Importance of words

Sailosi Batiratu | Sunday, March 11, 2018
FOR the past several weeks, we have been running a series of articles about the war in Cakaudrove that was waged between Ratu Golea, who later became Tui Cakau, and his enemies.

Given the importance of the position of the Tui Cakau in traditional iTaukei society, there will be some who do not agree with what we have published because they have their own version of that particular event. And so it is with almost all other accounts which have been passed down the generations mainly through word of mouth.

We have said before, and do so again, that never is it our intention to cause division or discord through the articles we publish. If there is a version to which some hold dear, then they too must be heard. Not only for this particular story about the Tui Cakau but also in regards to things which matter, or should matter, to each and every one of us.

It is important that we speak with and also it is even more important to listen to each other. This way, those who hold on to differing accounts might be surprised, if they actually talk with and listen to each other, at the similarities in their accounts.

Often, when we focus only on what is different, we tend to get negative or worked up and our words are used as a weapon to inflict as much hurt and derision as possible on those who are not with us.

In the column below, a writer says our words have great power and so must be used for good rather than evil purposes. He says "kind words are like honey to the soul".

Today, in churches across Fiji and the world, people will be nourished spiritually through words from sacred Scripture. After the church services, members of the various congregations might discuss among themselves the power they felt when the sermon was being delivered.

Such is the power of the spoken, and also, written word.

On the other hand, some hold the view that words are only that — they are just words. Without accompanying action, words that have been uttered will just remain as noises that will soon be carried away by the breeze.

Whatever we may think of words, what is important is the way we use them. Whether it be between parent and child, teacher and student, siblings, students, leader to follower or superior to subordinate, they must as often as possible be used as honey for and to the soul.

That way the conversations we hold, whether they be formal or not, recorded or otherwise, public or private can be used as instruments for positive change, not only for those who are actively engaged in the conversation but also those around them.

That power to change rests with each and every one of us through the words that we communicate.

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