Words can provide encouragement and add value—or do the opposite. Listen carefully beyond the surface of a person’s words and you will know that person’s heart and even their soul.
There is no attribution, but every manager and thinking person knows the truth of this comment, “A word of encouragement during a failure is worth more than an hour of praise after success.”
Answers aren’t always the best use of words as Naguib Mahfouz reminds us, “You can tell whether a man is clever by his answers. You can tell whether a man is wise by his questions.”
There’s an old saying that goes “open mouth insert foot,” but Lawrence J. Peter says it far more elegantly, “Speak when you are angry, and you will make the best speech you’ll ever regret.”
Those who spend (waste?) time trying to refute the myriad of lies found in modern media would do well to remember the words of William McAdoo, “It is impossible to defeat an ignorant person in an argument.”
Listening to the politicians, pundits and corporate titans always reminds me of this old Chinese proverb, “The longer the explanation, the bigger the lie.”
And I think I’ll let the words of Jimi Hendrix round out today’s thoughts; “Knowledge speaks, but wisdom listens.” Can’t say it more clearly than that.
Image credit: Jon Assink