By Sallie W. Boyles
What do words and water have in common?
Words are intangible. While the sensations they produce can be soothing or stabbing, even penetrating the human soul and filling the mind, words are not physical matter.
Water is tangible. Felt and absorbed by the body in various forms, it can significantly impact the physical and emotional being.
Differences aside, words and water share numerous traits.
- Both words and water can alter the temperature of things, going from chilling to boiling, perhaps gradually or in a flash.
- Both words and water can leave lasting impressions, good and bad, as when people who’ve run their lips are long gone, and riverbeds have run dry.
- When both words and water are deemed endlessly abundant and available for the taking, people are less mindful about avoiding wasteful or harmful spillage.
- Both words and water become more precious as they are near depletion, as when a loved one is dying and a well is yielding its last drops.
- When words and water are tainted, their sources can lose people’s trust, maybe indefinitely.
- Both words and water can appear extraordinarily pleasing on the surface, luring intelligent people to take the plunge, so to speak, despite all apparent warning signs of danger.
- Usage of both words and water can require precision, as in providing clear directions to a location and specifying an exact amount of liquid for a recipe.
- Both words and water can be crystal clear.
- Both words and water can be murky.
- Both words and water present character-building challenges for people who choose to accept them.
- Both words and water can be restorative.
- Both words and water are essential to survival, yet they can also precipitate the downfall of individuals and civilizations.
To conclude this mental exercise, let’s focus on words. Like countless other natural resources, we use them without a second thought and without consequence (or known detriment) until we reach a point of reckoning and realize the significance of our speech, past, present, and future.
Sallie W. Boyles, a.k.a. Write Lady
Thoughts or questions? Please contact Sallie Boyles, owner of Write Lady Inc., to exchange ideas about effective communications and gain from professional writing and editing services. Receive monthly tips and insights by subscribing at https://WriteLady.com.