You Are What You Say

Some creatures will eat anything. Termites are a fine example of indiscriminate taste. Vultures are another such species with a voracious appetite for a few good carcasses. It makes you wonder if the termite or vulture could speak, just what words would be uttered from their throats? Personally, I can’t imagine a termite saying, “How wonderful it is to destroy your home!” Or, would the vulture say, “I can’t wait for you to drop dead!”

Creatures are attracted to sweet: whether it is sugar, honey, pollen or oranges. Consider the baboon who thrives in Citrusdal in the Western Cape. The town is lush with oranges, varietals grow side by side. Annually, one crop of mineola grows alongside other oranges. But this particular grafted tree produces weeks earlier, a sweeter crop that brings out the beast in the baboon.

So too it is with our words. Long before email, humans would skillfully craft a letter or communiqué.  Pre-dating the text, folks would leave succinct voicemail messages. We learned to communicate by well written novels and speeches. You were judged by how well you wrote and your ability to deliver your point “on point”.  Perhaps we could benefit by returning to a more dignified time when saying what you mean and meaning what you say is an outward sign of your kindess, clarity and thoughtfulness. Because, if  you are what you say, sometimes you ain’t so pretty.

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