How We Cheapen Ourselves With Our Speech

Speech is so important that the freedom to use it without restriction (excluding putting lives in danger) is codified in the First Amendment. One proverb says, “Open your mouth only if what you are going to say is more beautiful than silence”. The same principle applies to not opening your mouth if what you are going to say is disingenuous or rash. By not speaking with caution and sincerity, we cheapen our word. By cheapening our word, we cheapen ourselves. By cheapening ourselves, we harm our senses of self-esteem and self-confidence. Constantly breaking our own word (even, or maybe especially, if the promise was made to ourselves) acclimatizes us to not believing in ourselves and feeling powerless to change our destinies.

Speaking carefully also avoids decreasing our motivation right from the get-go when we set an intention. If we are used to “just talking” we are less likely to take ourselves seriously when we make commitments such as “I am going to lose weight”, “I am going to take a walk every day”, “I am going to make my bed every morning”. With every incident of not staying true to our word comes a lessened sense of self-agency and autonomy needed to exact change.

It is important to make sure our words have power. We cannot do this by constantly contradicting them. Being careful before we speak by setting well-thought-out intentions beforehand ensures others stop and listen when we speak. By making false promises, lies, or disingenuous talk, we dilute the potency of our speech. We don’t want our speech, as William Shakespeare’s Macbeth put it, to be “…full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”.

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