little information?

None of us have turned out exactly perfect; we are all flawed inside and out and the beauty of this is the freedom it offers us to love and be loved, know and be known because all of us are on a completely even playing field. All of us are searching, at times, for things that elude us; and some are searching, at times, for words.

— Teresa Klassen

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One response

15 08 2010
adob21blog

It’s brilliant…it seems that now there is a mold on how to act, talk and live in general which obviously is far different then the mold existing back then as one would expect…what I would say is that true values are gone, the world has been materialized, and the leading ideology is power and money…so if your way acquiring the power and money is slower than the standard you’re out…same way with words…if you can’t say it fast enough you might not have the chance to say it again some other time…it’s cruel but it’s the reality I guess

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