The Word Age

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Raise your words, not voice. It is rain that grows flowers, not thunder.

Rumi

Imagine a prosperous, thriving modern city. Buzzing wide streets full of people in a rush under numerous shadows of big green trees in a busy sunny midday. Do you hear the noise? Do you hear different accents with different pitches on different volume? Now, imagine the same picture, but this time try to expunge all the voices. It gets creepy, does it not?

That’s right. Despite the fact that we have developed Snapchat and Facebook, that we use computers and mobile phones on a constant basis, that we read e-books and the retro paper (unfortunately) books, we still can not imagine ourselves in a voiceless world. Human speech is the primary way of communication for our species, and everything else derives from it. And that is why the question I am concerned about is even more striking: why did we stop to encourage good speech?

I have met a lot of people from all walks of life, from scientists to professional athletes, from CEOs of big companies to simple blue-collar workers, and I can honestly say that it were not the ones who achieved a lot that impressed me as human beings (of course, I admired their skills and determination, but this actually told me something about their character than about other things). It were the ones with the silver tongue, who could juggle words and crack smart jokes that left the best impression (of course, sometimes such people can also be full of shit). Sure, some people are better with words than the others, but isn’t it important that we devote our time and efforts to develop the skills of speaking and listening at least with the same level of determination as we develop skills that are considered more practical? After all, is there anything more practical than getting our thoughts and ideas through?

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The Word Age

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